What is an RIA?

A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a professional advisory firm that offers personalized financial advice to clients. RIAs are held to a fiduciary standard that requires the firm and its advisors to always act in the best interest of the clients they serve.

RIAs are either registered with the state securities agencies they reside in, or with the SEC, depending upon the size of the firm. Cahill Financial Advisors is registered with the SEC.

What does it mean to be fee-only?

Fee-only advisors do not earn commissions, sell products for commissions, earn referral fees, or are compensated in any way other than the fee charged to the client.

What types of fees do you charge?

We have three types of fees that you may be charged depending on your needs:

Asset Management Fee This is based on the assets under management and assessed and charged quarterly based upon the rate pre-disclosed to you in your Advisory Agreement. Most clients will have an Asset Management Fee.

Financial Planning Fee This fee is only for clients who request financial planning services. This fee may be on retainer or assessed as needed. Any Financial Planning Fee will be quoted in advance and agreed upon by the client before work begins and fees are assessed. Not all clients will have financial planning services or be charged a financial planning fee.

Complex Consulting Services Fee / Hourly Fee This is typically an hourly fee that would be assessed for services that fall outside of investment management or financial planning, such as complex estate issues or special projects that are requested by the client. These fees are also quoted in advance and agreed upon by the client before work begins and fees are assessed. Most clients will not have the need for Complex Consulting Services or and Hourly Fee.

How do I know what my fee will be?

We share with all clients both our advisor’s fee schedules, and the actual fees paid.

Fee schedules are located in our ADV Part 2A, which is provided to all clients, available for download on our website, available upon request at any time by calling 952-926-1659 or by emailing us, and is updated annually or after any material changes occur at our firm. The specific fee schedule that will apply to you is also disclosed on the Advisory Agreement you sign with the firm.

Actual fees are typically disclosed in two locations. Clients who have fees directly debited from thier managed accounts will see their actual fees deducted on thier custodial statements that are received directly from the custodian where your accounts are held. Clients who recevie quarterly reports will see actual fees deducted listed on this document.  Additionally, any client can request an invoice or a receipt of fees paid at any time. 

Are there any hidden fees charged by your firm?

No, our firm, its advisors, or employees do not earn any compensation other than what is disclosed to you in our ADV Part 2A and our Advisory Agreement. All fees assessed are either stated in the Advisory Agreement, or in an addendum to the advisory agreement when additional services are requested by the client. Advisory Agreements and addendums are signed in advance of fees being charged. 

Where will my assets be held?

We work with two custodians, Charles Schwab and Fidelity. We are also able to assist you with accounts that cannot be opened through our custodians, such as employee retirement accounts. We do not hold funds intended for investment and do not act as a custodian.

Who will I work with?

Our clients work primarily with one advisor. This relationship is the cornerstone of receiving personalized service from a person who gets to know you, your family, and your circumstances over time. Your advisor may introduce other professionals from within the firm who have areas of specialization that will compliment your needs, but your direct advisor relationship will always be the basis of your interaction with our firm.

How do I choose an advisor?

Read our advisor’s stories here or call one of our client services specialists to help you determine who may be a good fit for you. You can also reach out to any advisor at any time to ask them questions or to inquire further about services.

How will my services be determined?

Our clients have needs that range in complexity. Every advisor in our firm offers a tailored approach to your specific needs and goals. All clients work with their advisor to decide what services are the most appropriate for their needs.

This tailored approach typically involves:

  • an introductory period where you learn about our services
  • a direction-setting period where your needs and current financial situation is shared with your advisor
  • a strategy development period, where your advisor will work with you to set goals and strategies based on your objectives
  • and a progress tracking period, where your progress will be regularly monitored.

Depending on your life changes, changing market conditions, changing needs, and other factors, you will also revisit and potentially revise your direction-setting and strategy-development periods over time.   

How do I know if I am a good fit for your services?

Schedule a complimentary introductory meeting to learn more and to get a feel for the process of working with a financial advisor. We welcome the opportunity to tell you more about our firm and what we can do for you.

Who is your typical client?

Our clients are typically individuals, small businesses, and foundations.  

We have clients whose tenure with our firm exceeds 30 years, and clients who are just joining us. 

We often work with families over multiple generations.

We have clients with complex estate needs and high net worth who benefit from our diverse services and expertise.   

We have clients who are at the beginning of their wealth accumulation whose needs are currently relatively simple, but who benefit from our long-term planning.  

Many different types of clients are appropriate for our services, and we encourage all potential clients to inquire about how we may serve your needs.

Do I need both Investment Management and Financial Planning services?

Most clients will work with us for Investment Management services.  Investment Management typically focuses on your investment assets and your personal objectives. This includes:

  • Goal-oriented Investment Policy Statement
  • Strategic & tactical asset allocation
  • Risk management & diversification
  • Tax considerations
  • Employer retirement account integration
  • Independent research

Many, but not all, clients will work with us for Financial Planning services.  Financial Planning can mean different things for different people, and may include:

  • Cash flow modeling, including borrow, spend and save strategies
  • Risk management & insurance 
  • Benefits coordination and insurance assessments
  • Tax planning & strategy
  • Education planning
  • Retirement & distribution planning
  • Estate planning
  • Charitable & legacy planning

 

Do you sell insurance?

