1. What are some of the concerns that you help people to solve?
Individuals & Families:
• Will I have enough at retirement?
• Am I saving enough?
• How do I make sure I do not run out of money?
• What are the best options to plan for my child’s education?
• How do I manage money I just received as an inheritance?
• How do we separate assets in a divorce?
• Am I (and my family) protected from the bumps in the road?
• Am I paying too much in taxes?
• Do I know how much I am earning versus what I am spending?
• Do I have an adequate plan?
• Is cash flow an ongoing issue?
• Am I paying too much in business taxes?
• How do I keep and retain my key employees?
• Do I have an exit plan in the case of my death, disability or retirement?
• How do I transfer my business wealth into personal wealth?
• Is the risk I am taking in my portfolio keeping me up at night?
• Am I not taking enough risk?
• Is it time to adjust my risk level as I approach retirement?
• How can I still obtain adequate returns with principal preservation?
• How can I invest my money in a way that is aligned with my values?
2. What services do you/does your firm provide?
Click Here for our company brochure
3. What types of clients do you focus on?
I love diversity in my clients and I provide the most value to clients in times of change. These transitions might be business cycles, marriage, parenthood, death, retirement & divorce. These groups generally include:
Business – Entrepreneurs and business owners who are growing their business. They are always in business cycles and times of transition. They are facing challenges such as cash flow, taxes, and employee retention.
Families – Innovative professionals and families with an eye for time value of money and life planning for themselves and their families.
Retiree – People within 5-10 years of retirement or who recently retired with a need for income distribution planning
4. What is your investment approach?
Providing the client with an appropriate investment takes place only after we determine their purpose and intended result. In addition to the standard practices of risk modeling and client preference, we also need to fully understand what the investments need to do for you.
Different techniques apply to those wishing to grow their assets over time, take income immediately or in the near future, or have individual tax planning considerations that require a different investment style to meet those needs. We belong to an independent Broker/Dealer. We are not restricted or enticed to use “in-house” investment products. We freely trade on all the major exchanges. We do not do “boiler plate” investing.
Generally, our investment approach is diversification through:
• Investment Strategies: Strategic, Tactical, Alternative investment, Risk Management
• Asset Allocation: Different Sectors, Stocks, Bonds, Alternatives
• Taxes diversification: Ordinary income, capital gains and tax-free
5. Can I see a sample financial plan? Case studies?
Click Here to see our Case Studies
6. Will I be working only with you or with a team?
I will be the main contact as your financial planner.
Internally – We have 30 plus advisors. Depending on the complexity of your situation, I will introduce and bring in other professionals. We also have assistants and a Para-planner to help with the business and daily processes.
External – We also work with professionals outside our firm. This might include your accountant, attorney, P&C agent, mortgage broker and real estate agent.
We will assist and work with you as your financial team. A comforting fact for the client is that in our firm, we have a very low turnover rate of representatives. Many advisors have been in the business for over 10 years. You will not be assigned a new rep every few years. We are a firm based on developing long term relationships.
7. What licenses, credentials or other certifications do you have?
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ & Investment Advisor Representative, Series 65 – For Fee Only – Financial Planning & Investment Management.
Registered Representative – Series 7, 63, & Insurances licenses: For Insurance & Commission products (i.e. Insurances, Annuities, Alternative investments).
There is a lot of debate about Fee Only advisor vs. commission advisor. Through experience, I learned that the client’s situation, financial goals and objectives should determine the suitable investments. It should not be the licenses or products that determine engagement. Thus, as an independent financial planner/IAR and Registered Representative, we have the capacity to offer the suitable strategies based on the clients’ needs.
Member of MDRT: Less than 1% of the world’s life insurance and financial services professional qualify. Members must demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, and strict ethical conduct. Being a member of MDRT also means that we have worked and serviced many clients and gain valuable knowledge and experience from each client’s situation.
8. Why Choose a CFP®?
Most people think that all financial planners are “certified,” but this is not true. Anyone can call himself or herself as a “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of a CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks. When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification only allows those who meet the following requirements the right to use the CFP® certification marks. (Source: www.cfp.net)
9. What distinguishes CFP® Certification?
Education: Approved curriculum
Examination: Comprehensive 2-day exam
Experience: 3 years practical experience (or 2 years apprenticeship experience)
Ethics: High ethics and practice standards enforced by CFP® Board
10. What makes your client experience unique? Why should I hire you?
My team and I created a business model and client experience that is 1) Process Driven and 2) based on a Customized Goal Based Financial Plan. We believe everyone has a financial plan, either by design or by default. We believe that process drives repeatable results. Hence, we have a unique financial and business planning process, investment and risk management process, insurance process, and retirement income planning process.
At the same time, we want to know about you, your business, your family, your goals and dreams because our business is to create a long term relationship. Every business and family is different and will have its uniqueness, hence we believe in a customized yet flexible financial plan. The person is the plan. I also believe in a mutual relationship where trust, values, personality, and strategies need to align and is a fit for each party.
11. What is a broker dealer? Who is Ameritas Investment Corporation (AIC)?
Our broker/dealer is Ameritas Investment Corporation (AIC). Every registered investment professional is required to affiliate with a broker/dealer in order to buy and sell investment and insurance products on behalf of investor clients. The Broker/Dealer oversees the suitability, compliance, recommendations of the advisors. To learn more about Ameritas Investment Corporation, please visit the website at www.ameritas.com.
