Frequently Asked Questions
About Services Offered and the Financial Planning Process
About Financial Products
About GA Bishop and Associates and Our Clients
Financial planning is a multi-step process that provides you with two important things: (1) An in-depth review of your current financial situation, and (2) a blueprint that shows you how to achieve your goals and objectives for the future. At GA Bishop and Associates, LLC, the financial planning process consists of seven distinct steps (see our Building a Brighter Financial Future flow chart for details on our unique financial planning process). It is important to remember that financial planning is a process . . . not an event.
First we focus on your goals, objectives, priorities and values. For instance: the reduction of current and future income taxes may be an immediate goal, funding a quality education for your children and/or grandchildren may be an intermediate goal, and enjoying a secure financial future in your retirement years is likely to be one of your most important long-term goals. Another great goal in life for some people is creating wealth and/or leaving a legacy for your chosen beneficiaries or charities. You may already be on the road to meeting these objectives and simply need a new strategy, professional insight, or to fine-tune your plan. You may just be starting out, or you may be somewhere in between. Whatever your unique situation may be, everyone needs a periodic assessment of where they are on the road to meeting their financial goals. That's why we do an in-depth review of your current financial situation. Next, you need to know how you can set about achieving (or continue working toward) your financial goals. By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions and retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities and other general financial matters, we design a customized financial plan for you. Finally, to achieve the intended results, you must implement and monitor your plan.
One of the most appealing aspects of our services at GA Bishop and Associates, LLC is the flexibility of our approach. The key to success is to follow your plan and maintain a disciplined approach, which allows you to rest well knowing you can reach your stated goals. At GA Bishop and Associates, LLC, we try to make the process as easy as possible for you. In addition to receiving professional advice on your most important financial concerns, we can also provide implementation and ongoing asset management services, if appropriate for your needs. Much like choosing and paying for only the food you want at a cafeteria, we provide only the support you want and need to implement your blueprint. For those who want to self-manage the implementation of their blueprint, this is a much more cost-effective approach than traditional approaches.
Because we are Fee-Only financial planners, all conflicts of interest regarding compensation are removed. We do not accept sales commissions; we work solely for our clients. Because we do not sell financial products such as investments and insurance, there are no third-party relationships or outside influences to color our thinking and financial recommendations. For more information on Fee-Only financial planning, including our Code of Ethics, Fiduciary Code and member requirements, please visit www.NAPFA.org.
In addition, our firm is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in Texas; as such, we must comply with a host of regulations designed to protect the consumer. One important question you should always ask when considering a financial planner's services: "May I please have a copy of your ADV Part II?" This document contains important information about the planner's qualifications, fiduciary duties, history of any past violations, etc. We would be happy to send you a copy of our ADV Part II. Please contact us to request your copy, or download and read our ADV Part II from the "Client Forms" section of www.gabishopandassociates.com.
No. Although a comprehensive financial plan can provide the greatest benefits, we can limit our advisory services to your specific needs, such as cash management and budgeting, investment analysis, divorce financial analysis or college education funding.
For initial engagements, the fees are based on the actual time involved in meeting with you in person or over the phone, researching and analyzing your current situation, and providing specific recommendations and implementation assistance (if appropriate). Ongoing retainer clients pay a flat fee which is based on the expected time required to provide the stated services annually.
Financial planning fees are determined on a project basis; the total fee for a financial plan will vary from client to client based on the specific needs and complexity of your situation (please see our diagram Building a Brighter Financial Future to learn about our financial planning sequence and the client service options available). A price range, with a guarantee not to exceed the upper end of the range, is provided after the Get Acquainted Meeting, when your personal needs are fully identified. Once your financial plan is complete, there are four levels of client/advisor relationships (for more information, go to the menu on our Home Page, then click on "Financial Help", followed by "Personal", followed by "Ongoing Advice".)
Yes, if you itemize deductions. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return.
While we do not sell financial products, we will offer specific recommendations and opinions regarding the purchase of the various financial products that may be appropriate for you. So, if you need to obtain an insurance policy or a new mortgage, invest into a portfolio of mutual funds, or find an estate planning attorney or tax professional, we can direct you to the resources you need and/or help you obtain these products and services. If appropriate, we can also help you implement your plan and set up your accounts.
We provide advice for all types of securities, including mutual funds, stocks (as they relate to your portfolio holdings), bonds, bank deposits, variable and fixed annuities, limited partnerships and tax shelters. We also provide advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement programs, stock options, life and disability insurance, etc. If it has to do with money and finances, we can provide counseling, guidance and/or resources for you. Because we want our clients to know that they can call on us with any and all of their financial concerns, we have developed the slogan "Financial Planning and Advice for Everyday Life." Clients are encouraged to call us when they have a major life event, such as a new job, a baby, a marriage or divorce, or if they are planning to buy a new home or start their own business. We also encourage our clients to call us with more common everyday questions, such as: "How should I invest within my 401(k) or 403(b) plan?" "How can I reduce my taxes?" "What advice can you offer on refinancing my home?" "How can I maximize my Flex Spending Account, Cafeteria Plan or Section 125 Plan at work?"
Any individual seeking financial peace of mind can benefit from our services. We serve people at all income levels, from all walks of life. Clients have the flexibility to work with us on either a one-time, as-needed basis or an ongoing basis. We welcome clients who simply need a one-time financial consultation or a second opinion, as well as those who need comprehensive financial planning and possible ongoing asset management services. In addition, any corporation or organization seeking quality, unbiased financial education for their employees or members can benefit from our financial education programs.
I have already accumulated substantial assets and think I am doing quite well. But as I progress and build for the future, things seem to be getting more complicated. I want to be sure I am on track, but I don't always have the time or inclination to manage the myriad details by myself. Can you help me?
Yes. People who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice will find our services appealing and beneficial. If you have a desire to simplify your financial affairs, our Ongoing Retainer Client Program may be right for you (see Building a Brighter Financial Future diagram.) If you are looking for a professional review or a second opinion to ensure you are on track, we can provide that, too.
My spouse and I are just beginning to build for our financial future. There is so much to learn! We need help and guidance to get started, but we don't have a lot of assets to invest. Will you accept us as clients?
Yes. Some firms have income levels and/or net worth minimums but, at GA Bishop and Associates, LLC, we realize that everyone has financial needs. We are proud to work with people from all income levels, and all walks of life. Remember, "You don't have to have a fortune to start building one." Call us today and let's get started.
I'm responsible for retirement plans and employee benefits at my company, and I'd like to increase the number of people who participate in our benefit programs and employee satisfaction. Can you help?
Depending on your client track, the actual engagement of services may end (please refer to Seven Steps to Building a Brighter Financial Future), but the majority of our clients choose one of our three Continuing Client Programs. Because financial planning is a process, not an event, we offer ongoing services, periodic reviews and day-to-day consultation as requested and/or needed.
The first step is an initial inquiry from you. Call us at (972) 393-3716 or email us at email@example.com. We offer an initial no-cost, no-obligation Get Acquainted Meeting, either on the phone or in our offices. For Get Acquainted Meetings, appointments are by appointment only. Should you decide to engage our services, we can discuss which of our services and client tracks is appropriate for you. Most clients find the financial planning process to be stimulating and enlightening. The end result, of course, is greater peace of mind. We look forward to helping YOU build a brighter financial future!
Last revised: October 26, 2016