Frequently Asked Questions

Background Information

Would Benefit Financial Services Group (BFSG) be the right advisor for you?

Since 1991, BFSG has been providing custom and comprehensive wealth management and consulting services predominantly to individuals and institutions. At BFSG, we take immense pride in our diverse clientele, each with unique aspirations and needs. Both our wealth management and institutional clients have worked hard to accumulate their assets, and they turn to us for advice and guidance surrounding key financial decisions.

 

Our wealth management clients include:

  • Individuals that are retirees, going through a life event (i.e., death, divorce, relocation), and newly independent young professionals.
  • Entrepreneurs and corporate executives looking for help with their business, executive benefits, and stock options.
  • Multi-generational families focused on wealth preservation and wealth enhancement.

Our institutional clients are primarily retirement plan sponsors who manage employer-sponsored plans like 401(k),403(b), and 457(b) plans. Our institutional clients cover a vast array of industries including both the private and public sector.

Is BFSG a fiduciary?

Yes. As sworn fiduciaries, you can rely on our team to strive to put your interests ahead of our own and only recommend solutions that we would recommend to our own families. BFSG is committed to our fiduciary obligation and transparent in all matters. Our alignment with client interests is reflected in our service model; we adhere to strict fee-for-service pricing in both the institutional and wealth management divisions. We do not sell any product, nor do we receive any compensation from any source other than our clients.

Where is BFSG located?

We currently have two offices located in Irvine, CA, and Phoenix, AZ. However, we have clients spread throughout the U.S. and even in several other countries.

What services does BFSG provide?

BFSG harnesses the combined strength of our wealth management and institutional teams to help achieve the goals of our clients. 

Our Wealth Management team provides financial planning and wealth management services for individual investors. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Portfolio construction and investment management
  • Investment performance reporting
  • Comprehensive retirement and financial planning
  • Social security claiming analysis
  • Retirement income withdrawal strategies
  • Pension plan payout analysis

Our Institutional Services team provides advisory services for retirement plans in both the public and private sectors. Through custom, process-driven strategies, we tailor our approach to clients’ unique needs with services including, but not limited to:

  • Investment consulting
  • Fiduciary compliance consulting
  • Provider search and selection
  • Vendor contract negotiations and benchmarking
  • Plan cost evaluation
  • Employee education/communication
Why do I need a financial advisor?

A financial advisor can help you focus on the future and gain control of your personal finances. Our financial planners know how to help optimize your portfolio for today and adapt it for tomorrow. Our planners will guide you every step of the way as you embark on your new journey.

What makes BFSG different than other advisors?

BFSG provides a boutique investment management experience you can count on, and we work to empower people through education, knowing that an informed person will make the best decisions. We are committed to problem solving and custom solution creation, as we provide wealth management and corporate retirement plan consulting services designed for you. Since our founding, we have believed in doing the right kind of business, done the right way. We go the extra mile to deliver a platinum level client experience to every client that has put their trust in BFSG.

 

When you trust us with your money, you are trusting us with an integral part of your life. It’s a massive, humbling responsibility we are honored to take on. We work every day to make the best decisions supporting your happiness, comfort, and financial security. However, this is about more than money. We are helping to guide and support your financial goals, your life goals, and your legacy. And when your unique objectives drive your entire wealth management strategy and investment team, that’s what we call investing by design.

Is there a way to check my advisor’s credentials?

One of the hallmarks of BFSG is that our firm has a tremendous amount of experience and a wide bench of investment professionals that are drawn from the different areas of the firm. Chartered Financial Analyst® Charterholders, Certified Public Accountant/Personal Financial Specialist, Certified Financial Planners™ professionals serve your investment and wealth management needs. Visit BrokerCheck for more information about our advisor’s/consultant’s relevant experience, licenses, education, and other qualifications.

How is BFSG compensated?

BFSG is a fee-only advisor, meaning that we are only paid directly by the fees our clients pay. We do not offer any commission-based products like life insurance, nor do we receive referral fees if we refer a client to someone for additional services like tax preparation or an estate planning attorney. This compensation model is critical to providing our clients with unbiased and objective financial advice.

The fee that we charge is generally expressed as a percentage of assets under management (as described in our Form ADV Part 2A disclosure brochure and reflected in the agreement with us). Financial planning and investment management services are generally both included in this fee. In some cases, we charge fixed fees or hourly fees for investment advisory and financial planning services as reflected in the agreement with us.

If I become a client, who will I be working with?

Rather than working with one person, all our clients, whether they are an Institutional or Wealth Management client, work with a team of investment and administrative professionals who work together to offer solutions in critical areas of your financial life or in serving your retirement plan. BFSG prefers to use a team-based approach which is designed to provide the best possible experience for our clients. There will be a Lead Advisor/Consultant who will be your primary point of contact. Other team members will also be involved, providing additional expertise and the ability to step in and help you get the best service possible.

