How We Work

What is it like to work with Trinity?

On this page we will show you the kind of results our clients have realized from working together; we'll give you a sense of our philosophy and how we're different than most financial advisory firms.

 

When you work with us you can expect to receive advice that is uniquely yours.

 

We don’t use generic calculators that make unrealistic projections about ‘average’ people; nor do we have cookie-cutter portfolios that all clients fall into. We apply long standing, core financial principles to each individual client’s unique desires, personality, and needs, to come up with advice that is meaningful on an individual basis.

For our retired or nearly-retired clients . . . we place great emphasis on designing investment plans that balance the short term desire for stable cash flow with the long term needs for capital growth. We believe that cash is king in retirement, and the primary goal is to provide reliable short-term cash flow so that maintaining current lifestyle is never a question. At the same time, we realize that the single greatest risk that most people face in retirement is the erosive effect of inflation. So maintaining a long-term investment with strong growth characteristics is balanced cash flow needs to create a cohesive investment strategy.

Typical TFP clients . . . realize hard dollar tax savings as a result of our proactive approach to tax planning. We have saved clients tens of thousands of dollars by our proactive tax philosophy. Unlike a typical tax preparer who merely reports the information a client provides them, we help clients make decisions based on projected tax liabilities. By assessing anticipated taxes during the current tax year, we help clients analyze possible changes before the tax return is due.

 

In the past we have helped clients:

  • Avoid taxes when converting a $50,000 IRA to Roth, saving them $15,000 in taxes
  • Effectively move $10,000 in taxable savings into their retirement plans, reducing current year taxes by $2500
  • Use appreciated stock instead of cash to help pay both their children’s college loans, saving $3,000
  • Re-arrange their investment locations (not changing the investment – merely putting them in the appropriate tax deferred or taxable accounts) so that their investment plan was the same, but they will avoid tax on $15,000 of income, saving $2250 in taxes

Trinity Financial Planning's philosophy . . . is to offer a truly holistic approach to the financial planning process and our commitment to fee-only financial advice.

We provide integrated advice . . . overseeing your investments with an eye on tax planning, making sure your insurance matches your risk profile, coordinating your beneficiary designations with your estate plan, addressing real estate as a function of overall wealth management.

When you're looking for a financial advisor these days there are a lot to choose from...

If you like the idea of working with a fee-only advisor, required by law to act in a fiduciary capacity, putting your best interests first – and a firm that embraces the whole financial life as critical to long-term success, go to Our Services page to learn about the specific services and programs we offer.

Our pledge to you:

  • Holistic in outlook - We will consider all of your circumstances, family needs, goals, values, and aspirations when making recommendations.
  • Professional in conduct - We will protect your privacy. We will strive to maintain the highest ethical standards possible in our work and life. We will continually enhance our skills and credentials through continuing education, and we will refer you to other professionals when you need help in an area outside our expertise.
  • Educational in nature - We will guide you through your options and explain them clearly to help you make the best choices. We will always take the time to make sure you understand our advice.
  • Independent in compensation - We will never sell you a product or service other than holistic financial planning nor will we take a commission or a referral fee from another professional. You will receive objective, unbiased advice from us.
  • Committed to your success - Holistic financial planning is a process, not an event, and we commit to adjusting your plan as your life goals change.

 

FAQs

What does Trinity Financial Planning do?

We provide financial advice regarding taxes, investments, insurance, pensions, retirement, college education funding, estate planning and general financial matters. We also offer tax preparation and audit representation.

Does Trinity sell financial planning products, such as investments, insurance or tax shelters?

No. We are fee-only financial planning firm. If products are required to complete a financial plan, they are purchased by clients through outside sources. Trinity assists clients in purchasing investments and insurance in a manner that minimizes transaction costs, such as commissions. Many financial products can be purchased without paying any commissions.

What is Fee-Only Financial Planning?

There are three ways financial advisors get paid for their work: Commission-Only, Fee-Based, and Fee-Only.

 

  • Commission-only planners get paid solely by commissions generated when a client purchases or sells a product.
  • Fee-based planners get paid by a combination of commissions and fees.
  • Fee-only planners get paid solely by fees (no commissions accepted).

