How do I know your advice is in my best interest? Are you a fiduciary?
Yes, Acadia Financial Services acts as a fiduciary (“client’s needs come first”). Additionally, Acadia is fee-only, which means we do not earn commissions from selling products. We are only paid by our clients, so that is where our loyalty lies. It also allows us to give unbiased advice since we have no other competing interests. As a Registered Investment Advisory firm with the Commonwealth of Virginia, we are legally obligated to act as a fiduciary and are subject to regular audits by the Commonwealth to ensure that we are acting in our clients’ best interests.
What does it mean to be a CFP®, EA and CKA®?
The Certified Financial Planner™ designation is the elite certification among financial professionals, with only 27% of financial advisors holding this credential. There are four components to becoming a Certified Financial Planner™; education, examination, experience, and ethics. The education component requires 7 graduate-level courses that cover insurance, investments, retirement planning, economics, estate planning, and taxation. After the education is completed, the planner has to sit for a 6-hour exam that only has a 60% pass rate. In addition to the education and examination, candidates are required to have two to three years of financial planning experience before finally earning the certification. Additionally, all CFP® Professionals are held to the highest ethical standards in the industry.
An EA, or Enrolled Agent, is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
The Certified Kingdom Advisor® designation indicates that the individual has completed the initial and ongoing certification requirements established by Kingdom Advisors. In addition, a Certified Kingdom Advisor ® may be required by state or federal law to hold other licenses, qualifications, or certifications in order to conduct his or her business activities. Certified Kingdom Advisor® is a designation granted by Kingdom Advisors to individuals who have demonstrated the following:
- Apply Biblical Wisdom in Counsel by successfully completing the rigorous Certified Kingdom Advisor® coursework and examination.
- Technically Competent by providing evidence of an approved professional designation (varying by discipline) or by having at least 10 years full-time experience in their discipline.
- Ethical by agreeing to espouse and practice the Kingdom Advisors Code of Ethics, by maintaining active local church involvement, and by providing pastoral and client letters of reference.
- Biblical Stewards by pledging that they practice Biblical stewardship in their personal and professional lives and by giving regularly in proportion to their income.
Do you manage investments for people?
Acadia Financial Services provides investment management for select clients. We work with TD Ameritrade as our custodian and ascribe to an evidence-based investment philosophy. We strive to harness the collective wisdom of the stock market in order to maximize returns over the long term by investing in a diversified portfolio of low-cost mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds. Each client is invested with a unique asset allocation based on their specific goals, risk tolerance and timeline. As a part of our ongoing financial planning services, we will also help you determine how to invest accounts that we cannot manage, such as your TSP, 401k, 403, 457, or HSA.
How much money do I need to work with Acadia Financial Services?
You do not need any set amount of money to work with Acadia Financial Services. Unlike most financial advisors, we do not have a required asset minimum. We want to bring high quality, personal financial advice to those who otherwise would not have access to premier professional services.
How do you get paid? Are you a fee-only financial planner?
Our clients are the only people that compensate us. This is done through monthly subscription billing. We receive no other compensation based on products or investments that we recommend, so we are true fee-only financial planners.
Why don’t you charge as much as other financial planners?
We do not charge as much as other financial planners because we want to be able to work with people who would not normally have access to professional financial advice. We run a lean business without brick-and-mortar offices so that we can have lower fees and no asset minimums. Our goal is to help people.
How will I know I’m getting my money’s worth with you?
We strive to provide significant value with each subscription. While we do improve our clients’ financial situations, most of them say that the greatest value we provide is the peace of mind in knowing they are on the right track and are not alone in this journey.
How do you work with people in other states and countries?
Modern technology has made it possible to work with clients in other states and even other countries. In fact, our Acadia Financial Services team itself is spread out in different states and time zones. For client and team meetings, we use Zoom, which is a video conferencing program. While technology is great for communicating, it can also present security concerns. We have processes in place to mitigate these, such as not emailing personal identifiable information and using 2-factor authentication.
What if I need help but I’m not ready for a full plan?
Just because you are not at a point in life where you need a comprehensive financial plan doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from some expert financial advice. For this type of client, we offer the Tier I - Advising Level of service. Through a reasonable monthly subscription, you’ll have access to a rich array of services. Please see the Services and Fees page.
What if I want to discontinue services?
We understand that people’s needs and lives change. If you ever feel that our services are no longer a good fit for you, you have the option of discontinuing service. Simply notify us in writing and we will cancel your monthly billing. There are no back-end fees, no surrender charges, no cancellation fees, and no hard feelings.
Do I have to be a Christian to work with Acadia Financial Services?
No, you do not have to be a Christian to work with Acadia Financial Services. We work with people from all faiths and walks of life. Just realize that we view finances from a Biblical perspective and our advice will align with Biblical principles, as discussed in the next question.
How does being a Christian affect your financial advice?
We view finances through a Biblical lens and our advice aligns with Biblical principles. However, it is important to note that most of the world’s commonly accepted financial principles also align with Biblical principles. Examples would include spending less than you earn, minimizing debt, providing for your family, and helping others. Because of our extensive training, we are able to help you understand what the Bible says about difficult financial topics and how to apply them in your unique situation.
What is the benefit of working with a Christian financial planner?
There are great benefits to working with a financial planner who shares your Christian worldview. We understand your values and can help you understand how to apply the Bible to your financial life. Our financial planner is highly trained, having completed the Kingdom Advisors’ 20-hour comprehensive training on integrating faith and finances.
We do not believe that you should work with a specific financial planner just because he or she is a Christian; however, you should make sure that the financial planner you choose to work with is a highly trained expert in all areas of personal finances.