Ask Matt Q. Why should I use a financial advisor ?Your relationship with a professional advisor should be highly personalized. It's a partnership. It pairs your knowledge of where you are and where you want to be with the advisor's knowledge of how to help you get there. Your advisor not only works with you . . . but for you.Q. Could you explain the kind of financial planning you do ?I build financial models to uncover your potential financial blind spots. You'll have a to-do list, a timeline for completion, and an ongoing tracking system for us to measure your progress.Q. How do I know if we're a "good fit" ?We must agree on three things. One, you must believe in personalized financial planning as much as I do. Two, you must be willing to accept professional financial advice. Three, you must be as committed as I am to helping you reach your financial goals. Unless we agree on all three of these, it probably isn't a good fit.Q. Can I hire you to create financial models plan without you managing my money ?Absolutely. There are times when people just want to evaluate where they are and what they need to do without needing my money management services. I build models for a flat fee of $250 per model with a maximum of $1,500 depending on how many models you need. It's up to you whether or not you want to hire me to manage your money. However, if you do hire me to manage your money, there is no charge (zero) for building any of the models.Q. What is your investment philosophy ?I believe in being diversified. I believe there are times when the market presents a higher downside risk than upside potential. Therefore, there will be times when preservation of capital is my main focus and not capital growth. I do not believe in frequent trading. However, I do not believe in a "buy and hold" strategy at all times. I may reduce our equity holdings if the environment appears to turn negative. When markets change, we may need to change. However, in light of the historically dismal record of market timers, I think it's important to employ discipline and avoid large shifts in portfolio asset allocation, unless indicators point toward more downside risk than upside potential. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will outperform a non-diversified portfolio in any given market environment. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.Q. How do you choose your investments?My portfolios are a mixture of money market funds, certificates of deposit, no-load mutual funds, and exchange traded funds although these securities have not been used all at the same time. I do not use individual stocks in my models. All investments are chosen from my proprietary process that's based on diversification, quality, and cost. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will outperform a non-diversified portfolio in any given market environment. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.Q. Once we agree on the allocation model that matches my risk tolerance and goals, will my account have the exact allocations as that model portfolio ?Not necessarily. I manage money using three different model portfolios. Through your risk tolerance profile, we will select the model that fits your profile and objectives. However, there may be some slight differences in your portfolio(s) compared to your model's exact allocation percentages. For example, you may need monthly income. That may require a larger allocation to the money market than the model calls for. Therefore, individual circumstances may dictate deviations from a specific model portfolio.Q. Do I have a choice in how I pay for your services --- either commissions or fees ?Yes. I will explain the various costs of commissions versus fees, or a combination of the two. The choice is up to you. Regardless of how you pay me, rest assured the payment structure you select will be in your best interest, not mine.Q. What specific reports can I expect to receive from you?All clients receive a monthly statement on their investment account(s) when there is activity during the month. Advisory (actively managed, fee-based) accounts also receive a detailed quarterly performance report as well as a bi-weekly e-mail written by me. I also require reviews, at least annually. You also have daily access to all of your accounts as of the previous day's close directly from this web site (requires password to ensure confidentiality and security).