 

Trinity believes that there is a significant and inherent conflict of interest if an advisor stands to gain financially from the purchase of products the advisor has recommended to the client.

The financial success of a planning firm should not be based on the number of products a client purchases, but on the financial success of clients. This is why Trinity Financial Planning accepts no referral fees, commissions, or other reimbursements from the implementation of recommendations.

Being compensated by a predetermined client fee rather than commissions assures that the advice clients receive is unmitigated by the need for a planner to sell a product. The fee is often less than the sales load you would pay on just one mutual fund purchased through a commissioned broker. 

Why hire a financial advisor?

Individuals are increasingly in charge of their own financial futures. Most are aware that planning is critical, yet don't have the time or the expertise to develop a plan and make the needed financial decisions. While there is an abundance of financial information available in the internet and through the media, most people are not financial experts. Financial information is easily available, wisdom is not. 

At Trinity, we believe that good advisors can help clients on the two or three critical things they need to do each year to assure their financial independence.

Maybe you have consulted with a financial advisor in the past...

Perhaps you felt you were being asked to buy something you didn't fully understand.

Maybe you felt that products were recommended without consideration for your overall financial situation.

Comprehensive, fee-only financial planning eliminates these concerns. You receive objective advice targeted to your needs and goals. 

If you do not sell any investment products, why is Trinity Financial Planning a Registered Investment Advisor?

A Registered Investment Advisor is any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of advising others, either directly or through publications or writings, as to the value of securities or as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities, or who, for compensation and as part of a regular business, issues or promulgates analyses or reports concerning securities to others for compensation.

Any person or entity that holds itself out as a financial planner, and performs any of the duties described above, must be registered as a Registered Investment Advisor with their state or the Securities Exchange Commission.

Whom does Trinity Financial Planning serve?

We serve individuals and small business owners who desire to keep and utilize more of their income. 

Who can benefit from Trinity's services?

Anyone who has financial, tax, investment, or estate planning problems, or who wishes to plan prudently for his or her financial future can benefit. Furthermore, persons who desire a higher, more sophisticated level of financial planning services may find our program appealing and helpful.

How much money does someone need to benefit from Trinity's services? Are there minimum requirements to qualify as a client?

There is no minimum or maximum dollar requirement. We recognize that people of all means have financial planning needs and it is our goal to provide competent, unbiased financial advice to anyone who desires to improve their financial security.

What is a financial plan?

A financial plan is an in-depth review of your financial situation, taking into account your goals and objectives and focusing on income tax planning, asset management, estate planning, risk management, educational planning and retirement. The plan analyzes and recommends ways that you can achieve your financial goals and objectives.

How much does Trinity charge for holistic financial planning?

We work on a retainer basis with the financial planning fees determined by your income, assets and the complexity of the work.

Annual Holistic Financial Planning fees range from $3,500 to $35,000.  

Please request a copy of our current Form ADV, Part II for a detailed description of our retainer fees and services.

Is our fee tax deductible?

Yes. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. This deduction is now subject to a 2% floor of adjusted gross income. If the client has a business, a deduction may be able to be taken on Schedule C.

Does Trinity Financial Planning only provide complete programs?

No. Although a complete program is most likely beneficial, we also offer a one-time "Financial Tune-Up" option - please visit Financial Tune Up page for more information.  We also provide investment-only advice to certain clients where appropriate.  Again, please request a copy of our current Form ADV, Part II for a detailed description of our retainer fees and services

Do you offer tax services?

Yes. We believe income taxes are the central focal point of most financial programs. Therefore, we offer personal income tax preparation service. Income tax preparation can be included in our Holistic Financial Planning Retainer agreement. 

Do you provide legal services?

No. Trinity will assist clients in retaining attorneys qualified in the areas which the client needs legal assistance and advice.

What kind of returns can I expect on my investments with advice from Trinity?

We do not guarantee investment performance in any way. Past performance is certainly no guarantee of future results. In fact, we believe that there are several factors more important to your financial future than rate of return, such as how much you pay in taxes, how much you save, how much consumer debt you carry, and so on.

What you can expect to get is returns which are appropriate for the level of risk you take and consistent with your financial needs.

Are you a member of a professional financial planning organization? 

Yes, the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors