As financial advisors, we get asked a lot of challenging questions: “How do I make sure I’ll have enough money for retirement?” “What’s a good strategy for lowering my tax burden?” “What’s the best way to pass my business on to my children?” “How aggressively should I invest?” “What if the markets have a downturn?”

But perhaps the most challenging question is: “What am I getting in return for your fees?”

It’s a good one.

Financial advice is everywhere. You can get it on the internet. From television. In magazines and newspapers. From friends and family. And, of course, from advisors.

But, if you choose to get your financial advice from a firm such as Modera, you will typically pay a percentage of your Assets Under Management (AUM). And you may want to know – is it worth it?

At Modera, we are committed to complete transparency in every aspect of our business. So we’re very happy to answer questions about the value of our relationship.

Here are a few.

Why should I pay Modera for financial advice, when I can get it elsewhere for less?

When you come to Modera for advisory services you get a legal commitment from us to act in your best interest. Our firm and all of our advisors are held to this fiduciary standard. We are neither a brokerage firm nor do we collect commissions or accept fees from third parties.

What this can mean is, if you’re getting financial advice from a company or advisor that works on commission, you may be paying high costs, and only receiving a limited amount of guidance at a very high level. In addition, you may be steered to make decisions that benefit the advisor, rather than you.

That’s a key differentiator for Modera clients. Our advice is objective, encompassing and in great depth, with transparency into any fees you pay. We aim to address all the topics that affect your financial life, and provide thorough and complete recommendations.

Included in the fee you pay to Modera are consultations with the other financial professionals who support you. For example, we can strategize with your tax advisor after reviewing your tax return to see how we can create a more efficient tax plan. We can join an estate planning meeting to help facilitate the conversation around how you want to leave a legacy to your heirs. We can provide further education on your attorney or accountant’s recommendations so that you don’t have to pay hourly fees for clarification. But keep in mind; these are just a few of the ways we can serve your needs.

Why do you recommend a long-term relationship rather than a one-time interaction?

Your financial life is exactly that – a life. And over your lifetime many things usually change: your career, your family, your health, and your needs. You can think of Modera as your “accountability partner,” at your side at the various stages of your life. Priorities in one’s 30s and 40s will be different than those in one’s 50s and 60s, which will be different than those in one’s 70s and beyond.

We’ve found that establishing long-term relationships with our clients and their families not only builds trust, but also enables us to help you adapt to and address the many stages of your life and the issues that arise.

What types of clients generally collaborate with Modera?

Many of our clients, no matter their age, have a similar goal – to have a financially secure future. Some of the issues you may have could be uncertainty about whether to change careers or when to retire, navigating the cost of college for your children or grandchildren, analyzing the tax impact of your executive compensation package, managing your income, expenses, and savings, evaluating your Medicare and Social Security options, or even strategizing on how to leave a legacy to your heirs or a charity you wish to support.

In addition, many Modera advisors have planning expertise in certain specialty areas. Here are some examples:

  • Disabilities or other medical conditions

  • Business Owners

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ)

  • Educators

  • Divorcees and Widows/Widowers

  • Executives and Practice Partners

  • Foundations, Endowments, and Nonprofits

Can you quantify your value?

Your return on investment for Modera’s services can be measured not just in the interest you earn on your investment portfolio, but also in potential tax savings, interest savings, maximizing Social Security benefits, and many other ways. By hiring Modera advisors you are adding valuable members to your financial team. Our goal is to save you time, increase efficiency, and help to protect you from various financial risks in your overall plan.

While we hope this discussion gives you additional understanding of the value of our services, we also want you to know that we are available to offer you more detailed answers at any time. To learn more about how Modera can help enhance your entire financial life, please contact us.

Modera Wealth Management., LLC is an SEC registered investment adviser with places of business in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. SEC registration does not imply any level of skill or training. Modera may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements.

For additional information about Modera, including its registration status, fees and services and/or a copy of our Form ADV Disclosure Brochure, please contact us or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure web site (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov). A full description of the firm’s business operations and service offerings is contained in our Disclosure Brochure which appears as Part 2A of Form ADV. Please read the Disclosure Brochure carefully before you invest or send money.

This article is limited to the dissemination of general information about Modera’s investment advisory and financial planning services that is not suitable for everyone. Nothing herein should be interpreted or construed as investment advice nor as legal, tax or accounting advice nor as personalized financial planning, tax planning or wealth management advice. For legal, tax and accounting-related matters, we recommend you seek the advice of a qualified attorney or accountant. This article is not a substitute for personalized investment or financial planning from Modera. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass, and the information herein should not be considered a solicitation to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. The statements and opinions expressed in this article are subject to change without notice based on changes in the law and other conditions.

Investing in the markets involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors. Information herein is subject to change without notice and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security or to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. Individual client asset allocations and investment strategies differ based on varying degrees of diversification and other factors. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or guarantee against a loss.