Skip to main content

Resources

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the process to start having Zeniki manage my financial affairs?

We firmly believe in building relationships and that it must be a win-win for each party to work together. If you are interested in some of our services and learning more about us, please contact us. In our first discussions with you, we’ll go over what prompted the meeting, what your specific needs are, and how your wealth has been managed in the past.

We’ll then discuss how our capabilities could potentially align with your needs, and we’ll give you as much time as you need to think things over.

Do I have to pay for an initial meeting? What is the process to work with you?

There is never a fee for our initial meetings. If you decide to move forward with us and become a client, we will have you sign an Engagement Letter which will outline the services that we’ll provide, the timeframe that we’ll provide them in, and the expected cost of those services.

How often do we meet and communicate?

In the beginning we will speak with you frequently as we get to know each other, our communication styles, request documents from you, and set expectations. Subsequently, communications will become somewhat more standardized with quarterly phone calls and communications in between as often as needed.

What happens if we aren’t a good fit?

There is no obligation; our engagements are always at-will and can be ended at any time with written notice. All of Zeniki’s fees will stop at that time.

How am I billed?

All invoices are sent quarterly in arrears and are generally due upon receipt.

How can I pay you?

We accept a variety of payment methods, including direct debit, credit card, wire transfer, check, etc.

Does Zeniki sell any products?

No, we have no products to sell. We are fee-only so our value is in our process and the services that we provide to you, not in any products that may be offered or recommended to you.

What is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor?

A fee-only financial advisor is a financial professional who provides advice and services to their clients for a transparent and agreed upon fee, without earning any commissions or compensation from the sale of financial products. This means that the advisor’s sole source of income comes from the fees paid directly by their clients, and they do not receive any incentives to promote or sell specific financial products, such as mutual funds, insurance policies, or annuities.

The fee-only model is often considered more objective and aligned with the client’s best interests, as it reduces potential conflicts of interest that could arise when advisors receive commissions or kickbacks from financial product companies. Fee-only advisors typically follow a fiduciary duty, which means they are legally obligated to act in their clients’ best interests and prioritize their financial well-being.

There are different fee structures that fee-only financial advisors may use, such as:

  • a. Hourly Fee: Clients are billed based on the number of hours the advisor spends providing advice or services.
  • b. Flat Fee: Clients pay a fixed amount for specific services, regardless of the time spent.
  • c. Asset Under Management (AUM) Fee: The fee is calculated as a percentage of the client’s total investment assets that the advisor manages.

The fee-only model can offer greater transparency, as clients know exactly what they are paying for and can be confident that the advisor’s recommendations are not influenced by potential commissions or incentives from third-party financial institutions. When seeking financial advice, it’s essential to understand the compensation structure of the advisor to ensure that their interests align with yours.

When is a financial advisor a fiduciary?

A financial advisor is considered a fiduciary when they are legally bound to act in the best interests of their clients. The fiduciary duty requires the advisor to put the client’s interests ahead of their own and to provide advice and recommendations that are most suitable for the client’s individual financial situation and goals.

What is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)?

An RIA is a professional advisory firm that offers personalized financial advice to its clients, many of whom are affluent.

  • Many independent RIAs work with complex portfolios and address unique needs that require a highly customized level of investment management strategy and consultation.
  • Many independent RIAs are owned by the individual advisors who run them.
  • Many independent RIAs provide advice and services for a fee based on a percentage of the client’s assets.
  • RIA firms are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or state securities regulators, are subject to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients.
I manage my own investments; will you provide just the financial plan?

Yes, at Zeniki you only pay for the services that you need. All of our services are a la carte and can be provided on an individualized basis. Further, if you prefer the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach, we can make recommendations for you, and you can then implement those recommendations yourself if desired.

How do you choose your investments?

We conduct extensive due diligence to assemble customized and diversified portfolios for our clients. While many clients will own similar investments, they may own them in a different proportion(s) depending on factors like their risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs, and wealth level.

Zeniki uses Charles Schwab as their custodian, what does that mean?

Zeniki uses Charles Schwab to hold and safeguard clients’ assets. For many investors, this provides a reassuring system of checks and balances because your money is not held by the same person who advises you about how to invest it. The custodian holds your investments and acts as the gatekeeper to your assets. Charles Schwab has provided custodial services to independent financial advisors for more than 25 years.

Can you transfer my investment accounts or how would that work?

We will work with you every step of the way to help facilitate the transfer of your accounts to Zeniki. We monitor every share and every dollar throughout the process.

Will you sell everything after I transfer my accounts?

It may not be prudent to sell all of your investments.  We typically transfer your investments “as-is” and assess from there how to manage your portfolio to maximize its potential. For example, certain legacy and concentrated positions may not be sold because doing so could result in a very large capital gains taxes.

How is your Investment Management Fee Calculated?

For those clients that utilize our recurring investment management services, they will pay an investment management fee based on the total combined value of their publicly traded investment account(s). The calculation of the investment management fee, with examples, is outlined in more detail to clients in their Investment Advisory Agreement (which is a document that is signed before the engagement begins).

What are your minimums? Do you have a minimum investment value for your clients?

No, we currently do not require anyone to have a certain amount in their investment account(s) before we consider taking them on as a client.

What if I am scared about the diagnosis of my financial plan?

This is very common. Many people feel this way. However, by finding out the gaps sooner than later, you will be able to bridge them that much easier and faster.

We have worked with clients in many different situations, such as during job transitions, selling or buying a business, succession planning, nearing retirement, and many others.

We have the experience and expertise to help you develop a financial and investment plan that can help you maintain your desired lifestyle not only until retirement, but through retirement as well.

Do you provide tax or legal advice?

We do provide tax and estate planning and related services in collaboration with third party CPA’s, lawyers, estate planners, and more.

Are there any additional fees that I should be aware of?

If we need the assistance of third parties (such as the above-mentioned CPA’s, lawyers, etc.) those fees will be separate from and in addition to Zeniki’s fees. We will always alert you to these fees beforehand in order to make sure that you’re on board with their services and expected costs.

Will Zeniki provide client references?

Yes, please ask and we will be more than happy to provide them.

Do you work with out-of-state clients?

Yes, in this age of technology, we are able to serve clients wherever they are located.

What are some common ways to find a financial advisor?

Finding a financial advisor is an essential step in managing your finances and planning for the future. Here are some steps to help you find the right financial advisor for your needs:

  1. Define your financial goals: Before you start looking for a financial advisor, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial objectives. Determine what you want to achieve, such as retirement planning, investment strategies, debt management, or saving for a specific goal.
  2. Decide on the type of financial advisor: Financial advisors come in different forms, such as certified financial planners (CFPs), registered investment advisors (RIAs), wealth managers, and robo-advisors. Each type has its unique approach and services. Choose the one that aligns with your needs and preferences.
  3. Research credentials and qualifications: Look for advisors who are qualified and certified in their field. You can check their credentials with relevant regulatory authorities or industry organizations.
  4. Seek recommendations: Ask friends, family members, or colleagues if they have worked with a financial advisor and if they can provide recommendations based on their experiences. Personal referrals can be valuable in finding a trustworthy advisor.
  5. Check online reviews and ratings: Look for online reviews and ratings of financial advisors in your area. Websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, or the Better Business Bureau can provide insight into the experiences of other clients.
  6. Interview potential advisors: Schedule initial consultations with a few advisors to discuss your financial goals and assess their suitability for your needs. During the meeting, ask about their experience, services, fees, investment philosophy, and approach to financial planning.
  7. Understand their fee structure: Financial advisors may charge fees in different ways, such as a percentage of assets under management (AUM), hourly rates, or fixed fees. Make sure you understand the fee structure and ensure it aligns with your budget and financial goals.
  8. Check for any conflicts of interest: Some financial advisors may work on a commission basis, which means they earn money from selling specific financial products. Be cautious of potential conflicts of interest and ensure your advisor acts in your best interest.
  9. Verify their registration and compliance: If your country or region has regulatory bodies overseeing financial advisors, check if the advisor is registered and if there have been any disciplinary actions against them.
  10. Trust your instincts: Building a relationship with your financial advisor is crucial, so trust your instincts when choosing one. Go with someone that understands you and someone you feel comfortable communicating with.

Remember, finding the right financial advisor is an important decision, so take your time and do thorough research before making a choice. Working with the right advisor can make a significant difference in helping you achieve your financial goals.

What are some sample questions to ask a financial advisor?

When meeting with a financial advisor, it’s essential to ask questions that help you understand their expertise, approach, and how they can assist you in achieving your financial goals. Here are some important questions to ask:

  1. What are your qualifications and credentials?
  2. How long have you been working as a financial advisor?
  3. What types of clients do you typically work with?
  4. What services do you offer, and what areas of financial planning do you specialize in?
  5. How do you charge for your services? Are there any hidden fees?
  6. Are you a fiduciary?
  7. How do you assess a client’s financial situation and needs?
  8. Can you explain your investment philosophy and strategy?
  9. What is your approach to risk management and asset allocation?
  10. Can you provide examples of how you have helped clients in similar financial situations?
  11. How often do you communicate with your clients, and what methods do you use (e.g., in-person meetings, phone calls, emails)?
  12. Do you have any conflicts of interest that could impact your advice?
  13. How do you stay up to date with changes in the financial industry and markets?
  14. Can you provide references or testimonials from current or past clients?
  15. Are there any specific financial planning tools or software you use to assist your clients?
  16. How do you handle and support clients during market downturns or periods of financial volatility?
  17. What is your approach to retirement planning and helping clients achieve their retirement goals?
  18. Do you work with a team or have access to other professionals, such as tax specialists or estate planning attorneys, to provide comprehensive advice?
  19. How do you tailor your advice to individual clients’ unique situations and goals?

Remember that your financial advisor should be someone you trust and feel comfortable working with, so don’t hesitate to ask any additional questions that come to mind during your meeting. This will help you make an informed decision about whether they are the right fit for your financial needs and aspirations.