FAQ

Think about all the questions you have about everything “financial” in your life. There’s insurance, cash flow, investing, saving for your goals, just to name a few. It’s a lot to try and figure out on your own. You need to make complicated decisions -- and each decision impacts the other ones you need to make. It’s quite the balancing act!

Petersmark Financial Network LTD will navigate through the financial decision-making process with you as your trained, educated, and objective third party, there to help you at every financial crossroads, helping you chose the path that’s appropriate for you.

And what if you already knew the right decisions to make? What if you already can make those choices with confidence? Imagine having your uncertainties identified, explained, and planned out into actionable steps for you.

That’s what financial planning can do for you. We’ll be there every step of the way, offering professional and highly-qualified advice no matter what goals you want to reach. Having a true financial plan can give you confidence that you can focus on what you want in your life using the resources you have.

STEP 1: THE ICEBREAKER MEETING

You already know about the professional, formal side of Petersmark Financial Network, LTD. Through our website, you can see that we’re professionals with years of training and experience guiding clients through their financial questions and concerns, crafting custom plans to help them pursue their goals.

But before you hire a financial planner, you need to know if you like them on a personal level. We believe in not only providing you with a great service, but also giving you a great experience while doing so. This meeting gives you an opportunity to get to know us and to see if we click.

STEP 2: DISCOVERY PHASE

We’ll then work together to help you plan and strategize for financial success, gathering important documents and information during our discovery phase.

This meeting helps us know where you are starting from, and where you want to go. With all the data at our fingertips, we then begin to build around your specific goals, wants, and needs that we discussed during the Discovery Meeting.

STEP 3: GAME PLAN MEETING

Once your comprehensive financial plan is complete, we will meet to review the game plan. In other words, this is the point in the process where we start taking actions to implement action steps within your plan.

You receive a tangible “to-do” list as part of your financial plan. That includes your specific to-dos -- as well as the tasks we’ll complete and be responsible for on your behalf. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. We’ll be there every step of the way to keep you on track, hold you accountable, and keep you motivated.

ONGOING MEETINGS: YOUR GAME PLAN REVIEW

A financial plan is never complete and shouldn’t be static. It’s not just a piece of paper. It’s a living strategy, a game plan for an ongoing process that evolves and changes with you. These meetings provide reviews, maintenance, and upgrades to your plan. Life will have numerous game changing events, and we will be there to update game plan as needed.

No. Petersmark Financial Network, LTD helps people across the country with our virtual-based planning model. We can meet with you by phone, virtually (via Zoom or Skype), or in-person if you’re in the Ann Arbor or Chicago regions. But even our local clients choose the virtual model for some of our meetings!

We have no problem meeting face to face for critical decision-making issues. No matter where we need to be to support you. We can meet anytime, anywhere, whenever and wherever works best for you.

We are an independent brokerage firm, which means we offer products from many non-affiliated companies. LPL, the nations #1 independent brokerage firm in the nation* is our broker/dealer. LPL offers objective investment recommendations that integrate a broad scope of investment products, which we have access to, allowing us to customize your investments based on your risk tolerance, time horizon, and other pertinent factors.

I believe personal finance should be taught in school at an early age. We often learn about finances by making mistakes that could have been avoided with education rather than learning via trial and error. I’m passionate about empowering each generation to make smart decisions toward achieving their goals. For more than 25 years we have assisted our clients with independent advice and financial strategies to support what is meaningful in life.

Most individuals are unfamiliar with how a financial analysis is created or what one actually looks like. We value assisting you with developing a financial analysis that is transparent, simple and easy to understand. Take a moment to review a sample financial plan that we have created to provide an example of how we can help you and your financial future.

View a Sample Financial Plan

As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), we are required by law to act in a fiduciary capacity when serving advisory clients. Your interests come first at all times. It's that simple.

According to the CFP Board of Standards, the fiduciary standard of care requires that a financial adviser act solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice.

