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F.A.Q.

What is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation?

Most consumers believe that all financial planners are “certified,” but that isn’t true. Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner;” however, only those who have fulfilled the certification requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks, which represent a high level of competency, ethics and professionalism. 

The CFP designation It is recognized in the United States and a number of other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients.  Learn more at the CFP Board’s website.

What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary has the highest ethical and legal obligation to put client interests ahead of our own compensation and any other considerations. We are fiduciaries; this is a fundamental value of ours and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What is your investment approach?

We use both active and passive investments, depending on our client’s goals and values. By giving clients the choice we can make sure that they are comfortable and feel informed about what they invest in. Here is a sample Investment Policy Statement that all of our Investment Management clients would have customized to their situation.

What are some of the different topics discussed in a financial plan?

We cover:

  • Cash flow 
  • Banking & Credit Card review 
  • Debt repayment 
  • Student loans 
  • Investment strategy
  • Employee Benefit review
  • Stock Options
  • Tax planning and filing (through Northbrook Tax & Accounting) 
  • Insurance review 
  • Estate planning 
  • Retirement planning

Do you specialize in any particular area?

Some of our areas of expertise: 

  • Tax Mitigation Strategies with a Licensed CPA
  • Investment Reviews, Asset Allocation and Investment Selection
  • Retirement and Retirement Income Planning
  • Navigating Through Your Student Loans (including repayment options and refinancing, and tax benefits) 
  • Choosing the Right Credit Card to Maximize Your Travel Rewards 
  • Personal Banking Review 
  • Detailed Employer Benefits Package Review and Summary 
  • Employee Stock Options (NQSOs, RSUs, ISOs, Deferred Comp) Review and Tax Mitigation Strategies

    How often do we meet? 

    Typically there is more interaction while setting things up in the first few months. After setup, we meet every 3-6 months or when there’s a major life change. We offer unlimited email, phone, and virtual meeting support and we encourage our clients to reach out as their situations change.

      Is my money safe?

      Your money is held at TD Ameritrade or Betterment our designated custodians. Their role is to hold assets, execute trades initiated by Northbrook Financial, provide monthly statements, and tax reporting. You would have 24/7 access to your accounts online.

      Do you offer clients access to a network of other financial professionals (Example: Estate Planning Attorneys, Insurance Advisors, etc.)?

      We connect you with others in our network and they charge you separately for their services. We don’t receive any commission or compensation; if we did, we wouldn’t be a fee-only financial planner. This means that we are fiduciaries and have to act in the best interests of our clients. We don’t sell any products or receive any commissions for our financial planning services.

          How do you get paid?

          We are a fee-only financial planning firm, which means our only compensation comes from the services we provide to you. We do not get paid any commissions, kick backs, “trails,” or any other fees other than the fees we charge you.

              I need help getting out of debt, can you help me?

              Yes. Together, we can come up with a practical debt reduction strategy.

              Do you work with people outside of Maryland?

              Yes. Thanks to technology, we can (and do) work with clients who live all over the US.

              Does Northbrook Financial have availability for additional clients?

              Yes, we’re gladly accepting new clients and please click the get started link if you have any further questions.

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