To aid you in your search to find the Financial Advisory Firm best suited to help you and your family accomplish your long term financial goals; we took the liberty of answering Forbes Magazine’s “10 questions to ask when choosing a Financial Advisor”.
1. How do you charge for your services, and how much?
HFG charges on a fee basis, often less than the average mutual fund. There is no initial consultation fee and HFG makes no money through selling specific investment products, unlike many transaction focused brokerage firms. See Fee Structure for more information.
2. What licenses, credentials or other certifications do you have?
Michael R. Harding is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Financial Manager (CFM) as well as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
3. What services does your firm provide?
With the Certified Financial Planning Process the foundation of our work, the Harding Financial Group specializes in building fee only custom investment portfolios based on the individual goals of each of our clients. The depth of your relationship with Harding Financial is entirely up to you. Often, we act as a private banker for our clients providing a broad spectrum of service from debit cards to complex estate planning strategies.
4. What types of clients do you specialize in?
Our clients range in profile—from Executives to Business owners, to retired Professionals and soon-to-be Retirees. However, our entire clientele shares an appreciation for the service/ value inherent in a relationship based, fee based, advisory team—rather than a transaction focused brokerage firm.
5. Could I see a sample financial plan?
Absolutely – we can provide a 10 page executive summary of a sample client similar in profile to you- or we can provide the full 200 plus pages of a very complex plan.
6. What is your investment approach?
No two clients are the same therefore no two portfolios are the same. Each client portfolio is specifically tailored to the individual client with investment decisions guided by the Investment Policy Statement created between the client and the Advisor at the beginning of the relationship. Portfolios range from entirely municipal bonds to entirely individual stocks. The “typical” client might have 30% in mutual funds, 20% Bonds, 20% individual Stocks, 20% globally invested and 10% in alternative investments (Precious Metals, Oil, Real Estate).
7. How much contact do you have with your clients?
HFG has a reputation for being in close communication with our clients at all times. Apart from phone and email communication, our Clients receive monthly account statements, quarterly commentaries, quarterly performance reports, and in person meetings usually once every quarter- or more often if you prefer. Some of our clients prefer to do lunch once a month. If your preference is a conference call every two weeks, we can do that. We will respond to the specific needs of each individual client.
8. Will I be working only with you or with a team?
For investment and planning decisions you will be working directly with Michael R. Harding. All administrative and operational issues are handled by a member of the staff. If a specialist such as a CPA or Estate Planning Attorney is necessary Mr. Harding will lead a meeting at our office with a specialist from his extensive professional network, and the client, ensuring all advisors are working together to accomplish the goals of the client. There is no charge for bringing together this team; it is part of our service.
9. What makes your client experience unique?
The Harding Financial Group is a private family office with an optimally sized client list; this allows us to provide each client with a level of customization that the larger brokerage firms just cannot offer. Getting to know our clients’ financial goals and providing the highest levels of service are our top priorities. We don’t just make that claim, if we don’t deliver on our promise we return your entire annual management fee.
Ask any other advisor if they will offer the same assurance and you will discover the commitment HFG has to our clients.
10. Did (the advisor) ask me questions and seem to be interested in me?
Call us to set up an initial consultation (no-fee and no commitment required) which will help you evaluate the merits of our service and whether we are the right fit for helping you achieve your financial goals.