Important Questions

1. What is a financial plan?

An in-depth review of your financial situation, taking into account your goals and objectives and focusing on income tax planning, asset management, estate planning, risk management, educational planning and retirement. The plan analyzes and recommends ways that you can achieve your financial objectives.

2.  What is the personal financial advisory firm of Pollock Planning Associates?

Pollock Planning Associates, Inc. is a personal financial planning firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a Registered Investment Advisor under File Number 801-27115. It consists of Steven Pollock working as needed on a contract basis with clients. It is the policy of our firm that all individuals providing advice to clients hold a college degree and also the designation of CFP®, CPA or equivalent.

3.  What is a Registered Investment Advisor?

An Investment Advisor is a fiduciary who has a duty of undivided loyalty to its clients and must deal fairly and honestly with them. Any person or entity that holds itself out as a financial planner must be registered. A Registered Investment Advisor is a representative of the client.

4.  What does Pollock Planning Associates sell?

Sound financial planning advice regarding taxes, investments, insurance, pensions, retirement, estate planning and general financial matters.

5.  Whom do we serve?

Individuals including business owners.

6. Who can benefit most from our services?

Anyone who has financial, tax, investment, or estate issues to attend to, or who wishes to plan prudently for his or her financial future. Furthermore, persons who desire a higher, more sophisticated level of financial planning services may find our program appealing and helpful.

7.  How much money do you need to start a financial program?

There is no minimum dollar requirement. We recognize that people with few or no assets have as much need for financial planning as those with ample assets.

8.  How much do we charge for planning services?

Our financial planning fees are determined by the client’s income (exclusive of capital gains), assets, and the complexity of their situation. Most fees range from $3,000 - $20,000 for our standard open-ended retainer.

9.  Do we offer money management?

Yes. But we reserve the right to select accounts. Assets are managed under a limited power of attorney, with the client retaining custody of all funds.

10. Are the fees tax deductible?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the category of Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions that had previously provided potential tax deductibility. Fees directly associated with the investment management of IRAs and other pre-tax retirement plans may be deducted from those accounts. Clients who own their own business, have a farm or rental property, or who buy and sell investments may also be able to deduct a portion of the fee on the corresponding schedule.

11. Do we sell financial planning products, such as investments, insurance, or tax shelters? 

No. We are fee-only planners. Products must be purchased from other sources. We will suggest investments that can be made without paying commissions.  Clients’ funds are custodied with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., a discount broker.  As such, we can provide access to an extensive line of institutional funds featuring lower expenses.  You may choose to set up accounts through Schwab or any other brokerage firm of your choice.

12. When we develop a financial planning program together, are you obligated to purchase the recommended products?

Often, the products that we recommend to our clients are the same products we purchase for ourselves, but you are never obligated to purchase any recommended product.  In fact, you are encouraged to shop for the best available product.

13. Do we only provide complete programs? 

No. Although comprehensive financial planning is likely to be most beneficial, we can limit our advisory services to your specific needs, such as asset management, tax analysis or estate planning.

14. Do we provide legal services?

No, we are not lawyers and cannot prepare legal documents.

15. For what type of securities do we provide advice?

While the core of our clients’ holdings are in no-load mutual funds, we provide advice on exchange-listed securities and government and corporate debt securities.

16. What methods are used to analyze investments?

We do not use technical analysis or charting. Our client portfolios are globally diversified with a weighting towards small and value stocks. We take a passive approach both to the management and rebalancing of client portfolios and the selection of funds within them. Most of our investments are in “index-like” funds. While these funds do not attempt to track public indices such as those designed by Standard & Poor’s and Russell, they are created to capture the returns of a particular asset class. Our main sources of information are financial newspapers and magazines, research materials prepared by others, annual reports, prospectuses and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

17. Do we guarantee investment performance?

No. Every investment contains some degree of risk.

18. How do you select investment companies and managers?

As described above, most of our clients’ assets are invested in passively managed index-like funds.

19. What does discretionary control mean?

Discretion means having the ability to trade on your account without your permission. This does not mean that our firm has custody. Custody means that we have possession of your funds. Charles Schwab maintains custody of all assets under our management.

20. What makes Pollock Planning Associates different from other financial advisory or brokerage firms?

We take great pride in the degree of indivdualized service that we provide. We maintain close, often personal, relationships with the clients that we serve. We are in a position to provide advice on all aspects of a client’s finances while at the same time assisting them with the implementation of our recommendations. Our service initiatives are designed to be unparalleled. No detail of a client’s finances is overlooked. Reviews of employment contracts, real estate leases, wills, trust agreements, stock option agreements, casualty, health and life insurance, non-qualified deferred compensation agreements, private investments, retirement plan documents…these are all routine at PPA. We have frequent interaction with a client’s other advisors such as actuaries, accountants, attorneys, bankers, insurance agents, and employee benefits specialists to ensure that everyone is working on behalf of the client. Brokerage firms and money managers don’t supply this level of “high touch” service.

21. Will client information be kept confidential?


22. When a plan is completed, what then?

Since financial planning is an on-going process, it should not end with the preparation of the initial plan. We will provide you further service in implementation, monitoring, and management of the plan. Beyond this stage, we normally reach a planner-client relationship which leads to periodic revisions and updates of your plan as personal and economic conditions change. This work is normally done on a retainer basis.

23. How do I get started?

Give us a call and we will see if we can be of assistance to you. An initial interview at no obligation would be arranged if the phone conversation indicates that there is a good fit between the prospective client’s needs and our ability to fill those needs. Only if the prospect has financial concerns for which we can provide a helpful service would we proceed to prepare a fee estimate for consideration.