How often will I interact with BFSG?

Regular meetings will be scheduled for continuous monitoring of the investment portfolio and financial plan or retirement plan, but your BFSG team is always a call or a click away. We encourage clients to reach out with any questions, advice or concerns they have at any time. Our job is to support our clients. Our communication with our clients doesn’t stop there. Our clients look forward to other ways we connect with them and support them:

 

  • Quarterly newsletters describing our current outlook on the financial markets and asset allocation.
  • Client alerts on legislative updates, tax updates, retirement contribution limits, etc.
  • Educational webinars to help improve retirement readiness and overall financial knowledge.
  • Weekly blogs and emails discussing current hot topics and financial market trends.

Investing Philosophy

Where are accounts held for our clients?

BFSG is not a broker/dealer and is not the custodian of any of our clients’ assets. Third party custodians hold your assets. Our primary custodians for our wealth management clients are Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab. BFSG has long-standing relationships with these two custodians. We feel they are both reputable firms that not only protect our client’s assets but continue to improve and expand their technological resources to improve the client experience and help provide best execution.

What is your investment philosophy?

Our investment philosophy is rooted in experience, executed through rigorous processes, and driven by an understanding of your unique needs and financial goals. This commitment inspires our process-driven approach, through which we carefully craft a diverse mix of investments within each portfolio to promote long-term capital growth.

 

We begin the investment management process with an understanding of your financial situation, your goals and objectives, and risk tolerance. Once we have a good understanding of the various factors that guide your life goals, then we can recommend a portfolio tailored to your needs. At BFSG, we proactively manage the investments of our clients and continuously monitor risk metrics to help increase the opportunity for their financial success.

 

Throughout the investment process, we aim to educate and empower our clients, fostering collaborative decision-making along the investment journey. From beginning to end, we partner with you to create, guide, and serve your unique wealth journey.

How will you choose investments to recommend to me?

We begin the investment management process with an understanding of your financial situation, your goals and objectives, and risk tolerance. Once we have a good understanding of the various factors that guide your life goals, then we can recommend a portfolio tailored to your needs. How we invest is determined by your needs, time horizon, and tax situation.  Each portfolio can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and alternative investments. Take comfort knowing that your investments are appropriate for meeting your specific financial goals.

Do you automatically sell all my investments if I become a client?

We do not automatically sell everything as this can create unnecessary taxes and fees. We will take the pieces of your investment portfolio and effectively coordinate your investment assets while striving to reduce taxes and expenses. We will provide recommendations and let you know the potential tax implications before you decide to invest with us.

How are investment decisions made at BFSG?

We have an internal Investment Committee (“IC”) that reviews and selects managers and strategies with a proven process and established track record that we offer to our clients. The committee is comprised of a group of firm principals and wealth advisors. Our IC researches every investment in-depth, reviews, and approves investments in a variety of asset classes to facilitate the construction of diversified client portfolios.

What types of investments do you use for your clients?

We leverage a variety of asset classes for diversification purposes to help offer performance potential as well as dampen volatility to achieve your goals. The core of the portfolio is centered around investing in stocks and bonds, while using satellite positions in other asset classes such as gold, real estate, and alternatives. We do not use all these asset classes at all times but rather the decision is based on market expectations and your unique situation.

Financial Planning

What is a financial plan?

A financial plan is where we work with you to help identify your most important goals, develop a road map to achieve them, and provide ongoing counsel to increase your chance of success of realizing your dreams. Having a financial plan gives you confidence so that you can pursue your life’s passions.

 

A financial plan is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing collaborative process that will change over time as you go through life. By working together to build a financial roadmap, you have a team providing solutions to address your concerns and move you towards your destination.

What areas does a financial plan cover?

A financial plan covers virtually every facet of your financial life. Your life will have its own pattern of financial events. Some are predictable and some may be random or unexpected. Some of the more common areas we help clients are:

 

  1. Retirement Planning
  2. Tax Management
  3. Estate Planning
  4. Executive Compensation
  5. Education Planning
  6. Charitable Gifting

 

We coordinate with our clients and their professional advisors to help with efficient, integrated decision making.

 

*Please Note: Limitations.  The scope of any financial planning and consulting services to be provided depends upon the terms of the engagement, and the specific requests and needs of the client. BFSG does not prepare legal documents or tax returns, nor does it sell insurance products.

Who do I work with to develop a financial plan?

Financial planning is central to our work and that’s why all our financial planners hold a CFP® designation. The designation requires a bachelor’s degree as well as extensive coursework in each area of financial planning. CFP® candidates must have completed 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the personal financial planning process and pass the CFP® exam before they can use the designation. Lastly, and most importantly, CFP® holders must follow the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct which includes a commitment to act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice and must compete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

 

You may find more information about the CFP® certification at www.cfp.net.

 

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