A: Azimuth Financial Services is owned and operated solely by Gabriel Garcia. Gabe has successfully attained the Series 7, 66, 24 & 63 licenses. He also has over 10 years of experience advising and working with some of the country’s largest financial firms.
A: Financial professionals can be paid in three main ways: commission, percent of assets under management or fee-only. A commission structure is the most common with large advisory firms and presents a big conflict of interest for the advisor.
- Commission – Under a commission structure, the advisor is paid not by the client, but by the company that created, or is providing, the product/service he or she is selling. Because of this, the advisor may recommend a product that is not in the client’s best interest in order to collect a larger pay day.
- Assets Under Management (AUM) – An AUM structure is when an advisor charges a fee based on a percentage of the client’s assets. Normally, this is about 1% per year, but can be higher. Advisors who provide services using only this fee structure typically reserve services for clients with relatively large amounts to invest.
- Fee-only – Fee-only advisors normally charge an hourly rate that is paid directly by the client. This fee structure is preferred among investors as the advisor is paid the same amount regardless of which product or service they recommend. This eliminates any conflict of interest regarding suitability of investments and allows the advisor to spend adequate time with clients working together to determine what is best for their individual situation.
A: It benefits investors to work with a fee-only financial advisor for many reasons:
- The fee-only structure is transparent and straight forward with regards to billing and overall cost of services to be provided. In this structure, it is clear that the advisor is working for the client and no one else. At the beginning of the relationship, the client receives an estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete the service as well as the estimated cost. There are no hidden fees.
- Fee-only advisors create access to financial services for all prospective clients regardless of the amount the client has to invest or whether the client is ready to invest at all. This is because fee-only advisors normally do not have minimum cash requirements and are able to work with clients on other financial matters besides just investments.
- Fee-only advisors also are able to spend more time with individual clients in order to educate and guide them. This allows the client to be a more active participant in the financial planning and investment process.
A: The biggest misconception I have come across is the notion that you have to be wealthy to hire a Financial Advisor. This is simply untrue. Working with a financial professional should be part of everyone’s financial plan. For the same reasons that we go to a doctor for health advice and we work with personal trainers for fitness advice, Financial Advisors are here to help guide us in making the best financial decisions possible. Regardless of what your goals may be, odds are they will involve some type of financing requirement at some point. A Financial Advisor can help you budget, prioritize, invest and keep you on track to reaching your goals.
A: Yes! Our full-service partnership package is exactly what you are looking for and we will customize it to fit your specific situation. During this process, we sit down and review all details regarding lifestyle, finances, goals and much more. We work together to create a budget and plan to fit your individual goals and needs. After the goals have been identified and the plans have been set, we continue working with you, guiding and educating you through all steps of the execution process. Unlike other advisors, we do not just hand over a financial plan and hope it is followed. Our goal is to see all of our clients succeed and exceed their expectations and personal goals.
A: At Azimuth Financial Services, we maintain a small client base in order to provide the best and most detailed service possible. By keeping our client base small, we are able to provide personalized care for each client’s individual situation. Financial planning is not a one-size-fits-all subject. Because of this, everyone should have access to a professional who is looking out for them and not simply placing them in a “bucket” with hundreds of other clients. At our firm, clients are always able to speak directly with their financial advisor and will never be transferred to a call center. In addition, we do not depend on computer models to tell us what would be best for you.
At Azimuth Financial Services, we pride ourselves on our service. We understand that your goals are personal and we believe our service should be to.
A: Yes! It sounds like our Targeted Service package would be best for you. This process focuses on an individual or family’s specific questions, concerns or goals. While this targeted approach will prevent us from providing all-around financial planning advice, it is perfect for specific concerns like college savings. We will review different types of accounts and products that can be used to grow funds to pay for higher education and figure out which would fit best for your individual needs. Many of these college savings accounts provide for some tax savings, either now or in the future, which can help greatly. No matter how old your college-bound student may be, we can help set up a strategy to provide for some or all of the cost of tuition.
Our Targeted Service package is great for college planning, but can also be tailored to a number of other financial goals such as expanding your family, getting married, buying a house, etc.