Our Resources


Overview Of Financial Planning

What Is Financial Planning

Done right, financial planning is a process that helps you figure out where you are financially today, where you want to be in the future, and then helps you determine a suitable way to get there. With the Fellows Financial Group advisors, the process involves an initial in-depth review of a client’s current financial situation and then the creation of a blueprint on how to manage future goals and objectives.

What is a Financial Planner or Advisor?

Financial advisors are professionals who possess detailed knowledge of a wide range of financial planning tools and products. In addition, Fellows advisors are experts in combining the right tools and products with the right growth and protection strategy for meeting your specific needs and dreams for the future. 

What should I look for in a Financial Advisor?

A good financial planner must be a good fit for you. That’s why you should look for an advisor who will offer you a no-obligation “Get Acquainted” meeting via phone or in person. A financial planner should be your advocate, prioritizing the best interests of the client, on the products offered for sale. Fellows feels that being truly independent is the best way to give clients objective and deeply personal advice. As independent advisors we do not have limitations or requirements to use any specific investment product or solution; this allows us to create customized financial plans seeking to provide income, growth and “what if” protections for our clients.

How Can A Financial Advisor Help Me?

Anyone of any age looking for financial independence can benefit from working with a good financial advisor. Fellows also provides corporations and organizations financial education programs for employees or members. 

Fellows serves clients at all income levels and from all walks of life—whether the need is an answer to one quick question or ongoing financial assessment, management, and direction. Each individual’s situation is unique. 

Someone just starting may need a detailed, long-term plan of action while someone else already on the road to pursuing their goals may simply need a new strategy, professional insight, fine-tuning, or a second opinion of an existing plan. 

Goals can be short, intermediate, or long-term. Reducing current income tax liabilities, for example, is a short-term goal. Funding a child’s education is an intermediate goal. Enjoying a secure financial retirement is a more long-term goal. By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions, retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities, and other general financial matters, Fellows advisors can design a customized financial plan for you.

How Is Fellows Different?

What’s Different About Fellows Advisors?

We have all the knowledge and resources of the nation’s top firms, but with the warm family feel of a local financial advisory firm. As independent advisors, we are free to explore all options to make sure our clients get the best treatment available. We are advocates for our clients, their families, and their businesses. Rather than the “set it and forget it” approach to financial planning, we proactively help our clients pursue their goals, adapting their plan as circumstances evolve.

What Are The Benefits Of
Financial Planning?

How Does Financial Planning Make A Difference?

Financial planning provides direction and aligns financial decision-making with your priorities and specific goals in each stage of your life. Planning allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances. For example, buying a particular investment product might help you save adequately to finance your child’s higher education or it may provide enough for a comfortable retirement. You can also adapt more easily to life changes and feel more confident that your goals are on track and within your comfort zone.

Is Financial Planning Just For The “Already Wealthy”?

No. Fellows advisors have no income or investment account minimums. We value all of our clients and love to help anyone who is looking to start a path toward financial independence. No matter what you have now, it is always a good time to start planning for your future.

My Spouse And I Need Help And Guidance Getting Started Building For Our Financial Future. Will Fellows Accept Us As Clients?

Absolutely. Any of our advisors will be happy to talk with you about your situation. Fellows advisors have no minimum income levels or net worth requirements. We realize that everyone has financial questions. We are proud to work with people from all income levels and all walks of life.

I Already Have Substantial Assets And Am Doing Quite Well Financially-I Think. Can You Help Me?

Yes. Fellows advisors offer many services for those people who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice. If you’re interested in a professional review or a second opinion, we can provide that too.

How Can I Plan For Tomorrow When I Can Hardly Pay For Today?

Start with a budget. Determine what you spend each month and where you spend it. There are fixed expenses like rent, loan repayments, etc. every month. The variable items such as food, clothing and entertainment are often what get away from us. Use your discretion to contain these variable expenses to start saving.

How Much Should I Be Saving?

It is hard to apply a rule of thumb toward savings because it varies with age and income level. Ten percent is a good start. If you find that is too high, don’t let that deter you. Start by putting a little aside each month and then slowly increase it.

How Does Fellows Work With Clients?

What Is The Fellows Investment Philosophy?

