1. How long has Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. been in business?
  2. Who owns the firm?
  3. How are you compensated?
  4. What are your fees?
  5. Who is Raymond James Financial Services, and how do I benefit from your affiliation?
  6. If I sign up for Financial Planning Consultants, Inc.’s Financial Planning services, what will occur?
  7. How often do you meet with your financial planning clients?
  8. What is the difference between a “Corporate Engagement” and “Individual Engagement”?
  9. What types of investment strategies do you offer?
  10. Can I review your investment performance over the last several years?
  11. How does Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. select stocks for its clients’ portfolios?
  12. Can I keep my assets where they are and make the changes myself?
  13. Who serves as custodian for the assets that you manage?
  14. How often will you review my account?
  15. Why do you review investment accounts so often?
  16. If I am one of your investment management clients, how often will you meet with me?
  17. How often will I be updated on my portfolio?
  18. What does “Discretion” mean?
  19. What makes Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. different from other financial advisory or brokerage firms?
  20. What characteristics distinguish Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. from its peers?
  21. With regard to tax reporting, what do you provide me with at year-end to prepare my taxes?
  22. Can you help me with my taxes?
  23. Can I select the planners/investment managers I work with?
  24. What happens if the person I work with leaves the firm?
  25. Do you accept clients who live outside Indiana?
  26. I have another question that you haven't answered here or elsewhere on your web site?
  27. I have reviewed information about Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. and I am confident that I meet your standards. How can I arrange to meet someone from your firm before I send in the Confidential Questionnaire? 
     

 
1) How long has Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. been in business?
 
Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. was incorporated in August, 1993 by Mark Dahlenburg and began business operations in January, 1994.
 
 
2) Who owns the firm?
 
The firm is owned and operated by Mark Dahlenburg. We anticipate bringing partners to the firm as we grow our practice. For employees who are not partners, we have also established a unique bonus pool which provides generous incentives to long-term employees to motivate them to act like business owners. (See Professional Biographies)
 
 
3) How are you compensated?
 
Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. provides services on a fee basis or commission basis. Our financial planning services are billed hourly or on a project fee or periodic retainer basis. Investment management* fees are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. However, to get a better idea of what your actual costs will be, it is best to discuss this at a meeting with one of the firm’s advisors.  (See Fees)
 
 
4) What are your fees?**
 
Our firm provides client-oriented services on an average composite rate of $125 per hour. Prior to performing services, we outline the basic terms of our engagement and quote a fee range (based upon our composite rate) for services rendered.
 
Upon written acknowledgement and acceptance, a retainer fee (one-half of maximum rate quoted, or one-twelfth monthly for ongoing services) will be paid.
 
We believe most services can be delivered more cost effectively at our average composite rate. However, certain engagements (i.e. Specific Consultations and Specialized services) will be billed at individual staff rates ranging from $45 to $175 per hour.  (See Fees)
 
 
5) Who is Raymond James Financial Services, and how do I benefit from your affiliation?
 
Raymond James is a national financial services firm with approximately 7,800 financial advisors in over 3,100 offices across the country. Raymond James Financial Services, INC. was founded in 1974 and is a member of both FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and SIPC (Securities Investors Protection Corporation).
 
When you choose Raymond James Financial Services as your investment custodian, you benefit from the security and abundant resources of their parent company, Raymond James Financial. Established in 1962 and a public company since 1983, Raymond James Financial Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RJF. Raymond James' subsidiaries provide a wide range of services to investors, including investment and financial planning; asset management; investment banking; and trust services.
 
Raymond James & Associates is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). An explanatory brochure is available upon request or at sipc.org or by calling (202) 371-8300.

Raymond James has purchased excess SIPC coverage through various syndicates of Lloyd’s, a London-based firm. Excess SIPC is fully protected by the Lloyd’s trust funds and Lloyd’s Central Fund. The additional protection currently provided has an aggregate firm limit of $750 million, including a sub-limit of $1.9 million per customer for cash above basic SIPC for the wrongful abstraction of customer funds.

Account protection applies when a SIPC-member firm fails financially and is unable to meet obligations to securities clients, but it does not protect against market fluctuations. 

