Frequently Asked Questions


1. Please tell me about the financial planning process.

2. How do you create this blueprint?

3. Sounds like a lot of work!

4. Who can benefit from your services?

5. What is "Fee-Only" financial planning and why should that be important to me?

6. What is the advantage of employing a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

7. I understand the benefits of working with a Fee-Only financial planner, but I might need to obtain financial products. How will I be able to do that?

8. Does Veronica R. Hart provide only comprehensive financial planning?

9. My spouse and I are just beginning to build for our financial future. There is so much to learn! We need help and guidance to get started. Will you accept us a clients?

10. I have already accumulated substantial assets and think I am doing quite well. But as I progress and build for the future, things seem to be getting more complicated. I want to be sure I am on track, but I don't always have the time or inclination to manage the myriad details by myself. Can you help me?

11. I'm in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my firm. I would like to increase the number of employees who participate in our benefits programs. How can you help us?

12. What types of securities do you provide advice for?

13. If I use Veronica's advice to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?

14. Tell me about your investment philosophy.

15. How do you select investments for a clients?

16. How much will my financial plan cost?

17. Are your fees tax deductible?

18. Once my financial plan is completed, will our relationship end?

19. How can I get started?

1.  Please tell me about the financial planning processFinancial planning is a multi-step process that provides you with two important things: (1) An in-depth review of your current financial situation, and (2) a blueprint that shows you how to achieve your goals and objectives for the future. The financial planning process consists of seven distinct steps (see Building a Brighter Financial Future for details on Veronica's unique financial planning process). It is important to remember that financial planning is a process  . . .  not an event.

Back to Top of Page

2. How do you create this blueprint? First Veronica focuses on your goals, objectives, priorities and values. For instance: the reduction of current and future income taxes may be an immediate goal, funding a quality education for your children and/or grandchildren may be an intermediate goal, and enjoying a secure financial future in your retirement years is likely to be one of your most important long-term goals. Another great goal in life for some people is creating wealth and/or leaving a legacy for your chosen beneficiaries or charities. You may already be on the road to meeting these objectives and simply need a new strategy, professional insight, or to fine-tune your plan. You may just be starting out, or you may be somewhere in between. Whatever your unique situation may be, everyone needs a periodic assessment of where they are on the road to meeting their financial goals. Thatís why Veronica does an in-depth review of your current financial situation. Next, you need to know how you can set about achieving (or continue working toward) your financial goals. By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions and retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities and other general financial matters, Veronica designs a customized financial plan for you. Finally, to achieve the intended results, you must implement and monitor your plan.

Back to Top of Page

3. Sounds like a lot of work!  It may seem like that at first, but the good news is, if you follow your plan and maintain a disciplined approach, you can rest well knowing you can reach your stated goals. Veronica tries to make the process as easy as possible for you. In addition to receiving professional advice on your most important financial concerns, we can also provide implementation and ongoing asset management services, if appropriate for your needs.

Back to Top of Page

4. Who can benefit from your services?  Any individual seeking financial peace of mind can benefit from Veronica's services. She serves people at all income levels, from all walks of life. Clients have the flexibility to work with her on either a one-time, as-needed basis or an ongoing basis. Veronica welcomes clients who simply need a one-time financial consultation or a second opinion, as well as those who need comprehensive financial planning and possible ongoing asset management services. In addition, any corporation or organization seeking quality, unbiased financial education for their employees or members can benefit from her financial education programs.

Back to Top of Page

5. What is ''Fee-Only'' financial planning and why should that be important to me?  Because Veronica is a Fee-Only financial planner, all conflicts of interest regarding compensation are removed. She does not accept sales commissions; she works solely for her clients. Because she does not sell financial products such as investments and insurance, there are no third-party relationships or outside influences to color our thinking and financial recommendations. For more information on Fee-Only financial planning, including our Code of Ethics, Fiduciary Code and member requirements, please visit www.NAPFA.org.

Back to Top of Page

In addition, Veronica is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA); as such, she must comply with a host of regulations designed to protect the consumer. One important question you should always ask when considering a financial plannerís services: ''May I please have a copy of your ADV Part II?'' This document contains important information about the plannerís qualifications, fiduciary duties, history of any past violations, etc. She would be happy to send you a copy of our ADV Part II. Please contact her to request your copy.

Back to Top of Page

6. What is the advantage of employing a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)A Certified Financial Planner is committed to competent and ethical behavior when providing financial advice.  Certified Financial Planners have demonstrated their professionalism by submitting to the rigorous CFP certification process.  This includes a comprehensive ten hour CFP Certification Examination, a minimum of three years experience in the financial planning process, and extensive education requirements.  A CFP must also continually update their abilities and abide by the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Planning Practice Standards.  For more information about Certified Financial Planners, click here to link to the CFP Board's web site.

Back to Top of Page

7. I understand the benefits of working with a Fee-Only financial planner, but I might need to obtain financial products. How will I be able to do that?  While Veronica does not sell financial products, she will offer specific recommendations and opinions regarding the purchase of the various financial products that may be appropriate for you. So, if you need to obtain an insurance policy or a new mortgage, invest into a portfolio of mutual funds, or find an estate planning attorney or tax professional, she can direct you to the resources you need and/or help you obtain these products and services. If appropriate, Veronica can also help you implement your plan and set up your accounts.

Back to Top of Page

8. Does Veronica R. Hart provide only comprehensive financial planning?  No. Although a comprehensive financial plan can provide the greatest benefits, Veronica can limit her advisory services to your specific needs, such as cash management and budgeting, investment analysis or college education funding.

Back to Top of Page

9. My spouse and I are just beginning to build for our financial future. There is so much to learn! We need help and guidance to get started. Will you accept us as clients?  Yes. Some firms have income levels and/or net worth minimums but Veronica realizes that everyone has financial needs. She is proud to work with people from all income levels, and all walks of life. Remember, ''You don't have to have a fortune to start building one.'' Call her today and let's get started.

Back to Top of Page

10. I have already accumulated substantial assets and think I am doing quite well. But as I progress and build for the future, things seem to be getting more complicated. I want to be sure I am on track, but I donít always have the time or inclination to manage the myriad details by myself. Can you help me?   Yes. People who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice will find Veronica's services appealing and beneficial. If you have a desire to simplify your financial affairs, her Ongoing Retainer Client Program may be right for you (see Building a Brighter Financial Future.) If you are looking for a professional review or a second opinion to ensure you are on track, she can provide that, too.

Back to Top of Page

11. Iím in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my firm. I would like to increase the number of employees who participate in our benefit programs. How can you help us?  Corporate education is key in building employee participation. Veronica can help your people understand the benefits of your programs. Please call to discuss your specific needs. She can custom-build an educational program for your company.

Back to Top of Page

12. What types of securities do you provide advice for?  Veronica provides advice for all types of securities, including mutual funds, stocks (as they relate to your portfolio holdings), bonds, bank deposits, variable and fixed annuities, limited partnerships and tax shelters. She also provides advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement programs, stock options, life and disability insurance, etc. If it has to do with money and finances, Veronica can provide counseling, guidance and/or resources for you. Because she wants her clients to know that they can call on her with any and all of their financial concerns, she has developed the slogan ''Financial Planning and Advice for Everyday Life.'' Clients are encouraged to call her when they have a major life event, such as a new job, a baby, a marriage or divorce, or if they are planning to buy a new home or start their own business. Veronica also encourages her clients to call her with more common everyday questions, such as: ''How should I invest within my 401(k) or 403(b) plan?'', ''How can I reduce my taxes?'', ''What advice can you offer on refinancing my home?'', or ''How can I maximize my Flex Spending Account, Cafeteria Plan or Section 125 Plan at work?''

Back to Top of Page

13. If I use Veronica's advice to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?  Absolutely not. Veronica will offer recommendations which in her professional opinion will meet your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase them. In todayís competitive market, it makes sense to shop around for the best available product or service. For instance, if you need to obtain a life insurance or disability policy, she will suggest the kind of policy, which riders and what amounts may be best for you. She will then direct you to a choice of companies that can provide a quality product at competitive prices for you. If you wish, Veronica can help you purchase investments and/or set up your accounts with a third-party custodian such as a discount broker.

Back to Top of Page

14. Tell me about your investment philosophy.  As a financial planners and investment consultant, Veronica believes in the following fundamental principals with regard to designing an investment portfolio and making specific recommendations: The purpose of a clientís investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives. The design of the portfolio must take into account the clientís financial objectives, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as income and estate taxes. The important thing to remember is that no one can predict the future. It is difference of opinion that makes a market. Investment and economic ''experts'' provided with the same information often come to different conclusions.  Veronica does not suggest that she can, or that any of the money or mutual fund managers that she recommends, will make the correct decision every time. She does believe, however, that studying the historic trends and relationships of investment classes and the philosophies and approaches of successful investment managers can provide valuable insight. The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio. Veronica believes that having a diversified, well-balanced portfolio, following long-term buy-and-hold strategies, and having patience, will increase the likelihood that one will achieve their long-term financial objectives.

Back to Top of Page

15. How do you select investments for a client Before Veronica recommends any investment, she considers the current economic conditions, the outlook for that asset class or type of security and how this investment fits within your portfolio given your objectives and tolerance for risk. For equity investments, she focuses primarily on the philosophies, experience and track record of the management team. With fixed income investments, she looks for the best yield available for a given quality of security. As a fiduciary for her clients, Veronica strives to obtain the most appropriate investment vehicles to meet your objectives, while being very conscious of total expenses and risk exposure.

Back to Top of Page

16. How much will my financial plan cost?  Financial planning fees are determined on a project basis; the total fee for a financial plan will vary from client to client based on the specific needs and complexity of your situation (please see our diagram Building a Brighter Financial Future to learn about our financial planning sequence and the client service options available). An estimate is provided after the Get Acquainted Meeting, when your personal needs are fully identified. Once your financial plan is complete, there are three basic levels of client/advisor relationships (for more information, see Building a Brighter Financial Future diagram).

Back to Top of Page

17. Are your fees tax deductibleYes. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return.

Back to Top of Page

18. Once my financial plan is completed, will our relationship end?  Depending on your client track, the actual engagement of services may end (please refer to Seven Steps to Building a Brighter Financial Future), but the majority of Veronica's clients choose one of her two Continuing Client Programs. Because financial planning is a process, not an event, Veronica offers ongoing services, periodic reviews and day-to-day consultation as requested and/or needed.

Back to Top of Page

19. How can I get started The first step is an initial inquiry from you. Call Veronica at (979) 680-1838 or email her at vhart@getplanning.com. She offers an initial no-cost, no-obligation Get Acquainted Meeting, either on the phone or in her office. For Get Acquainted Meetings, appointments are scheduled based on availability during regular business hours of 9-5, Monday through Friday. Expanded office hours are available to accommodate special needs or emergency situations. Should you decide to engage our services, Veronica can discuss which of her services and client tracks is appropriate for you. Most clients find the financial planning process to be stimulating and enlightening. The end result, of course, is greater peace of mind. Veronica looks forward to helping YOU build a brighter financial future!

Back to Top of Page