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Frequently Asked Questions

  • I know you’re financial planners, but what do you do exactly?
    As financial planners, we come alongside you to help you accomplish your goals and feel confident about your financial future. We do that by providing expert advice on your financial picture, making sure all the different pieces work together, and that opportunities are not missed. At Straight Path, we also dive deep into your tax situation to make sure we minimize the tax burden both today and into the future. All of this is done with the ultimate goal of helping you live a successful life without the stress of financial pressures.
  • Are you a fiduciary? What does that mean?
    We are licensed as fiduciary advisors which means we always put our client's best interest first and are held to the highest standard of integrity within the industry. What’s crazy is much of the financial industry doesn’t have to be fiduciaries to their clients, allowing them to recommend subpar investments or strategies that benefit the advisor vs the client. We’ve chosen to be fiduciaries because we believe it’s the right way to do things and it’s what clients expect. We’ve even registered in a way with our regulators that raises our hand, signifying we will always act in the best interests of our clients.
  • How is our approach unique?
    What makes our approach different is the focus on tax planning that we place throughout the entire process. Many financial planners claim to provide “tax planning,” when in reality it does little to help lower your tax burden. At Straight Path Wealth, we provide real tax planning and even have a team to prepare your tax return (which we do for over 300 people each year). This helps make sure you don’t miss any opportunities for better financial outcomes.
  • Do you have a minimum asset requirement to become a client?
    We do not have a minimum asset requirement to become a client because we believe it is just as important for an individual with $100,000 to receive sound financial advice as it is for someone with $1,000,000. However, depending on your asset level, some of our specialized services such as financial planning and tax preparation will be included with your annual fee, whereas some will be an additional charge.
  • Why would I need a financial advisor?
    There are many reasons people choose to work with a financial advisor. Many times people need an advisor when going through big transitions (like retirement or when receiving an inheritance). These big transitions only happen once or twice in a lifetime, and when they do, making sure you do things right can have a huge impact. By working with an expert that does it on a daily basis, you can make sure you do not miss opportunities. We also see people choose to work with an advisor because they do not want to spend the time or effort to keep up with the constantly changing rules and news surrounding investments, tax, retirement, and estate planning. Instead of spending 30+ hours a week keeping up with it all, they choose to outsource that to a group of experts who do it for them and make sure it gets done right. For those who choose to work with an advisor, they can get back to what they love doing and not worry about finances.
  • What specialized services do you offer clients?
    Along with investment management of your accounts, we offer a variety of services including financial, estate, and tax planning. Financial planning is a collaborative, interactive process that takes your current assets and savings to see if you are on track to reach your goals in retirement. We partner with attorneys to provide a simple and convenient way to complete your estate plan. Finally, we not only offer tax planning services but also tax preparation services. We prepare around 300 tax returns per year for our wealth management clients. Additionally, we work with a large number of our wealth management clients who are also business owners to help them build profitable businesses and create succession plans.
  • How are you compensated for your services?
    As advisors, we are compensated under an assets-under-management approach. This means we charge a percentage of your account value as our fee for the year. Because we are a Registered Investment Advisory firm, we do not charge any commissions on any of the investments inside your account. We believe that this is your money that you have worked hard to save, so you should always be aware of the fees you pay for an advisor to manage the money.
  • How can you help me achieve my financial goals?
    Our comprehensive service model is designed to help you optimize your current financial situation, achieve your long-term financial goals, and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. We provide financial and estate planning, investment management, and tax services to simplify and streamline your situation. Please reach out if you’d like to schedule a free introductory meeting to discuss how we can create a customized plan to help you achieve your unique goals.
  • Can you help me with retirement planning and creating an income stream?
    Absolutely! We view retirement planning as fundamental to your financial health as it provides a roadmap to the retirement you’ve envisioned. Retirement planning allows us to develop a customized investment strategy and income stream that is unique to your situation and goals to provide you with financial security and peace of mind in retirement.
  • How long prior to retirement should I meet with you?
    You can never begin planning for retirement too soon. However, once you get within seven years, making the right decisions becomes even more important and can give you more flexibility than just reaching out right before you actually retire. However, if you are really close, or already in retirement, there are still numerous planning opportunities that can save you tons of money in taxes, create more retirement income and help you feel more confident in your retirement.
  • Is there a cost for meeting?
    There is no cost or obligation for an introductory meeting. We would love the opportunity to meet with you to see if our comprehensive service model inclusive of financial and estate planning, investment management, and tax services would be a good fit for you.
  • When and where are you available to meet?
    We are flexible about how you want to meet. Many of our clients want to meet in person, at least in the beginning, and we normally do that in our office in Jenison, MI. However, we also meet many of our clients who live all over the country virtually as well. We let you decide what works best for you.
  • What should I expect in our first meeting?
    In our initial meeting, one or two of our advisors will sit down with you. Our first priority is to get to know your story, as well as your goals and needs. Every financial situation is different so each plan needs to be unique. That's why it is important for us to get to know you first before trying to give you advice. We also hope you will receive answers to your questions as we share our approach, services, and fees to see if we are a good fit for each other.
  • What will the process of becoming a client look like?
    Each client situation looks different, but typically most clients follow a similar structure. Which includes: Step 1: Introduction Meeting- This allows us to learn more about you and your situation and how we can help. Step 2: Collaborative Financial Planning Meeting- We work together to craft a plan that helps you feel confident about your financial future. During this process, we identify different opportunities, changes that need to be made, and how future decisions would impact the path that you are on today. Step 3: Implementation- Planning is only as good as the execution that follows over the following months, we will work together to make the necessary changes to solidify your financial future and make sure that you stay on track. It’s also important to understand what will NOT happen when you contact us. You will not get a hard sales pitch or high-pressure tactics. We want to provide value to you first. By concentrating on that first, it helps you as the client figure out if we are a good fit or not.
  • How do I safely create tax-efficient income?
    Creating tax-efficient income is a highly personalized process. It depends on how much income you want to create, the type of investments you already hold, and the different types of investment accounts those investments are held in. Despite the highly personalized nature, there are some basic principles that we can take advantage of in the IRS Tax Code. The US tax code is based on “marginal tax rates,” meaning when you earn more money and move to a higher bracket, taxes do not increase on all of your income, just the amount over the bracket limit. Think of it like overflowing buckets. By focusing on filling up the low-tax rate buckets with ordinary income, and then trying to avoid the high-tax rate buckets by creating income from Roth IRAs or capital gains, we can create more tax-efficient income.
  • Are my investments suitable for retirement?
    The answer here is that it depends. Each of our clients has a customized investment portfolio tailored to their retirement goals, time horizon, retirement income needs, and personal investment risk tolerance. We would love to meet with you to create a well-diversified investment portfolio that allows you to live the retirement that you’ve dreamed of that provides you with financial security and peace of mind.
  • 401(k) or Roth IRA?
    There is no “one size fits all” answer to if you should save and invest in a 401(k) or Roth IRA. Often, it is a combination of both types of accounts. Our tax planning process dives into what option maximizes any employer match and saves you the most taxes both now and in retirement.

Have A Different Question? 
We're here to help and provide you with the information you need. So feel free to contact us at any time, and we'll do our best to assist you in any way we can. 

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