As financial advisors and investment consultants, we believe in the following fundamental principles to design an investment portfolio and make specific recommendations for each client. The purpose of an investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives. The design of the portfolio must take into account the client’s financial objectives, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as income and estate taxes. The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio.
We believe that a diversified, well-balanced portfolio, combined with long-term buy-and-hold strategies, affordability and patience, increases the likelihood that one will achieve his or her long-term financial objectives.

Why Is There An Evaluation Of My Insurance Needs?

Investments take care of your predictable needs. Insurance is critical for taking care of the “what ifs” that can happen at any time. This is why evaluating your insurance needs is part of personal financial planning and ideally should be addressed before addressing investments. 

What About Taxes?

Financial plans must be tax efficient. The financial plan should help you in minimizing your tax liability while also maximizing your after-tax returns from your investments.

Do Fellows Advisors Provide More Than Comprehensive Financial Planning?

Yes. Although comprehensive planning yields the greatest benefits, Fellows also tailors services to clients’ specific needs. We can, for instance, address single issues like cash management and budgeting, investment analysis, college education funding or whatever is critical to you right now.

What Is A Time Horizon?

“Time horizon” refers to the amount of time a person has to save for a particular event. For example, the time horizon for a college savings account might be 10 years for the parents of an eight-year-old child, but 15 years for the parents of a three-year-old. Likewise, the time horizon for a 30-year old saving for retirement might be 35 years, whereas it might be 15 years for a 60-year old who started saving late in life.

Can Fellows Help With More
Than Planning?

If I Use Fellows To Develop A Financial Plan, Am I Obligated To Purchase The Recommended Products?

Absolutely not! We offer recommendations to address your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase anything.

How Do Fellows Advisors Select Investments?

Before recommending any investment, a Fellows advisor considers current economic conditions, the outlook for a particular asset class or type of security, and how the investment fits each client’s goals, objectives and risk tolerance. Because we hold ourselves to a fiduciary standard for our clients, we strive to obtain the most appropriate investment vehicles while being very conscious of total expenses and risk exposure.

What If I Want To Buy Investment Or Insurance Products? How Do I Do That?

Fellows advisors can help you. We believe in helping you create and execute a complete plan, and often that involves insurance. We look at the full picture and help you decide what types of personal and/or business insurance are most appropriate for your financial needs and peace of mind.

I’m In Charge Of The Retirement Plans And Employee Benefits At My Company And Would Like To Get More Employees To Participate. How Can You Help Us?

Education is key to increasing employee participation and appreciation. Fellows advisors can tailor a program for a company’s employees to help them understand the benefits of various programs.

How Do Fellows Advisors Charge For Financial Advice?

If you are simply in the market for a specific financial product, we will gladly help educate you on a suitable fit for your needs, and facilitate the purchase for you. In these cases, we do not charge a fee because we receive compensation from the company offering the product. If you are looking for an all-encompassing financial plan, we will do an initial discovery meeting, then come back to you with a proposal. Depending on the effort required, we will be transparent about the fee for our services right up front.

Can Fellows Help With More
Than Planning?

Once My Financial Plan Or Project Is Finished, Will Our Relationship End?

No. When we say, “it’s personal,” we mean it. We know that good financial planning is a process, not an event. Just as someone thinks of an eye doctor as an ongoing provider and has regular checkups to maintain good vision, good fiscal health requires periodic reviews of your finances by a qualified financial advisor. Your Fellows advisor will continue to keep you updated on your financial plan as much or as little as you like – from periodic reviews to day-to-day consultation. We also offer technology that allows you to check on your portfolio at any time.

What If I Don’t Achieve My Goals?

Financial planning is a commonsense approach to managing your finances so you can work towards your unique life goals. It is a lifelong process. Remember that events beyond your control such as inflation or changes in the stock market or interest rates will affect your financial planning results. But with the right plan, you can put protections in place that help you weather both predictable and unpredictable risks.

How Often Should I Update The Plan?

It is good to review the plan at least annually, or more often when there is a lifestyle change such as marriage, birth, death, or divorce. Any change in financial position should be evaluated as well. Most people have an annual update that reviews how the plan is being implemented. The review also considers realigning the plan as goals and circumstances evolve.