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Should you choose DV Financial for your needs?

CFP

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., which is the certifying authority for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals and the CFP® designation, offers a great article about How to Choose a Financial Advisor. As a long time CFP® certificant who wholeheartedly supports the value of transparency, we want to provide a simple tool for you to use when evaluating DV Financial and myself, Art Dinkin, CFP®, as your potential planner. The article specifically offers ten key questions you should ask. Here are the questions and my answers.

  1. What experience do you have? I started in the financial services industry with a fresh new license on January 1, 1990 and have been continuously professionally active ever since. My initial career goal was management oriented so after two years of working directly with clients I was promoted into positions where I supervised and trained financial advisors before being advanced to the Home Office of an insurance company where I served as a corporate consultant and trainer for advanced planning issues. In early 2000, my career goals changed when I decided that I missed the direct relationships with clients so I resigned from my management role and focused on building long term relationships with clients. In 2009, believing that independence was the best way to align my practice with clients goals, I opened DV Financial. Today, DV Financial is not only an Independent financial planning firm, but I also serve as the OSJ (office of supervisory jurisdiction) for branches in Central Iowa and Dallas, TX which is a great mix of my management and client experience. You can review my entire Curriculum Vitae.
  2. What are your qualifications?
    1. Professional Designations
      • CFP® – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation, September 2002
      • ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant, October 1999
      • CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter, October 1994
      • LUTCF – Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow, September 1992
    2. Securities Registrations
      • Series 6 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative
      • Series 7 – General Securities Representative
      • Series 24 – General Securities Principal
      • Series 26 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Principal
      • Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law
    3. Insurance Licenses
      • Variable Life/Variable Annuities
      • Life
      • Accident & Health
      • Property
      • Casualty
  1. What financial planning services do you offer? We offer full service financial planning including retirement income planning, estate planning, and education planning. As detailed above, I am fully licensed and credentialed for all aspects of financial planning including investment advice and management as well as insurance analysis and procurement. Our secure web based client portal not only provides up to date  information on accounts we manage but has the ability to link your external accounts, giving you a complete overview of your finances. Our financial planning tools share the same data so our models are continuously updated providing updated reporting on demand.
  2. What is your approach to financial planning? In order for any financial plan to be effective, it is critical that it is YOUR plan. Computer algorithms are great tools to perform calculations, but it takes a skilled and experienced planner to listen to you and model your plan to reflect your goals, desires, dreams as well as your appetite for risk and tolerance for loss. The process is very conversational and interactive. Our expertise converts your conversation and financial data into a dynamic plan. Once modeled, we continually monitor and adjust as necessary. The approach is reflected in DV Financial’s Mission Statement.
  3. What types of clients do you typically work with? We work with individuals and businesses. Individuals often seek financial planning, investment management, and/or insurance services. For businesses we offer retirement plans, exit and succession planning, executive compensation programs, as well as insurance services. We do not have specific minimums in terms of assets or target demographics. Our philosophy is that our “ideal client” is one who can benefit from our services and is cooperative in the process. Of course we love to meet with clients in-person, but we also have the technology in place to work with clients wherever they may be, as long as we are properly licensed in their jurisdiction.
  4. Will you be the only financial planner working with me? Yes, I am your direct point of contact but this is not a one-man operation. I have a support team which includes an assistant as well as a client relationship manager, neither of whom are registered advisors. This one advisor supported by a team approach maximizes your accessibility to being able to speak with someone right away, even if I am not immediately available.
  5. How will I pay for your financial planning services? We have the flexibility to perform services in a variety of ways so that each client’s experience is customized to match their needs. Typical arrangements include fees for assets under management, commissions for transactions, fixed fee for service, or hourly work depending on the scope of service. During our initial meeting, we want to get to know you and quantify the services you seek. We also want you to become familiar with us so you can determine if you want us to work for you. By the end of the first meeting, we will let you know exactly what services we would perform for you and how you would pay for those services. Of course there is no charge for the initial meeting. We also provide several value added services for clients without charge including access to our web based client portal, notary public services, and document shredding and destruction services.
  6. How much do you typically charge? Many of our clients have us manage their investments for a fee which is typically 1.00% per year or less (depending on the assets under management). In such a relationship, the fee covers not only their investment management but also includes our financial planning services. When clients have needs that are better served transitionally, we accept commissions for those transactions. Occasionally we are engaged to do fee-for-service functions such as an independent review of an investment portfolio, financial plans without managing assets, or business planning and consulting services where we mutually agree to not provide any products. In such arrangements, the fee is generally reflective of complexity and time involved. For example, a typical financial plan would start at $1500. Our preference is to agree to a fixed fee prior to engaging in a project. However, if engaged on an hourly basis, the hourly rate is $250 for professional activity and $50 for administrative activity.
  7. Do others stand to gain from the financial advice you give me? When we provide discretionary investment management services as an Investment Advisor Representative, the Registered Investment Advisor firm typically charges a small program fee. Generally, TD Ameritrade Institutional is the custodian of these accounts. Some transactions may generate a commission for TD Ameritrade Institutional. When we provide transactional investments or insurance products, we generally receive an industry standard commission for those transactions. If we refer insurance services to an external agent, that agent may share some of their earned commissions with us as I am also a licensed insurance agent.
  8. Have you ever been publicly disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your career? I have never been the subject of any disciplinary action. You can verify my status with FINRA’s Broker Check, my Investment Advisor Representative Summary with the SEC, look up my standing with the Iowa Insurance Division, and verify my certification status and disciplinary history with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

If you feel that my firm and services would be a good fit for you, or you have any questions at all, we would love to hear from you. You can email or call 515-255-3354.