 
6) If I sign up for Financial Planning Consultants, Inc.’s Financial Planning services, what will occur?
 
The process for financial planning involves extensive data gathering of all your financial information.  First, we will request that you complete one or more of our comprehensive data gathering questionnaires as well as provide us with all of your financial information.  We will then send out individual questionnaires to insurance companies for all of your insurance policies and annuities.  We will prepare authorization letters from you to each of your other professional advisors prior to us contacting them.  We will talk to your employer’s human resources personnel, your accountant, attorney, insurance agents, bankers and stock brokers, if necessary.  Once we have all of this information we will begin preparing financial statements.  The financial statements include a balance sheet as well as a cash flow analysis.  We will also provide you with support pages to determine how we made up the balance sheet and other statements.  We will then have a data verification meeting or phone conference to make sure that we have all relative information.  From there we will develop other projections, such as college funding, estate death tax, retirement calculations, IRA distribution analysis and survivor projections.  When this is complete, we will then begin reviewing your overall situation as well as what issues that you need to have addressed in each area.  The areas that we will cover will include basic finance issues such as refinancing debt, analyzing your liquidity and discussing any cash flow and/or savings issues that you may have.  We will spend time discussing tax-advantaged planning strategies and ways to fund your children’s education in a tax efficient manner, if applicable.  We will review all your existing estate documents, as well as suggest alternative ways to plan your estate.  We will also analyze exactly how much life insurance, if any, is needed and review all your different insurance coverage in-depth.  We will also discuss with you an overall investment strategy to meet your goals.  If you are near or in retirement, we will spend a great deal of time discussing those issues including distribution strategies from your retirement plans.
 
Once we provide you with your financial recommendations, we will then assist you with the implementation of those recommendations.
 
In the implementation process, some of the value-added services that Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. (FPC) provides, which most firms do not, is that we will talk with your employer’s human resources personnel, your accountants, actuaries, attorneys, bankers and insurance agents to help ensure that everyone is on the same page.  For example, we often see clients who have complicated will and trust documents, but the titling of their assets and beneficiary designations are incorrect so that their estate would not flow properly.  Therefore, if major changes are needed we will discuss this with the client’s attorney, and if necessary meet with the client and their attorney to review these strategies.  The same applies for income taxes, in that we will provide any information that we are aware of in advance of tax preparation time to the client’s accountant so that they will have all the necessary information to prepare clients’ taxes.  We will also coordinate with the clients’ various insurance agents to ensure that the client has the proper coverage.  When it concerns banking, we will provide the bank with updated financial statements to facilitate any lending and/or refinancing on behalf of the client.  Also, if a client is missing an advisor, we will suggest one that has been pre-screened by us. FPC will always assist in implementation of its recommendations wherever possible. (See Getting Started)
 
 
7) How often do you meet with your financial planning clients?
 
We typically meet with our clients in the Lafayette and Indianapolis area 1-4 times a year based upon the client's preference or service model.  Meetings with our clients outside of these two areas are held on a mutually agreed-upon basis.  
 
 
8) What is the difference between a "Corporate Engagement" and "Individual Engagement"?
 
Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. will maintain relationships with organizations whose senior executives/professionals we provide comprehensive individual financial planning services.   Fees are paid for by the sponsoring entity in corporate engagements.
 
Individual Engagements are comprehensive wealth management* services for high net worth individuals with no third party sponsor.
 
 
9) What types of investment strategies do you offer?
 
We offer several types of investment strategies.  New strategies are being added as client needs develop.  Please send us an e-mail for further information.
 
10) Can I review your investment performance over the last several years?
 
Prospective clients often ask to see our "composite" investment results. Regretfully, under CFA® Institute (industry standard) standards designed to ensure fairness and comparability, we are not able to prepare a meaningful composite. The reason is straightforward: we do not have a "typical" client portfolio.
 
Instead, each portfolio reflects the time horizon, return objectives, risk tolerance and personal financial goals of the owner. However, in the absence of a composite, we can show the performance of the investment sub-managers we have used over time.  Prospective clients can thus observe the component elements often used in those portfolios; of course, it's important to keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future results.
 
