Frequently Asked Questions
Considered the "gold standard" by many, the Certified Financial Planner™ designation or CFP® ensures a few things. Those with this designation have gone through a pretty rigorous education process, have sat and passed a two day comprehensive exam, have a bachelor's degree, have at least 6000 hours of professional experience, and last but not least, adhere to the CFP® board of ethics.
Do you wonder if you will be able to retire comfortably? What’s the best way to save or pay for your kids’ college education? Want to buy a new house or a vacation home and not sure if you can afford it? Thinking about starting a small business? What if you want to do all of these things at the same time? Where would you start?—A Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioner has specialized training to deal with these kinds of questions or competing goals at the same time. We can help.
We utilize the utmost care in protecting our client’s data. First, we abide by Massachusetts laws which require one of the highest levels of privacy and protection of client information in the United States. We use password-protected sites and change passwords on a regular basis. All non-electronic information is kept under lock and key and when it is no longer needed, paper documents are shredded on site. To ensure the safety of client data on copy machines, faxes or scanners, software is installed that regularly erases all information.
In order to maintain their CFP® designations, Rick and Lyman must complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) during every two-year period. CEs are courses or lectures on topics such as retirement income planning, college funding, risk management, tax planning, or investment strategies. To maintain their designations, they must attend a mandatory two hour Ethics class every two years. Rick and Lyman also each maintain separate education and fiduciary requirements every year to maintain their respective Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified College Planning Specialist™, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designations. They also attend numerous webinar trainings throughout the year as well as reading countless periodicals and books.
Lyman and Rick are members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Rick is a past President and past Chairman of the Massachusetts chapter and holds the current position of Liaison with Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Lyman is a Financial Coach offering pro bono help to Dana Farber patients. Lyman and Rick are members of the Association of Certified College Funding Specialists. Rick also belongs to the Institute of Certified Divorce Financial Analysts and the Divorce Center.
Rick or Lyman are solely responsible for all financial planning and investment advice as well as your custom written financial plan for their respective clients. Advisors of Financial Planning Solutions, LLC must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in financial planning and investments to work unsupervised.
Yes. However, ongoing investment advice and assistance with implementation is not included in initial financial plans, unless requested. Our ongoing services—Wealth Management and Investment Management—include full plan implementation, ongoing monitoring and investment recommendations. If your portfolio includes mutual funds, exchange traded funds, stocks, bonds, real estate, CD’s, annuities or other investment vehicles, we can help.
Yes. Our role is to act as your key advisor and we encourage you to email or call us at any time. We would much rather hear, “What do you think about…” rather than…, “Hey, guess what I just did.” In addition, we provide updates on economic, tax or other developments throughout the year. Bear in mind, we don’t offer detailed tax or legal advice. Check with us first as we may be able to save you time and money and direct you to the right place.
No. You may terminate your agreement at any time with 30 days’ written notice.
No. Your assets will be held by an independent custodian, TD Ameritrade Institutional, which is responsible for safekeeping your securities and providing you with monthly or quarterly account statements. Investment checks are made payable directly to “TD Ameritrade for the Benefit of (your account name).” You will never make a check payable to us except to pay for financial planning or consulting services. Even then, your check is only payable to Financial Planning Solutions, LLC. Investment checks should never be made payable directly to Lyman, Rick, or any employee of Financial Planning Solutions, LLC..
No. We usually transfer all assets just as they are held at your current brokerage or mutual fund firm. The entire transfer process takes place between the operations departments of TD Ameritrade Institutional and your current firm. While there’s no need to contact your old broker or advisor to affect this transfer, we recommend that you contact them as a courtesy.
Your Client Advisory Agreement grants us the authority to buy and sell securities on your behalf. However, we will not significantly change your investment strategy without reviewing it with you first. This discretionary authority allows us to make transactions to keep your investment plan on track. Most of our clients prefer not to be bothered every time we buy or sell a security, which is not that often. Our independent custodian, TD Ameritrade Institutional, will send you a confirmation any time a change is made.
If you are a Wealth Management or Investment Management client, we will be meeting with you face-to-face at least once a year for your Annual Review meeting. For clients that are out of the area, meetings are conducted by phone or video conference. During the Annual Review meeting we review your overall financial situation, goals and any changes that need to be made to your investment plan. We also contact you periodically to check in on your financial goals and we send out a quarterly investment report and weekly e-newsletter that includes tips on living well, recipes, nutrition, and occasional finance tips.
Not difficult at all. If we manage your investments they will be held at our custodian, TD Ameritrade Intuitional. Requests for money are generally processed the same day as long as we receive the request by 3 pm EST. Generally, these funds can be either mailed to you or deposited directly into your bank account, whichever you prefer.
We take great pride in being responsive to our clients and if you are having a family crisis, we want to know. Fortunately, in our 25 years working with clients, we have never had a client emergency requiring an immediate response after business hours. We do check our email after hours and on weekends, but as you might imagine, we have families, too, and need some down time to recharge our batteries. As an added level of comfort, we can provide our personal cell phone numbers for certain situations.
Please call our office at 617-630-4978. We put a high priority on responding to client inquiries as soon as possible and usually return your call the same day if received by 4 p.m. EST on a business day. However, email can sometimes be re-routed to a spam folder. We check ours regularly, but for time-sensitive matters we recommend calling our office.
Our clients overall security is a major concern of ours. We utilize a company called DocuSign® that offers bank-grade security and operations. DocuSign’s comprehensive approach to security ensures the confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity and enforceability of your DocuSign transactions.
To read more about DocuSign, please click the link below. Of course, if you prefer signing documents with a good old fashioned pen, that works for us too.