Answers to Frequently Asked Questions...
Landmark offers customized financial planning on an hourly, as-needed basis. That means you can put in place all the pieces of a comprehensive financial plan as needs change and/or dollars allow. The hourly model allows great flexibility in providing as much or as little help as you wish.
Landmark is a registered investment advisor in the state of Missouri, having complied with all state specific licensing requirements. Landmark’s principal, Brant Donis, is a Certified Financial Planner, ™. He has been involved in the financial services industry since 2001.
Landmark’s flexibility lends itself to a wide range of potential clients. Most are comfortable making their own decisions, but value the objective advice a fee-only planner can offer. Others, perhaps getting a handle on their finances for the first time may initially be overwhelmed and need assistance implementing advice on a piece by piece basis.
Good financial planning is a process that occurs over time, it is not simply an event. A first-class garden isn’t worked on one day and suddenly bloom the next, it progresses in stages, and requires periodic attention over time. Ongoing research in economics continues to demonstrate the futility of trying to beat the market through active management. Landmark’s approach is to assist in the diversification of your investments according to your risk tolerance, so you can spend your time engaged in more personally satisfying activities than trying to forecast the next great investment. Not to be overlooked is the role of risk management, not only in an investment portfolio, but in our possible needs or for the needs of loved ones in future times. Landmark helps clients integrate possible scenarios and take appropriate steps to minimize risk. The approach Landmark takes is about your priorities, and assisting you in making informed decisions.
For starters, Landmark is entirely fee-only, which means the only compensation derived is from services provided to clients. Not to be confused with fee-based arrangements, Landmark’s interests are fully aligned with the clients’ financial health and there are no affiliations—and accompanying sales pitch—as with brokerages, banks, insurance companies, or other financial product companies. Landmark receives no incentives for referrals from other companies/professionals, and is free to refer clients to the best provider to meet their need(s). Landmark also has no minimums on income, portfolio, or net worth in order to become a client. Anyone can be a Landmark client.
Landmark is a fiduciary to its clients. A fiduciary is someone in a position of special trust and confidence when working with a client, placing the interests of those served ahead of the advisor’s own. Asking a prospective financial planner if they are a fiduciary can provide valuable insight into a planner’s approach to clients. Many may assert they are objective advisors, but fewer are willing to hold themselves to a fiduciary standard/oath. To learn more about fiduciary responsibilities, visit NAPFA’s Focus on Fiduciary website. While the law is less than clear currently, Landmark believes all holding themselves out as financial planners or advisors should embrace the fiduciary role and responsibility of placing client needs first.
All financial planning advice at Landmark will come from Brant Donis, but referrals to specialists such as estate planning attorneys and accountants will be required for some components of the financial plan process. Landmark is not authorized to practice law, and does not prepare tax returns, but works in conjunction with those experts, and more, to make sure your wishes are in place and all possible steps are being taken for your benefit. Financial planners are often referred to as the “quarterback” of the financial team, distributing the “ball” to the specialists, and keeping the team marching down the field.
We help our clients accumulate, grow, protect, preserve and transfer their wealth. How much, or how little assistance you need with that is determined by you. If you are looking for a financial coach/sounding board, but are comfortable implementing on your own, an hourly engagement to keep you on track is likely be all you need.
The only compensation to Landmark is from client fees for services rendered, much as you would pay an attorney for drafting a document, an accountant for doing your taxes, an architect for creating a blueprint for your house addition. There is no outside compensation from financial products vendors.
Fees are based on the actual time spent on the phone/email or meeting in person with you, researching and analyzing your situation and needs, and providing recommendations and implementing those recommendations, if applicable. The current hourly rate is $150 and is billed in 15 minute increments for partial hours.
Yes, click here for a copy of Landmark’s ADV, Part II. You will also be provided this before or at the time a contract is entered into. Prior to meeting, but before beginning a project, you will receive a fee estimate with a high and low estimate of likely charges. If acceptable, the project can begin as soon as you have provided all necessary documents/information.
Landmark does not have income or net worth minimums of any kind. Those just starting to think about their financial future are welcome.
That is possible, but the nature of such an engagement does not allow for written recommendations provided by Landmark. There is a minimum engagement fee of $375 for such short projects.
In today’s day and age, everyone needs financial planning, whether they’ve realized it or not. Companies have largely given up on pension plans in favor of 401k type arrangements, but that leaves persons unfamiliar with investing and diversification responsible for growing a large percentage of the assets they will need to retire on, when, in times past, trained actuaries and investment managers handled the pension monies. The looming fundability issues with Medicare and Social Security alone make it wise for anyone depending on those sources of income for their future living needs to seek help to ensure their retirement is as golden as they hope it to be.
No, you will be able to open accounts at the brokerage of your choosing, or use your employer’s retirement plan, if applicable. We'll help you figure out the best location for you!
No, if after receiving our recommendation, you choose to go with an alternative product, or simply to take no action at all, you are free to do so. Landmark provides only objective advice.
If you need assistance implementing the financial plan, making that known up front can be part of the overall fee quote, and certainly the engagement can be extended beyond merely giving advice. Landmark can do the research for you and present the best product options for your final review.
There is no obligation or expectation of a continuing relationship, but a check-up on a regular basis is certainly advisable, to monitor the progress being made toward your goal(s), and adapting to changing life needs and circumstances. Regular visits can improve the likelihood of success by building a client/planner understanding that goes beyond dollars and cents and addresses the desires and dreams those accumulated assets represent.
Landmark is located in downtown Maplewood, an inner suburb of St. Louis, just off Manchester Road. Please see our Directions page for the details.