12. What is your fiduciary responsibility?
Fiduciary responsibilities can vary between investment firms and representatives based on requirements, certifications and licensing. As an IAR (investment advisory representative) providing fee based investment management and financial planning, our Broker Dealer Ameritas Investment Corporation has the following summary in our procedures manual that must be adhered to at all times: “AIC and its IARs must act in the best interests of its clients and fully disclose all material facts, especially where conflicts of interest arise. A high standard of ethical conduct will be applied when evaluating activities of the IARs for client transactions,” and as a CFP®, I must adhere to their practice standards at www.cfp.net.
In summary, I am required to always put the clients’ best outcome and interests ahead of mine.
13. What is the difference between comprehensive & limited Scope planning?
Financial planning encompasses many moving parts and is different for diverse stages in life.
Limited Scope clients are generally in their accumulation phase. They are budding entrepreneurs, families raising kids, newlyweds or people in career & life transition. They need a better understanding on how their short-term financial decisions will impact their bigger financial picture.
We work together to find the right balance between future goals and current spending needs. We focus on arriving at a concise process to gain financial clarity, organization and strategies for implementation.
Comprehensive Planning is geared more towards clients in the retirement or distribution phase of their life. Sustainability of resources and longevity is our biggest concern; you simply don’t want to outlive your money. Distribution planning requires an in depth strategic plan incorporating such issues as: social security, cash flow, sustainable withdrawal rates including required minimum distributions, estate planning, and long term care.
Investment management can be incorporated at any stage. It includes: the strategic placing of funds and determining proper investment vehicles based on your goals, time horizon & priorities.
We look to balance safety, liquidity and level of return.
14. What is the time frame? How much contact do you have with your clients?
It differs depending on which service is selected:
• Limited Scope Planning can between 2-3 months, flowing with a 90-day review.
• Comprehensive Planning can take anywhere from 3 months to a year, depending on circumstances and complexity. The more priority and time they allocate for the planning process, the easier and quicker a plan can be put into place.
• Investment Management requires several initial meetings and there is an ongoing relationship. At a minimum, annual reviews are held every year.
• Reviews are scheduled quarterly, semi-annually or annually, depending on the circumstances and complexity of your plan.
15. How do you charge for your services, and how much? What is your minimum investable asset?
Comprehensive Planning $1,500-$10,000, depending on complexity (one time in year one)
Limited Scope Planning $950 (one module / one time)
Follow-Up Sessions or Hourly Rate $125/hour
Ongoing Investment Management Generally, I only accept new clients with at least $250,000 in assets under management. Based on that figure, my minimum annual fee is $2,500.
Any Investments that pay a commission (insurance, annuities for example) are fee exempt. Reviews meetings, and updates are included.
Financial Planning update fees – Year 2 and beyond:
• For investment clients: I normally waive plan update fees. If any major changes take place that require large modifications to the plan, then an hourly fee will apply. The rate is currently set at $125.00 per hour not to exceed 50% of the original plan fee.
• For non-investment clients: No plan update fees are waived. Plan updates are billed at $125.00 per hour up to the current planning cost effective at the time of the update. The same fee applies to meetings.
16. Where are the meetings held and how long do they last?
Mondays & Fridays: meetings are held at our office or on-site at your location in the San Ramon during normal business hours. We are located at 3150 Crow Canyon Place in San Ramon. Our normal business hours are 8:30 am-5pm.
Tuesdays-Thursday: meetings can be held at your office or home in the greater Bay Area, or over the phone during our normal business hours.
You can expect each meeting to be between 1 and 1-½ hours.
17. Who is David White & Associates (DWA)?
David White & Associates (DWA) has been providing Financial Planning advice throughout the greater Bay Area since 1971. We are one of the largest independently owned financial planning firms in the Bay Area, focusing in individual and business planning.
We have over $500 million in assets under management and over 20,000 clients. David W. White, Christopher D. White, and S. Patrick Kelley are the principal owners of David White and Associates.
DWA has now grown to 30 advisors and 15 staff. We have a number of professionals in the company who deal exclusively with Retirement Planning, Investment Management, Risk Management & Insurance, Long Term Care, Health Insurance, Employee Benefits, Distribution Planning, and/or Estate Planning.
One of the best values we bring our clients is that we are a network of seasoned advisors. We offer a diversity of knowledge and experience and uphold a team approach to our work. My clients are given free access to this remarkable web or resources and knowledge. Please visit our website at www.dwassociates.com to learn more.
18. Who is Samson Chan?
As a business owner, financial professional and a father of two (2), Samson Chan understands the financial and emotional opportunities, the concerns of a small business owner and a family. His biggest passion in the financial industry is the opportunity to meet and learn from his clients.
Through these client experiences, he has learned about issues with both starting and selling a business, starting a family, a loved one passing prematurely, as well as the financial challenges associated with each of these experiences. Samson believes that these life experiences have made him a better person, family man, and financial planner. His passion is to use these skills to help others build and preserve wealth. He thrives on the opportunities to learn and to grow with his clients.
Samson graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a major in Economics and a minor in Business Administration. Since graduation in 1998, he has been in the financial services industry working with families and small business. He obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2011.
Samson and Erica lives in San Ramon with their two boys, Skyler and Kingsley.
19. How do I get started?
Please call to set up an initial 30-minute conversation to evaluate if we are a good fit. Once determined, specific steps will be provided on how to start your financial planning process of choice.