What is Financial Planning?
Financial Planning is very unfamiliar to people because the need for it is relatively new.  Our world has changed a lot from the last generation.  We've gone from society primarily of pensions and lifelong employment at the same company to a world of job changes, 401(k)s, soaring health and college expenses, and many other issues the previous generation didn't deal with.  We're just not the same society anymore. This is why we're seeing an emergence of the financial planning industry.  People need financial planning services to make sure that they have the proper funding for their retirements, that they have the proper insurance, and that they can help their kids go to college, just to name a few.  Check out our 7 Steps to Success and or Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about how the process works.

Some people associate financial planning with portfolios and investment returns. That is just part of what we do. We look at your whole financial life picture and recommend the best overall approach for you. We care about your returns but it is not the sole focus of our recommendations. Focusing on this is like trying to get to the moon with just a calculator and some rocket fuel. Many other things need to be considered—like your rocketship, a flight plan, and space suit. We can help you get to the moon.

What is Fee-Only?
Truly fee-only financial planners do not accept sales commissions of any kind and work solely for you, the client. With Fee-Only financial planning, all conflicts of interest regarding compensation are removed. Because we do 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.

Why Fee-Only Financial Planning?
Many people who hold themselves out as financial planners are actually in the business of selling insurance or stock for commissions.  People definitely need insurance and securities—they are vital pieces of everyone's financial security.  A commission-based planner could be a good financial planner, but isn’t getting financial advice from a stockbroker a little like your doctor getting commissions from the drug company? They probably won’t recommend physical therapy. And getting financial advice from an insurance salesperson is a lot like asking a car salesman what's wrong with your car.  Some drug company doctors would recommend another company’s medicines and some car salesmen would tell you that you just need a tune-up. But not all of them.  Commission based planners can be very good and compassionate, but at the end of the day, their interest is ultimately in making the sale because that is what pays the mortgage. Fee-based planners don’t have this conflict.

“But why would I pay a fee-only planner when I can get this for free!” Do you know anyone who works for free? This free advice is paid for in many ways—commissions are sometimes difficult to discern and often disclosed in fine print.  Another way that commission based providers can cost you is in the inappropriate recommendation of products.  A lot of these advisers are only educated in the products they sell.  They may honestly believe that they're selling you what you need, when the reality is they are selling you the best product of their offering, not the best thing for you.  We don't have that problem. 
That's why Hartman Financial Planning is a fee-only financial planning practice.  We're not limited by products or product lines. Our only business is providing you with creative solutions and tailored advice for your unique situation. Our recommendations are not based around the sale of product lines or our need for commissions.



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