Fee-Only Financial Planning & Wealth Management

Financial Planning

Financial planning is the roadmap to a secure and fulfilling life, as you define it. Comprehensive planning, not just for investment portfolios, but for everything from taxes to estate to risk managment to college funding to generating the retirement income you’ll need. If it touches upon finance, it's incorporated it into planning.


Successful investing starts focusing on the things we can control: diversification, fees, taxes, and our own discipline.  By remaining steadfastly focused on this principle, odds are greatly improved that you will reach your goals.  Without such structure, desired outcomes are largely left to chance.

Estate Planning

Proper estate planning helps to ensure that wishes are carried out in an efficient and effective manner.  This often goes hand-in-hand with charitable giving and lifetime giving.

Tax Planning

Taxes should be projected not only for this year but well into the future in look for tax planning opportunities.  Portfolio strategy should be developed to improve after-tax results.  Your comprehensive fee-only advisor should review your tax return each year BEFORE it's filed to look for errors and opportunities.

The Process


Client relationships begin with defining your goals and expectations, and gathering together all your financial information.  This comprehensive and thorough approach allows for better coordination of the entirety of your financial situation.


Having thoroughly analyzed your situation, goals, timeframe, risk tolerance, and other factors, straightforward observations and recommendations are developed and communicated.


We decide who will implement each of the various identified and agreed upon action items.  Responsibilities delegated to the Advisor are implemented according to client direction.


Implemented strategy must be actively monitored for progress, opportunities, and new circumstances.  Course corrections are often necessary and, if your goals change, adjusted for a new destination.  The job isn’t complete until your goals are reality.


  • What is an independent financial advisor?

    Independent Registered Investment Advisers are professional independent advisory firms that provide personalized financial advice to their clients, many of whom have complex financial needs.  Because these advisors are independent, they are not tied to any particular family of funds or investment products.  As fiduciaries, they are held to the highest standard of care—and are required to act in the best interests of their clients at all times.  They are registered with either the Securities and Exchange Commission or state securities regulators.

  • What does being a Fiduciary mean?

    A fiduciary is a professional entrusted to help manage client wealth while putting the client’s best interests first at all times.  Financial advisors who follow a fiduciary standard must disclose any conflict, or potential conflict, to their clients prior to and throughout the advisory engagement.  Fiduciaries will also adopt a code of ethics and will fully disclose how they are compensated.

    To be a 'true' fiduciary, one must first step into the shoes of those receiving the fiduciary's advice and guidance.  One can only do that with full knowledge of the client's entire financial situation.  Without that knowledge, it is simply not possible to provide the best advice.  Period.

  • What separates us from other financial advisors?

    A combination of being fee-only, independent, and comprehensive sets us apart.  As a independent Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor, we provide the best advice for each client’s specific situation and needs without concerning ourselves with the agenda of a parent company.  Our services range from financial planning to investment management to risk management to tax planning and estate planning.  After taking all unique financial aspects and goals into account, recommendations are made to the client.

  • What is a CFP®?

    Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) is a formal recognition of expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement.  Owned and awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., the designation is awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board's initial exams, then continue ongoing annual education programs to sustain their skills and certification.

  • What is a CPA?

    A CPA is different than an accountant.  In fact, anyone who does any type of accounting function – even someone without a degree – can call themselves an accountant.

    A certified public accountant (CPA), however, is someone who has earned a professional designation through a combination of education, experience and licensing.

    In addition to completing a program of study in accounting, and acquiring professional work experience in public accounting, a CPA candidate also must sit for and pass the Uniform CPA Examination.

    The exam itself is developed and graded by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).  Licensing, however, is done by state, district and county Boards of Accountancy.

  • Where is my money kept?

    In our advisory role, we never take custody of client assets.  We utilize Schwab Institutional, a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., as the custodian of client accounts and as our primary broker.  Our relationship with Schwab is an arm’s length transaction with no exchange of funds between Schwab and Commencement Financial Planning LLC.  When your account is established with Schwab, you provide Commencement Financial Planning LLC with limited trading authorization on your account.  This authority allows us to process trades directly in client accounts, but not without prior written client approval.

Get in Touch

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