 
11) How does Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. select stocks for its clients’ portfolios?
 
Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. (FPC) uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to construct individual equity portfolios.  We screen for companies whose price-to-earnings or price-to-cash flow represents a discount to their expected earnings growth rate.  In addition, FPC examines the trends in positive earnings per share for companies, the magnitude of recent changes in the current fiscal year, and the next fiscal year consensus earnings estimates.  Also, we evaluate the extent to which all brokerage analysts are revising earnings per share estimates in the same direction.  Our belief that these factors result in positive returns more often, is supported by historical academic research.
 
 
12) Can I keep my assets where they are and make the changes myself?
 
No.  Typically, clients do not facilitate changes to the portfolio quickly enough.  Furthermore, it is impossible for us to report on your portfolio without direct downloads from each custodian.  Instead, we currently house all of our securities accounts at Raymond James Financial Services.
 
 
13) Who serves as custodian for the assets that you manage?
 
All of our existing accounts and all of our new accounts are held at Raymond James Financial Services.
 
 
14) How often will you review my account?
 
Generally, we review each account on a quarterly basis at a minimum.  If circumstances warrant, such as market irregularities or a specific client need surfaces, we will review accounts immediately. We also review holdings on a regular basis.
 
 
15) Why do you review investment accounts so often?
 
Simply because that is what our system is designed to do.  For example, we are always watching for news on our investments and ones we would like to invest in.  If there are major economic (interest rate changes) or political changes (wars), we will review your portfolio.   When we are rebalancing accounts, we are always looking at the portfolio as well.  When we provide a performance report to you, we are also looking at the portfolios. 
 
 
16) If I am one of your investment management* clients, how often will you meet with me?
 
During the first year for investment management* clients, we will probably want to meet with you one to four times to explain and to review your first one or two quarterly asset management* reports.  After that we will generally give you the service model that fits your situation.  If you choose not to have a meeting, we will mail you the report and ask that you schedule a conference call with us.
 
 
17) How often will I be updated on my portfolio?
 
We may provide quarterly performance reports upon request, which specifically state beginning balance, the ending balance, contributions, withdrawals, realized and unrealized gains, interest, dividends, management fees, average capital, total gain after fees and the percentage return during that timeframe.  We may also compare these returns to various indexes, depending upon the type of investment strategy.
 
You will receive from Raymond James Financial Services a monthly statement if there has been activity, which will list your securities and their current values as of month-end. If there has not been activity, your report will be sent quarterly.  Furthermore, as securities trades are executed, you will receive a confirmation statement with full details of each buy or sell. 
 
You may also view all of your accounts through the Clients Only section of Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. secure website.  The Clients Only section provides you with information regarding your investment positions, quotes, and account balances to name a few.
 
 
18) What does “Discretion” mean?
 
Discretion means having the ability to trade on your account without your permission prior to each individual transaction.  This does not mean that Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. has custody.  Custody means that we have possession of your funds.  Raymond James Financial Services maintains custody.  Discretion simply means that we are able to make trades on your behalf. 
 
 
19) What makes Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. different from other financial advisory or brokerage firms?
 
Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. (FPC) is different from other financial advisory and brokerage firms in a number of ways.  First, FPC provides advice on all aspects of a client’s finances while at the same time, assisting them with the implementation of their recommendations.  FPC's 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, auto insurance, non-qualified deferred compensation agreements, private investments, hedge funds, corporate minutes, buy-sell agreements, retirement plan documents, business tax returns and U.S. savings bonds are routine at FPC.  Interaction with the clients’ 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 is an everyday occurrence.  Brokerage firms don’t supply this type of service while other financial advisory firms only offer a few generic services, such as college funding, retirement, retirement calculations, insurance reviews, estate tax calculations and perhaps income tax planning.  FPC offers these services in a very detailed manner in addition to all of the services mentioned above.
 
From an investment standpoint, there are advisory firms that only offer limited services and products.  Some of these advisory firms are compensated by commissions in addition to fees. This is a very expensive option for clients with more than $500,000 in assets.  FPC offers a number of investment strategies in addition to asset allocation including a number of stock management programs, hedge funds and private equity investments.
 
