At Waller Financial Coaching, we help people identify and reach long-term financial goals (financial independence being one of the most common). We enjoy working with people who are actively working towards accomplishing goals in other areas of their lives, as well as their financial goals. Whether those goals include acquiring a new skill, improving athletic fitness or sharing something they are interested in with others, I believe there is more to life than money, and I enjoy working with people that share this philosophy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Planning is a process to help clients identify and reach long-term financial goals.

There are many dynamics that go into developing a relationship with a financial planner. Many of the most pressing aspects are addressed in these helpful guides:

Consumer Guide to Financial Planning
from the CFP Board of Standards
Download a copy

Pursuit of a Financial Advisor Field Guide
from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Download a copy

I believe that a client is best served by a knowledgeable and trusted advisor working directly for them with minimal conflicting interests.

I charge my clients a fee for my advice and am compensated in no other way. I do not sell products or receive commission for anything so my clients know they are receiving objective advice based on what is best for them.

In order for you to reach your goals in the most efficient and effective way possible, objective advice is critically important. There is a lot of information and many different strategies available to people these days. Understanding what is relevant for you can be an arduous task to undertake without guidance. The right guidance can make all the difference.

This is a great resource that can help understand fee-only planning.

Pursuit of a Financial Advisor Field Guide
from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Download a copy

Financial Coaching is a better description of how I work with my clients than financial planning. I am a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practioner and financial planning is at the heart of what I do. Because of the certification, I have to use the title “financial planning”.

Often, financial planning can turn into a one-way communication where planners tell their clients what to do. I have never really liked that approach and would prefer to have proactive conversations with clients about how to improve their overall situation including their benefits from their employers as well as helping reach other life goals like buying a vacation home etc. This has always seemed like more of a coaching relationship.

A coach cannot succeed without their team and a team will rarely succeed without a good coach. It is important to me that I am working with my clients to help them reach their goals.

For clients who are looking for help with investment management, you can learn more about our investment management approach here.

Generally, I have found this question is asked in one of 3 types of situations:

  1. Clients are already working with an investment manager they know and trust. They do not want to leave their current investment manager, but know they need more strategic and comprehensive financial planning advice.
  2. Clients are interested in managing their investments themselves, but may want a second opinion or some suggestions. Investment management might be a burgeoning hobby, a personal interest for them or they might have been doing it themselves for years.
  3. Clients do not have someone they trust to help them manage investments, do not want to manage investments themselves and want someone else to do it.

When a client is working with someone they trust, there is not necessarily a reason to change. I can provide a second opinion if needed and can act as an objective 3rd party to help make improvements to your investment experience over time.

For clients who are interested in managing their own investments, I act as an educator and sounding board. I help these clients understand the difference between strategic investing and legalized gambling.

When clients do not have someone else they trust and don’t want to do it themselves, I have an investment management infrastructure that clients can utilize. This allows them to feel comfortable knowing their investments are professionally and independently managed without having to do all the work themselves. This is a service I provide to clients as needed and separate fees are charged for investment management. Those fees are charged as a percentage of assets under management. You can learn more about our investment management philosophy here.

No. As a fee-only planner, my goal is to help you get to where you want to be financially. This journey often starts when you don’t have a bunch of money.
No. I have found that it might be functionally better for clients to utilize different investment infrastructures when they are starting out, but I do not have a minimum. If a financial planning client wants my help with investment management, I will help them manage their investments.
No. As a fee-only planner, I do not have to manage investments to keep my lights on. I charge a separate fee for my time, knowledge and expertise.
Unfortunately, this is a remnant of an industry that has been built on investment management. Through comprehensive financial planning, many areas of your finances are related to investment management, but it is only about 1/6th of the work I do for clients.

In my opinion, if you are focusing on the things you can control, you are going to get a better financial result. Some suggestions of things you can control are:

  • saving the right amount of money for your goals
  • using the right types of accounts for your goals
  • minimizing your current and future taxes
  • not wasting money unnecessarily
  • being prepared for the things that happen that could take you off track of reaching your goals

appropriately protecting yourself and your loved ones’ interests
Investing in good advice is the best investment anyone can make.

Our Team


JUSTIN WALLER

FOUNDER, CFP™


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JACKIE BERNDT

CLIENT SERVICES


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