Under federal law, in particular the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, investment advisers are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or appropriate state authorities and are required to provide services to their customers under the fiduciary standard.

Broker-dealers are also regulated under federal law, including under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, but are not required to provide services to their clients under the fiduciary standard of care. Instead, broker-dealers provide services under the “suitability standard of care,” which generally requires only the broker-dealer’s reasonable belief that any recommendation is suitable for the client. It is important to recognize that a financial recommendation that is “suitable” for a client (as legally required for broker-dealers) may or may not be a financial recommendation that is in the client’s best interest (as legally required for investment advisers).

I have been working in the financial services industry since I graduated from college in 2001. I’ve worked for broker-dealers as well as Registered Investment Advisory firms. I have always worked in a client facing role, serving as the first point of contact. Whether it’s investment management, financial planning, or taxes, I always provide a personal touch to help my clients pursue their goals and answer any questions they have.

No, we do not. Our first meeting is just a "Get to Know You" meeting, where we both have the chance to ask questions and determine if working together would be a good fit. Together we determine if PFN LTD can add value.

When you hire us for financial planning services you are not required to move your investments to us. As part of the financial planning process, we will evaluate and provide direction on your investments. At that point you have the opportunity to hire us to implement the investment portion of your plan.

Yes. Many of our clients are in a comfortable financial position, and simply want us to manage their investments for them. However, at minimum, we will typically go through a "get to know you" process to make sure that the investments we recommend and the solution we implement for you is appropriate for your specific financial situation."

Absolutely. But first we will discuss the pro’s and con’s of rolling over these funds and evaluate if it indeed makes financial sense for you to make this move. If it does, then we will walk you through the entire process, helping you consolidate accounts, generating and processing the necessary paperwork, and following up to make sure all assets have been properly transferred.

Keep in minda a plan participant leaving an employer typically has four options (and may engage in a combination of these options), each choice offering advantages and disadvantages.

• Leave the money in his/her former employer’s plan, if permitted;
• Roll over the assets to his/her new employer’s plan, if one is available and rollovers are permitted;
• Roll over to an IRA; or
• Cash out the account value.
 

We provide financial analysis services on a fee-only basis. We do not receive commissions from any mutual fund companies for the investments we recommend, nor do we receive any commissions or "kickbacks" from the brokerage firms we use for our clients to open investment accounts.

Many of the investments we utilize are individual stocks, low-cost index funds and ETF's (exchange traded funds), and when necessary, very simple annuity and insurance products such as fixed annuities and low-cost term life insurance.

Petersmark Financial Network, LTD is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in the State of Michigan. This simply indicates the legal structure of the firm and how we are required to operate. We charge an ongoing asset based fee for our advisory clients. In a brokerage relationship, clients typically will pay a commission to LPL Financial on each transaction placed.  Clients however do not pay commissions in an advisory relationship.

In addition, RIA firms are required by the SEC to uphold a fiduciary responsibility to our advisory clients at all times.  This explicitly means that we are required to put the interests of our advisory clients ahead of our own interests. Many of the Wall Street brokers that you are familiar with operate as Registered Representatives (selling agents) of their firms. They are only required to recommend investments and insurance products that are considered "suitable" for investors.

At our firm, our clients may opt for either investment management (for a fee), or financial planning (for a fee), or both.

What you WON'T find with us, is fancy offices and an expensive brand name. We don't earn company-paid vacations or attend complimentary "due-diligence" trips, paid for by mutual fund and insurance companies. There’re no monthly quotas, and we don't attend training sessions teaching us how to "maximize" our selling commissions. This only adds layers of costs to what you pay, and monthly quotas that are driving their recommendations. What you WILL find is honesty and integrity in all of our dealings with you.

To become an investment client of Petersmark Financial Network, we generally require that you have or anticipate having $250,000 in manageable assets (total Household assets). This amount is negotiable based on a variety of factors.

There are no specific asset requirements for financial planning clients, or children of our clients.