Brokerage firms offer many of the same investment offerings as FPC.  However, the investments trading costs are frequently considerably more and they may not have an understanding of their client’s overall objectives.
 
The bottom line is FPC's staff pulls together the client’s entire financial situation, assists them in achieving their goals, attempts to provide unequalled service and does it without a bias on a fee or commission basis. (See What Sets Us Apart )
 
 
20) What characteristics distinguish Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. from its peers?
 
We believe that our firm has distinguished itself in four significant areas:
  • Our Values-Based Culture - Our employees exhibit integrity and a commitment to excellence.  Our decisions are driven by loyalty to our clients and an understanding that long-term success will be enhanced by always putting our clients' interests first.
  • Our Research - Behind our research effort is a commitment to intellectual honesty and staying within our circle of competency. We believe our clients' long-term interests are best served by making decisions based on careful research, rather than pursuing what is temporarily popular or superficially appealing.
  • Our Innovative Spirit - We strive to be creative in our thinking and this has allowed us to deliver to our clients what we believe are most suitable investment strategies. We combine the concepts of focused investing and in-depth research to identify and hire some of the nation's most highly regarded money managers.  
  • Our Quality Relationships – We strive to have quality relationships with wealthy individuals, family groups, foundations and institutions.  We believe strong client relationships are born out of exceptional efforts by all our team members and must be based on an accurate understanding of each client's needs and objectives.  Our owner, advisors and client service team members strive to make the practice of outstanding service a core value of our business. 

(See Competitive Advantages)

 
 
21) With regard to tax reporting, what do you provide me with at year-end to prepare my taxes?
 
We mail to every client, generally not later than mid-February, information with regard to all securities trades that have been made, provided the information has been submitted to us.  This is contingent on the client providing us with the cost basis information if they transferred an investment that Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. did not purchase for them.  Raymond James provides distribution information via a comprehensive form 1099 at year-end.  This is generally provided to the clients on January 31st of each year.  Please be advised we do not do tax returns or provide specific tax advice.
 
 
22) Can you help me with my taxes?
 
Although tax considerations permeate all of our analyses and recommendations, and although we have a great deal of individual tax experience, we do not directly prepare tax returns. We routinely work with our clients' accountants to ensure a two-way exchange of information, facilitating the accountant's return preparation and an accurate view of our clients' tax situation. With our extensive experience and contacts, we can recommend tax preparers to clients who will benefit from this assistance. (See What We Offer)
 
 
23) Can I select the planners/investment managers I work with?
 
We consider all clients to be "clients of the firm," with the right to draw on the entire complement of our resources. Each client has at least two contacts, typically including at least one shareholder of the firm. We make every effort to accommodate specific client requests for their main contact.
 
 
24) What happens if the person I work with leaves the firm?
 
All clients have a relationship with at least one of the owners of Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. (FPC). We "double team" all engagements, so every client has a relationship with at least two members of our planning/investment management staff. We have a strongly held firm value of recognizing that all clients are "clients of the firm," rather than clients of individual planning/investment management professionals. As a consequence, clients can be confident that we are highly motivated to work closely together as a team to serve our clients' needs.
 
 
25) Do you accept clients who live outside Indiana?
 
Yes. We work with clients located throughout the United States.
 
 
26) I have another question that you haven't answered here or elsewhere on your web site.

Please feel free to email questions or comments to us at: info@fpcadvisor.com.
 
 
27) I have reviewed information about Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. and I am confident that I meet your standards. How can I arrange to meet someone from your firm before I send in the Confidential Questionnaire?
 
Please call Susan Hamelman, our Office Manager at (765) 447-1302 or email her to arrange a meeting at your convenience.
 
**Advisory fees are addition to the internal expenses charged by mutual funds and other investment company securities.  To the extent that clients intend to hold thse securities, the internal expenses should be included when evaluating the costs of a fee-based account.  Clients should periodically re-evaluate whether the use of an asset-based fee continues to be appropriate in servicing their needs.  A list of additional considerations, as well as the fee schedule, is available in the firm's Form ADV Part II as well as the client agreement.