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Prospective Client FAQ

At Harford Financial Group, we believe in teamwork, hospitality, expertise, adaptability, relationships and trust. 

Our personalized, dedicated wealth management approach is driven by our love for our clients and helping them live their best life by taking the stress of money management away.

As such, it is important to ensure we are truly the right fit for each other.

We feel this FAQ can help answer many of the questions that we have heard from prospective clients while evaluating our firm and determining if Harford Financial Group is right for you.

WHAT MAKES HARFORD FINANCIAL GROUP DIFFERENT FROM OTHER INVESTMENT ADVISORS?

At Harford Financial Group, we provide you the convenience of one firm that can handle your asset management, tax planning, asset protection, and retirement income planning, ultimately providing you a household CFO to help maximize your wealth.   We specialize in working with educators and federal employees. 

In addition to our financial, tax, & investment expertise, we have built a community of other successful, high net worth clients, providing us the benefit of sharing the experiences, issues, strategies, and opportunities they have faced to help bring customized solutions to you. 

Chances are whatever you are going through in life, we have already helped other clients navigate those same issues and can share the strategies and results.

ARE YOU A FIDUCIARY?

Yes, at Harford Financial Group we uphold the fiduciary standard. Our advisors are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™  and Investment Advisor Representatives, which bounds them to the Fiduciary standard through the CFP® Board Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct as well as the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. They are also Enrolled Agents admitted to practice before the IRS. As such, the National Association of Enrolled Agents adheres to a code of ethics to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and objectivity in all their professional actions and relationships.

WHAT TYPE OF CLIENTS DO YOU WORK WITH?

Our typical client has amassed $1 million or more of wealth and they are looking for professional guidance to ensure they continue to maximize what they have accumulated, while avoiding costly mistakes along life's journey.

By partnering together, we are dedicated to building meaningful relationships with our clients to better understand what they want and then bring expertise and strategies to implement for them. We don't try to be all things for all people, but rather all things for some people and it's all about right fit.

Client's generally begin working with us because they experience a life event that creates challenges or opportunities to their financial situation, and they are looking for a professional to help guide them through the critical decisions they have before them. These events commonly include such things as starting a family, a new job or business opportunity, sudden wealth through company stock or options, feeling like you are paying too much in taxes, preparing for retirement, or a death in the family.

Some of the clients we meet with already have an investment professional, insurance agent, or tax professional, but they were looking for a holistic approach to the advice they are receiving to tie it all together into one holistic plan.

Explain Your Holistic Approach

Explain Your Holistic Approach

With our holistic approach we provide you the convenience of one firm that can handle your asset management, tax management, asset protection, and retirement income planning, ultimately providing you a household CFO to help maximize your wealth. 

For most individuals and families seeking advice on their financial, tax, insurance, investment, or legal needs, they are forced to meet with different professionals (investment advisor, CPA, attorney, insurance agent). Those professionals operate in silos and they don't all sit at the table collaborating on your behalf. In many cases each of those professionals are just trying to sell their individual products or services.

The end result is that you may have a lot of pieces of the puzzle (investment products, insurance policies, tax services, maybe even a will or a trust), but no picture on the front of the box to show how they all come together.

At Harford Financial Group, we’re a little bit different from any other firm you’ve probably talked to in the past. Our holistic approach ensures all of these areas are coordinated and working together.




WHAT IS THE MINIMUM ASSET LEVEL FOR SOMEONE TO BECOME A CLIENT OF HARFORD FINANCIAL GROUP?

We work with clients that have a minimum of $250,000+ of investable assets and our typical client has a net worth of $1m - $5m+. 

WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL COSTS I COULD EXPECT TO PAY FOR AN INITIAL FINANCIAL & TAX PLAN ENGAGEMENT?

Our financial & tax planning services starts at $2,000.  We generally begin each new client relationship under a financial planning engagement.

This allows us to get to know each other, understand the resources you have accumulated, develop customized strategies and solutions we feel will enhance your situation, and show you the value in working with our firm for ongoing wealth management. If you decide you want to hire us to implement those solutions for you, the next step would be to become a wealth management client (which you can read about below).

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FINANCIAL PLANNING?

Financial planning is a dynamic process. From establishing an investment strategy, planning for retirement, strategizing how you fund your children's education, to optimizing your taxes, charitable giving, estate plan and insurance coverage, “finances” doesn’t mean just one thing for most people—and financial planning means much more than just investing.

Bringing all the pieces of your financial life together is a challenging task. Although many professionals may call themselves “financial planners”, CFP® professionals and Enrolled Agents have completed extensive training and experience requirements and are held to rigorous ethical standards. Harford Financial Group understands all the complexities of the changing financial & tax climate and we know how to make recommendations in your best interest.

Financial planning takes the guesswork out of managing finances and helps you understand the implications of each decision you make. The average person faces an uncertain economy and more options for saving and investing than ever before. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or confused, unless you find a way to understand the big picture. Over the last 40 years, we have developed and refined a process that puts all the pieces of the financial puzzle together for clients as their life unfolds and needs evolve. As you go through our financial planning process, The Bucket Plan, you gain insight and education into what you own, how it aligns with your goals and objectives, and what you can do to improve your situation.

At the end of our process, you will receive a written plan of exactly how your assets should be positioned, our strategies and recommendations for investing, and financial modeling showing your progress towards achieving your goals.

Once we have documented your plan, we will discuss the implementation through our active wealth management services.

HOW DO I WORK WITH HARFORD FINANCIAL GROUP FOR WEALTH MANAGEMENT SERVICES?

At Harford Financial Group, we utilize the spectrum of financial disciplines available, such as financial and investment advice, estate planning,  and retirement planning, to manage our client's wealth for one set cost. That cost generally ranges between 0.50% - 1.0% of the assets we manage, depending on the amount invested. This fee is deducted right from your investment advisory account on a quarterly basis. For example, if the annual investment advisory fee is 1.0%, then 0.25%  is billed quarterly.

We only assess our fee on the assets under advisement by our team, but we do advise on all of our clients assets to help them achieve their goals and objectives. For example, if a client had $2,000,000 of assets under advisement with our team, but also has $1,000,000 of company stock and 2 investment properties, we help advise on all their assets, liabilities, and opportunities even though we are only actively managing and billing on the $2,000,000 they have entrusted with us.

DO YOU OFFER TAX PREPARATION?

No, we do not offer tax preparation, but have a relationship with many CPAs in MD and surrounding areas that we can reccomend.  We work with your CPA to coordinate your income and help manage your tax liabilities.

WHAT IS A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™?

Although many professionals may call themselves “financial planners,” CFP® professionals have completed extensive training and experience requirements and are held to rigorous ethical standards. They understand the complexities of the changing financial climate and know how to make recommendations in your best interest. Unlike many financial advisors, CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board.

CFP® professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam, which tests their abilities to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life situations. CFP® professionals complete several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification trademarks. When it comes to ethics and professional responsibility, CFP® professionals are held to the highest of standards, as outlined in CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct. They are obliged to uphold the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence as outlined in CFP Board’s Code of Ethics. The Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put your interests ahead of their own at all times and to provide their financial planning services as a “fiduciary”—acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients.

Contact us today to set-up a call to see if we are the right fit for you.

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