Archives by: Russell D. Francis, CPA, CFP®

Home » Archives by: Russell D. Francis, CPA, CFP®

10 “Big” Financial Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

I’ve been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a CPA for almost 20 years now. Preparing tax returns as a CPA/financial planner gives me great insight on how people manage their money. Following are ten big financial mistakes I see every year from clients who are not fully utilizing the services of an accountant or financial planner: Not contributing to your company’s retirement plan.  I see this one in about half of my clients. This is a no-brainer. You’re not only saving for the ... Read more

Whose side is your Advisor on? – Why you need a Fiduciary

After the banking crisis, Goldman Sachs executives testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations about their duties to act in the best interest of their clients. The Committee for Fiduciary Standards has highlighted this testimony in an eleven-minute video. (more…) Read more

Fee Only and Fee Based Financial Advisors are not the same

Confused? That’s understandable. The compensation paid to financial advisors can be murky. Some financial advisors don’t want clients to know how much they make from managing investments. So, let’s clarify how financial advisors are compensated, the difference between “fee only” and “fee based”. Fee based advisors typically work for a brokerage firm or insurance company and can receive fees paid by you, and commissions paid to them by their firm or insurance company. Fee based advisors are not required to disclose the amounts ... Read more

Estate Planning – Ten Things You Should Do

It seems no one likes to talk about estate planning. Motivating ourselves to take positive steps toward preparing for our eventual death is not an easy subject to discuss. I have been in this business long enough to have seen some serious (and expensive) mistakes due to neglecting these very basic estate planning steps. Prepare a will and/or revocable trust. This seems obvious but I can’t tell you how many people I know who have not prepared a will. If you own real ... Read more

The Real Truth About Annuities

Many investors and even financial advisors blindly reject annuities as an option. There’s a perception that annuities are a bad deal because they are sold by insurance agents who may receive excessive upfront commissions. Investors may be concerned about losing control over their money or not having enough liquid assets in case of emergency. Also, they may fear getting hit by a bus shortly after signing an annuity contract, in which case the insurance company gets to keep all the money. (more…) Read more