Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of questions from an article in "Real Simple" magazine called “Questions to Ask Your…” in which they gave a concise list of questions they advised asking of a dozen different professions. The top most frequently asked questions of Financial Planners were:
How long have you been a financial planner?
Our office is in its 35th year of business! Lynn Appelman received his life insurance license in 1983 and started his business by selling life insurance and annuities. He received his first securities license in 1984. Lynn is a Certified Financial Planner™, Chartered Financial Consultant®, and an Investment Advisor Representative. Lynn’s daughter, Alissa Conklin, has been working at Appelman Financial since 1999. She is currently a Chartered Financial Consultant®, Registered ParaplannerSM, Registered Tax Return Preparer, and an Investment Advisor Representative.
How many clients do you have?
We currently have over 500 clients that we service through our office. We are always growing and evolving, and we are pleased to announce that we are still accepting new clients.
What experience do you have in the specific area where I need help?
Lynn and Alissa have numerous financial designations. Feeling it is important to help their customers in whatever financial arena necessary, they are also licensed to prepare client income taxes, and until recently Alissa was a licensed home mortgage broker. We think you will find our services are quite comprehensive. We have extensive experience and can provide various financial products for you.
How do you get paid? On a fee basis or by commission?
We are paid either by fee or commission, but predominantly our business is on a fee basis. We have a decreasing fee schedule based on the amount of assets under management.
Are you affiliated with a bank or mutual fund? Will you be pushing the company’s products?
We are an independent financial firm not related to a specific bank or mutual fund company. We pride ourselves on offering big city capability with a small town personality as we are not a chain or franchise. A high volume of our clients’ investments are through the nationally recognized TD Ameritrade platform. We are associated with Trustmont Financial Group, Inc. and Trustmont Advisory Group, Inc. They have no proprietary products; therefore, we are able to search for and provide a wide range of products to help meet our clients' financial needs. Plus, as representatives under a Registered Investment Advisory firm, we are bound to put our clients' interests first and do only what is best for them and their particular financial situation.
Do you get paid for referrals (to lawyers, accountants, etc.)?
We do not get paid for any type of service referrals. However, we do have a working relationship with many local attorneys and CPAs in order to piece together all aspects of our clients’ financial fabric. We have also created a connection with the local Area Agency on Aging office in order to assist our clients on other senior issues as well.
Will we meet just once or will we have an ongoing consultation?
Our initial meeting is typically an introduction and a bit of a fact finding mission to understand an individual’s financial holdings and preferences. Our second meeting is often a time to share our financial proposal and possibly fill out the necessary paperwork. At that point, we typically ask our clients on what type of time table they wish to review their portfolios with us. Most wish to meet with us for an annual review, but a few like to monitor their accounts quarterly or semi-annually. We strongly urge that our clients meet with us at least once a year - we think of it similarly to a yearly physical or an annual inspection for your vehicle. And our clients know we are always on hand to answer any questions or take care of any changes or additional needs that might arise.
Do you work by phone or only in person?
The bulk of our office dealings are done in person at scheduled appointment times. We can certainly also accommodate telephone conferences if needed. For example, we do have many clients who go south for the winter or who have children acting with Powers of Attorney who may not be local. We are typically open from 9:30-5 on weekdays, but we can schedule evening appointments as needed in order to best accommodate our clients.
Will I meet with you personally or with one of your colleagues?
All of the clients at Appelman Financial are assigned to either Lynn or Alissa so you will have your own personal Financial Advisor. However, in the event that you need answers right away or one of our advisors is temporarily unavailable, the other can certainly assist you.
(If you want to see the full article, it was in the June 2007 issue on pages 205-212!)