How do i choose?
It can be hard to know how to pick the right financial advisor. From robo-advisors to brick-and-mortar, big-box firms, the financial service models that are available to you can vary dramatically. How do you know who you can trust with your life savings?
There's more to it than just a flashy smile and a nice suit. As you search for partners to help you live your best financial life, make sure you ask them the following questions. We've listed our answers to ensure you get clear, concise responses when you're vetting potential advisors.
Questions For Your Financial Advisor
Below, you’ll find some common questions, along with our answers, that will help you decide whether our fee-only financial planning and investment management solutions are right for you.
Be sure to ask other advisors these questions, as well. You should have a complete grasp of their service and business models — including whether or not they are a fiduciary, and if they have any conflicts of interest — before making your decision.
Who do you serve?
We serve families, retirees, business owners and the boating community in South Florida. Our typical clients include:
1) Individuals who are building a career, a family or a business. These clients have an expansive set of financial obligations and concerns to deal with, but little time to do so. We help them organize and outsource their financial lives.
2) Those who are nearing retirement and want to understand how to effectively generate (and secure) income, reduce taxes and plan their legacy for future generations. They have worked hard to achieve family and financial success and want to build on that success to sustain themselves, as they navigate their greatest transition.
are you a fiduciary?
This is an emphatic yes!
We exist to serve our clients. We look out for their best interest in everything we do — at all times.
We don't sell products, and we don't sell insurance. There may be a time and place for those items in a comprehensive financial plan, but we don't get paid for those recommendations. We want to be the impartial, but caring, partner that helps you make the best decisions for your financial life.
If you had a health issue, would you want to see a doctor, or would you prefer to work with a medical salesperson? We're betting the answer is the former — and the same goes for the person who you trust to manage your financial life.
what are your qualifications?
Mike Hennessy, the founder and CEO of Harbor Crest Wealth Advisors, has over a decade of experience in the investment management and advisory industry, serving as a portfolio manager and trader at BlackRock in New York City and at a hedge fund in Boca Raton. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.
what services do you offer?
We offer comprehensive financial planning and investment management solutions.
We can help you navigate tax planning, retirement planning, education planning, insurance and risk management, estate planning, cash flow and budgeting, business planning and investment management.
how will our relationship work?
While our services are comprehensive, we understand it's difficult to try and tackle every problem at once. That's why we focus on your most pressing issues and concerns during the first year of our engagement (or longer, if needed) before diving into the other pieces of your financial puzzle. We do love puzzles, though!
do you have an account minimum?
We do not — we believe that comprehensive advice should be available to all.
Our solutions are completely customized to your particular financial, social and family situation. In other words, you won't just get a single scoop of vanilla ice cream; we will help you build your favorite sundae.
how do you get paid?
We get paid through assets under management (AUM) fees, as well as financial planning fees (where appropriate). Please see our Form ADV for the full details of our pricing structure.
We do NOT get paid commissions. We do NOT get paid for placing insurance or products. We do NOT get paid for referrals or solicitations.
Our sole source of revenue is for providing objective and independent financial advice and investment management solutions to our clients. That's it.
what's included and what's extra?
Our fees are for providing financial planning and investment management services. The investment products we recommend may also charge fees (known as expense ratios), and these are an additional cost to you. We do not receive any revenue from those additional fees. We choose to work with low-fee products and providers in order to minimize the overall costs to you while accomplishing your investment and financial goals.
Your financial life may also require the services of a professional attorney, accountant or insurance provider. We do not provide legal or tax advice, and can direct you to partners we trust to implement the appropriate strategies. The costs of those service providers will be in addition to, and outside of, the fees we charge.
how will you invest my money?
We will build a financial plan that incorporates your values, goals, needs and wants. This is a collaborative process, one that allows us to fully understand how to make your finances and investments work for you. We then translate this into actionable financial and investment recommendations. We are happy to implement and manage these investment recommendations on your behalf through our investment management solutions.
Our investment philosophy, summarized in the question above, follows a low-cost, long-term approach. Your investment profile should be crafted to consider how much risk you are willing to take; what your values, goals and needs are; and any other special considerations that are important to you (i.e., ESG/SRI/impact investing, legacy planning, special needs, etc.).
how will you manage my account for taxes?
We take a fully comprehensive approach to our financial planning and investment management solutions. Even if you choose to keep a portion of your portfolio with another advisor, we won't ignore that when we are making our recommendations. It's important to look at the whole picture when building a financial plan and implementing investment solutions, and our cutting-edge technology allows us to efficiently take tax considerations into account — for all of your accounts.
how often will we meet?
As much, or as little, as you prefer!
We don't need to have the obligatory quarterly portfolio reviews at inconvenient times (while navigating I-95 traffic) if that's not important to you.
We find that the first year of our engagement involves a few more meetings as we get to know one another, onboard your financial life to our platform and help you solve your most immediate financial concerns.
After that, we leave it up to the preferences of our clients.
Want quarterly, in-person meetings? Sure! Prefer semi-annual video calls from the comfort of your own home? That works, too!
It's important to note you will always have access to your financial life through our technology platform. And we are always available for a call if you have a pressing issue or question (or just want to check in).
how do you measure success?
Your financial life is more than just a portfolio return.
We measure success by achieving the financial goals we define at the onset of our engagement. Some goals will be shorter-term (e.g., adjusting the risk profile of your portfolio to match your risk tolerance), while some will be longer-term (e.g., fully funding your retirement accounts).
Of course, new goals will pop up, and some goals may shift or change as life goes on. What's important to us is that we are creating the right plan of action based on your values.
We want to make you feel financially free. If we can deliver that to you, then we have succeeded.