We are often asked what to expect in the First Appointment when a new customer schedules his or her initial complimentary consultation, so we created this webpage explaining everything you need to know. It’s not complicated at all; however, the unknown can be a little intimidating so we thought we’d help take the mystery out of it. You may also find it helpful to review Our Process.
First, the easy details
We schedule first appointments for one hour because that typically gives us enough time for most people’s concerns.
There is no charge for the first appointment.
The general agenda for the meeting is: talking through your story and your goals, collecting the relevant data, and discussing your concerns and goals. We’ll start the meeting by asking what you would like to get done in the meeting, so be prepared for this question, and the rest will just flow from it.The follow-up from the first meeting is tailored to your circumstances.
What to bring
We are going to ask about your existing investments, budget, and debts. For your investments, it is helpful if you bring a recent statement for each account because a statement tells us more than you might imagine. If you are not sure you want us to see the statement, no problem. You can bring it and decide in the meeting if you would like to share it.
For your debt, just bring a list of who you owe and about how much you owe. For your house, it is also helpful if you know how much longer you’ll be paying on the house and what the current interest rate is for your mortgage. If you don’t have that information, no worries, we’ll make do without.
For your 401(k) plans, please also bring a list of all of your choices. There is a page on your 401(k) website where performance is listed, usually called Performance (but not always). It is a table of all of your choices and how they have performed over the last one-year, three-year, and five-year periods. This is also true if you have another plan type, such as a 403(b) or 457.
If you have had a retirement plan done by another advisor at some point in time, it’s also helpful to bring that along.
If you have left a company and they have sent you paperwork that you may need, please bring it as well. If you don’t have that information, no worries—just bring a reasonable estimate.
Fees after the first appointment
We offer a variety of pricing mechanisms including fee-based, fee for service, commission, and hourly fees. We offer all of these options because we encounter a variety of situations. Once we know more about your story and your needs, we can simplify the pricing for you. You will find we are as transparent about pricing as we are about everything else.
We look forward to meeting you and, please, pause and consider wisely!