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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How are you different from other financial advisors?

There are three really important things about our firm that separate us from others:

  1. All we do is retirement planning. We are retirement specialists with a simple goal of making sure you don't run out of money.
  2. We limit the number of new clients we take on to deliver massive value and personalized service.
  3. We invest in industry-leading technology and coaching to simplify our clients' lives and make retirement easy.

2. What is the difference between a fee-only and a fee-based advisor?

A fee-based financial advisor offers services to clients for a fee. This could include hourly fees, monthly subscriptions, one-time fees, and fees based on assets under management (AUM). It can also include a percentage of revenue earned through commissions from selling products of brokerage firms, mutual fund companies, or insurance companies.

A fee-only financial advisor has the distinction of solely being compensated by fees paid by clients for services provided. This minimizes conflicts of interest because fee-only advisors do not receive commissions from insurance companies, mutual fund companies, or brokerage firms to offer their products to clients. A fee-only firm may receive hourly fees, monthly subscriptions, one-time fees, and fees based on assets under management (AUM), but no commissions. For more information, see this blog post: Fee-only Fiduciary Financial Advisor.

Eagle Ridge Wealth Advisors uses a fee-only structure, and we choose to charge fees based on AUM because this is how we believe we can add the most value for our retirement-focused specialty. For those that don't want the full support of an ongoing relationship, we offer a one-time financial plan option as well.  

3. Are your recommendations truly in my best interest?

As a firm, we take very seriously our fiduciary duty to always act in the client’s best interest (vs. just trying to sell you a product). In addition to a legal obligation, our firm has been built on a foundation of placing the client’s interest before any thoughts of our own compensation. 

We recommend for clients the same investment strategies used in our personal accounts (we eat our own cooking) and the accounts of our immediate family members. Our commitment to honest and ethical behavior has allowed us to build a successful firm.

Click here to see a 3-minute video clip that compares stock brokers and fiduciaries to butchers and dietitians.

4. Will you help me solve any and all financial problems I may encounter? 

Yes. We will assist clients in solving an assortment of financial issues such as 401(k) plans, audits, family deaths, disability, tax issues, real estate, debt, Social Security, Medicare, health insurance, college, gifting, and almost any other financial issue imaginable.

For our clients, we serve as a single point of contact for all their financial needs. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, this includes coordinating every aspect of their financial needs. Each of our clients has a financial plan and financial action checklist detailing all the actions needed to achieve their financial goals. As needed, these action items are coordinated with accountants, attorneys, and other professionals.

While we certainly don’t have all the answers, through our network of resources, we will not stop until a solution has been found.

5. Why should I consider hiring Eagle Ridge Wealth Advisors?

Great question! But first, let us explain why you shouldn’t hire us.

If you’re looking for an advisor who will trade stocks to “beat the market,” you’re in the wrong place. Why? Because we only focus on what you can control. Predicting if the stock market will go up or down or guessing what interest rates will do next are not things you can control and our focus is with retirees where we are concerned with return of your money as much as return on your money!

But if you’re interested in things like lowering your tax bill, investing smarter, and creating a reliable income stream in retirement, you’re in the right place.

6. Do you work with clients in other states?

Yes. While many of our clients are in central IL, we work with retirees and pre-retirees all over the country. Our firm is equipped to use Zoom video conferencing software, and we adhere to strict security guidelines to protect your privacy.