No, we do not sell insurance products. If during your work with an advisor it is determined that an insurance purchase or other outside service is needed, we will often refer our clients to outside professionals. We do not earn commissions on insurance products and we do not receive referral fees from these outside professionals.

About our Designations: CFP®, CPA, CFA, CDFA®, ChFC, CFS®

What is a CFP®?

A CFP® is a Certified Financial Planner™. The program is administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. Those with the CFP® designation have demonstrated competency in all areas of finance related to financial planning. Candidates complete studies on over 100 topics, including stocks, bonds, taxes, insurance, retirement planning and estate planning. In addition to passing the CFP® certification exam, candidates must also complete qualifying work experience, agree to adhere to the CFP Board’s code of ethics and professional responsibility and financial planning standards and complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

What is a CPA?

A CPA is a Certified Public Accountant. In order to become a CPA in the United States, the candidate must sit for and pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, which is set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Eligibility to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam is determined by individual State Boards of Accountancy. Typically the requirement is a U.S. bachelors degree which includes a minimum number of qualifying credit hours in accounting and business administration with an additional 1 year study. All CPA candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination to qualify for a CPA certificate and license (i.e., permit to practice) to practice public accounting. CPAs are required to take continuing education courses in order to renew their license. Requirements vary by state. The vast majority of states require 120 hours of CPE every 3 years with a minimum of 20 hours per calendar year. The requirement can be fulfilled through attending live seminars, webcast seminars, or through self-study (textbooks, videos, online courses, all of which require a test to receive credit). As part of the CPE requirement, most states require their CPAs to take an ethics course during every renewal period. Ethics requirements vary by state, and the courses range from 2–8 hours.

What is a CFA?

A CFA is a Chartered Financial Analyst. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a professional credential offered by the CFA Institute.  A candidate who successfully completes the program and meets other professional requirements is awarded a CFA charter. The CFA charter is a qualification for finance and investment professionals, particularly in the fields of investment management and financial analysis of stocks, bonds and their derivative assets. The program focuses on portfolio management and financial analysis, and provides a generalist knowledge of other areas of finance. CFA charter holders must adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

What is a CDFA®?

A CDFA® is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®. The program is administered by The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA (TM)). CDFA® candidates have demonstrated competency in how to help their clients with financial issues that will affect them during and after a divorce, including personal vs. marital property, valuing and dividing property, retirement assets and pensions, spousal and child support, separating property, tax problems and solutions, expert witness testimony, and tax law and financial issues affecting divorce. To acquire the designation, a candidate must successfully pass all exams with a minimum score of 70%, be in good standing with their Broker Dealer (if applicable) and the FINRA/SEC or other licensing or regulatory agency, and agree to adhere to the CDFA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility standards. To retain the CDFA designation, candidates must also obtain 15 divorce-related hours of continuing education every two years, to remain in good standing with the IDFA.

What is a ChFC?

A ChFC is a Chartered Financial Consultant. The Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) is the “Advanced Financial Planning” designation conferred by The American College. The ChFC professional is qualified to assist individuals, professionals, and small-business owners with comprehensive financial planning, including insurance, income taxation, retirement planning, investments, and estate planning. The ChFC curriculum provides the most extensive education of the widely recognized financial planning designations.

What is a CFS®?

Certified Fund Specialist (CFS®) is a certification indicating an individual’s expertise in mutual funds and the mutual fund industry. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or have completed 2,000 hours of financial services work experience.  Training is provided by the Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) in the form of a 60-hour self-study program. Certification requires passing an exam, administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers, and an open-book case study. Certificate holders must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

How do I learn more about your firm?

Please review our ADV for more information, and you can also visit the SEC’s website for Investment Advisors by clicking here.

How do I learn more about your advisors?

You can contact us us at any time to request an ADV Part 2B for each advisor, and you can also visit the SEC’s website for Investment Advisors by clicking here.

 

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Schwab is a registered broker-dealer, and is not affiliated with Cahill Financial Advisors or any advisors whose names appear on this Website. Cahill Financial Advisors is independently owned and operated. Schwab neither endorses nor recommends Cahill Financial Advisors. Regardless of any referral or recommendation, Schwab does not endorse or recommend the investment strategy of any advisor. Schwab has agreements with Cahill Financial Advisors under which Schwab provides Cahill Financial Advisors with services related to your account. Schwab does not review the Cahill Financial Advisors Website, and makes no representation regarding the content of the Website. The information contained in the Cahill Financial Advisors Website should not be considered to be either a recommendation by Schwab or a solicitation of any offer to purchase or sell any securities.

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Fidelity is a registered broker-dealer, and is not affiliated with Cahill Financial Advisors or any advisors whose names appear on this Website. Cahill Financial Advisors is independently owned and operated. Fidelity neither endorses nor recommends Cahill Financial Advisors. Regardless of any referral or recommendation, Fidelity does not endorse or recommend the investment strategy of any advisor. Fidelity has agreements with Cahill Financial Advisors under which Fidelity provides Cahill Financial Advisors with services related to your account. Fidelity does not review the Cahill Financial Advisors Website, and makes no representation regarding the content of the Website. The information contained in the Cahill Financial Advisors Website should not be considered to be either a recommendation by Fidelity or a solicitation of any offer to purchase or sell any securities.