Frequently Asked Questions

Is working with you time-consuming? Honestly, that really depends on you. I have definitely designed my processes for busy people but you can expect to spend the majority of time in the second step of Your Comprehensive Financial Checkup™ at the Office Visit.

The office visit is where we iron out the details of your financial plan by building a solid picture of your financial situation. So I guess the real question would be how complicated is your financial situation? Regardless, I don’t place a time limit with my clients so they usually don’t place one with me 😉 so it varies depending on what questions you have.

What if I’m already working with a financial advisor? You may be working with a financial advisor, but you may not be working with an advisor that specializes in needs-based and goal-based financial planning. There is definitely a difference between the two, and in my experience, I’ve found that as people get closer to retirement, they sometimes start to get interested in a separate analysis conducted outside of their current relationship with their financial advisor.

In other words, I’ve given a lot of second opinions over the course of my career. You may not be looking to move your assets to a different firm, that doesn’t mean that I can’t help you. Although I may make some recommendations for alternatives to your current portfolio, I do respect the fact that people have some great relationships with their financial advisors already. I’m happy to help where I can, whether that involves helping you manage your entire portfolio, a portion of it, or giving an honest, objective second opinion about your chances of success with your current plan.

If we conduct our meetings online will I be able to access my plan online? Yes, all of the reports and planning documents we provide to our clients are delivered either via PDF file or on a variety of our online platforms geared towards financial planning that we use via a personalized web log in which will be provided to you.

What are the most common things that you help people plan for? My plans help clients with a variety of different things, and I also help clients in a variety of different situations. I would say, though, that my area of specialty really falls in the realm of retirement planning, income planning and assistance in measuring and accounting for risk in my client’s financial portfolios.

If you’re close to retirement and you’re trying to figure out if you actually saved enough money to be able to retire the way you want to I encourage you to reach out to me. As long as you have the necessary information about how much you’re saving and where it’s saved and an idea of exactly how much money you want to live off of on a monthly or annual basis, I can help you determine if you’re on the right track. Although I help many different types of people, those who are retired and those who are planning on retiring within the next 5-10 years make up the bulk of my clientele.

How much will my Comprehensive Financial Checkup™ cost? That depends on the amount of work involved in your plan. The majority of my plans, however, fall into the $500-$750 range.

I occasionally charge more money for planning than my typical $500-$750 range for clients that require more complex planning and analysis. My plans are made to be affordable but there is a cost.

The cost of your plan covers my time and also the cost of the resources that I have available to help my clients. Some financial advisors offer “free financial planning” but the reason why they are offering you something for free now is usually so they can have a crack at selling you something later, which may not be free. Here’s one thing that I can guarantee to you, I’m always upfront, honest and extremely transparent about what I charge.

I do my best to make sure that my clients are satisfied and continue to work for them and with them until they are happy with their plan. Remember, I don’t work for a particular insurance company or money manager, I work for my clients. In my opinion, this is a strong point in working with a fee-based or fee-only financial advisor.

Although I may make some recommendations for investment and insurance alternatives to what you may already have, first and foremost, my clients pay me to plan for them. As a fiduciary, I’m legally required to put my client’s best interests in front of my own, so I focus on making good plans for my clients before talking about products that may improve their situation.

Who do you share our information with? We never provide or sell your information to a third party unless we are specifically granted that permission by you as part of our financial planning process. For example, we may use your financial information to construct a financial plan that would require aggregating or syncing your accounts to our financial planning software. I’m not in the business of sharing my client’s private information, and I respect the privacy and sensitivity of my client’s unique financial situations.

How do we know our data is safe with you? Besides our promise to not share your data unless it’s necessary for your financial plan, all of our software and online storage of documents are protected via web encryption such as an SSL Certificate that uses a 2048-bit public encryption in our online storage vault that contains my client’s information and planning documents. Clients of Brein Wealth Management, LLC also have password-protected access to all of their accounts and documents online as well.

How do we know we can trust you? Trust is extremely important when dealing with a financial advisor, or anyone who may be helping you manage or plan with your money. If you’ve been burned before, you’ll know that it’s extremely important to make sure that you and your financial advisor are on the same page when it comes to your planning and investing. I regularly recommend that prospective client’s to check out my Investment Advisor Public Disclosure right here for more details about my company.

Although I’m not affiliated with the broker-dealer anymore and work exclusively as an investment advisor, you can take a look at my past licensing and disclosure records on FINRA broker check right here.

I’ve also done my best to build a good reputation in the greater Seattle area over the past several years and have a strong commitment to maintaining the privacy of my clients, constructing high-quality financial plans, and putting my clients best interests in front of my own when working for them. If you still have questions, I always suggest that people reach out directly to me with any other questions or concerns about working with me that are not covered on this page.

Do you take control of our accounts during the planning process? The way my firm is set up, I do not take discretion or custody of my client’s assets. This means that I don’t authorize activity in my client’s accounts unless it is requested that I do so by my clients.

During our initial financial planning process, we may use our financial planning software to aggregate your accounts so we can see them all in one place, but there is a difference between aggregating and having control over accounts. If you move your money with our firm or any of the companies that we work alongside, it is assumed that if you need something done on any of your accounts I would be able to do that for you, but again, I need your permission to move your money, change your investments or authorize a withdrawal for you to take your money out if needed.

We want to stay diversified, do you suggest we put all of our investments in one place? That really depends on you, but the majority of my clients have their money diversified across a variety of insurance and investment products.

Again, we do not take custody of client’s assets and we do not take discretionary control over them either so when we put together a financial plan and come up with investment or savings ideas for our clients, their money is not placed directly with Brein Wealth Management, LLC but rather a money manager that we have selected or insurance company that is a fit for your needs.

It’s important to understand that we don’t hold onto your money, we just try to find the best place for you to put it based on what’s important to you. This is not cookie-cutter financial services, all of our plans are customized based on your individual and unique needs.

How to Hire Us

To learn about our planning process, click here: Your Comprehensive Financial Checkup

If you’re interested in a complimentary consultation: Click HERE and schedule your Financial Health Pre-Screening call

Not ready to set up an appointment at this time?

Not a problem at all, please feel free to ask us any financial question regarding your situation and we will do our best to answer your question and respond directly to you within 24 hours via email. We are here to help you, just click here and fill out this form to ask your confidential question and a member of our team will get back with you shortly.

©2017 The Art of a Plan™

The presence of this website on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services or specific financial advice unless otherwise permitted by statute and offered through Brein Wealth Management, LLC. The Art of a Plan™ and Brein Wealth Management, LLC are two separate entities.

All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Joshua Brein, unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by The Art of a Plan™ as to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation. Exclusive rights to this website and all material within this website belongs to Joshua P. Brein and The Art of a Plan™.

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