SMS Financial

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you charge for financial planning?

Financial planning is billed hourly, with an initial deposit against which charges are credited, or billed at a flat package rate. We are competitive in fees for both financial planning and asset management; however, we do not disclose our fees on the internet. Financial planning advice is not a commodity: you should not base your decision to hire a financial planner based on their advertised fees. Choose your financial planner based on experience, broad-based knowledge, their focus on service, and their ability to communicate with you.

We offer an initial consultation without charge in order to discuss your situation, the scope of the engagement, whether we are the right advisors for your situation and an estimate of specific financial planning fees.

Many clients come in with a specific question, while others want a comprehensive overview. Most comprehensive financial plans can be completed for $1,500 to $2,000, while specific questions can be answered for less than $500- $1,000. Please give us a call to discuss your specific situation.

Can’t I just do my own financial planning?

In our opinion, no! This is because you don’t know what you don’t know. Over and over we see clients who make serious financial mistakes that are a result of ignorance and inexperience. The twenty-first century is very complicated; many financial decisions are “counter-indicated.” That is, when the situation is seen independently, you made the right decision, but in light of other external facts and your personal situation, what you did was the wrong decision.  Wouldn’t you like to have a trusted advisor to oversee your financial affairs, offer independent, non-biased advice, and to offer a second opinion as to the wisdom of your actions? Give the professional financial planners at SMS Financial LLC a call today at 831-622-8800.

I’m not concerned about a financial plan; I just want somebody to execute trades for me. Should I use SMS Financial?

No, we are not the right match for you. We are committed to financial planning and managing money towards planned goals, and so do not accept speculative or trading accounts. While SMS Financial LLC understands that some investors are only looking for a broker/dealer service, our office is committed to using the full strength of our knowledge and skills to serve the best interests of the client. We believe that we cannot provide our services in the best manner unless we can do so in the context of financial planning.

How much do you charge for investment management?

We charge an annual fee, billed quarterly, based on a percentage of the client’s assets under management. This fee is charged against the assets under management. As a general rule, a $1,000,000 account would be charged approximately 1% per year. As the portfolio goes up in size, the fee, as a percentage of the assets, goes down. This is an example; please contact us to discuss your portfolio needs.

Why can’t I just invest on my own?

Many people have some knowledge and are willing to learn more, but most people lack the time, expertise and the resources to design a portfolio. Some people are just too emotional or lack discipline. Most “do it yourself” portfolios are lopsided and/or take risks that the individual had no intention to take. If you think that you have an excellent portfolio, why not let us analyze it and give you an independent second opinion? We will charge a moderate fee for this service, and occasionally, we are pleased to confirm an investor’s self confidence was justified.

OK, I understand that I need asset allocation, but can’t I just pay you to pick out investments for a one time fee?

Our fee is for active management of the portfolio, as well as for portfolio construction. We may change investment allocation and specific recommendations during the year, and if you are not our asset management client, you won’t be in the loop. It would be a breach of our fiduciary duty to sell particular allocations as products instead of as a service. 

Can you provide references from current clients?

No, we do not provide references from current clients because of privacy issues. We regard all clients and their financial affairs as confidential.

Do you have an account minimum?

Yes, we are not accepting new accounts under $200,000, unless the account adds to an existing account or is a “friends and family” exception. Please call us if you have any questions.

I am just interested in financial planning, not investment management. Do accept financial planning clients without asset management?

Yes, we offer financial planning without requiring clients to commit to investment management.

I am just interested in investment management, not financial planning. Do accept investment management clients without financial planning?

Yes, but we insist on “knowing our customer”. Therefore, we will ask questions about you and your assets, as well as requesting a risk tolerance questionnaire. We will prepare an investment policy statement for your account based on your personal profile, goals, experience, and risk tolerance.

How often do I meet or talk with you about my investment management account?

We will have contact with clients at least two to four times per year, in person, via phone, or by email to have a purposeful discussion of investment management and performance.  In addition, we use email, standard mail, and phone calls to communicate with you between these meetings as needs arise. We review your accounts regularly and will always contact you if we have concerns about an investment position.  We invite you to initiate contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

I am interested in a “socially responsible” portfolio. Will you screen investments to exclude companies that are “bad”? 

At the present time, we do not have such a portfolio, although we will exclude specific stocks or bonds from your portfolio upon mutual agreement.

Where are you located?

Our office is at 2801 Monterey-Salinas Highway (AKA Highway 68), Suite K in Monterey, California. You can find a link to a map under the Map & Directions part of this website.


The SMS Financial LLC site has been designed for informational purposes only. We reserve the right to make modifications at any time, without notice. No information contained on the site constitutes investment advice. Your use of this information does not constitute a client relationship. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The information provided is in no way intended as an offering or a solicitation of a security which may be referenced in the site. It is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any jurisdiction where such use would be contrary to law or regulation, or which would subject SMS Financial LLC to any registration requirement with such jurisdiction. SMS Financial LLC is not offering services in states were we are not properly registered. Please call for the most current information on such registration.

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