Frequently Asked Questions
WHO DO YOU WORK WITH?
Most often, we work with people who are starting to realize that their financial lives are getting more complicated and feel it's time to get assistance from an unbiased professional.
What does that look like?
- Professionals with income approaching or in six-figure territory
- Individuals who are educated/accomplished in their fields, but never considered themselves savvy with personal finance or managing their investments
- Young families who want to balance future plans for retirement and education funding with all the demands of today
- Newlyweds or couples who are working on shared financial goals while figuring out how to combine or retain separate finances
- People with complicated work/life trajectories (professors taking sabbaticals, business owners, creative entrepreneurs, etc.)
Some are looking to build a long-term relationship with a trusted financial planner and others are looking to work together for a few years until they feel more confident managing their financial lives on their own. Our services are designed to provide value to both groups.
For one-time financial plans, the demographic range is a bit wider and includes pre-retirees who want to get a sanity check and logistical guidance on their upcoming plans for retirement as well as younger people who want guidance from a professional to review, optimize, and make sure they are doing everything "right" to start building wealth.
Not sure if we're a match? Use the form on my Contact page to send us a note. If our services aren't a good fit for you, we're always happy to point you in the direction of helpful resources or other professionals who may be able to serve you best.
DO I NEED TO HAVE A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF INVESTABLE ASSETS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH YOU?
No, we don't require a specific amount of investable assets or level of wealth for us to work together.
Some financial planners get paid based on a percentage of the investments they manage for you. That means they often set a minimum investment balance to ensure that it's worth their while to engage a client. The unintended side effect of this practice is that it makes financial planning inaccessible to the people who often have the most to gain from financial planning.
A lot of us don't reach those 'asset minimums' until much later, after we've already made some of the biggest financial decisions of our lives. Imagine the difference it could make-- getting access to financial expertise from someone we trust before those big decisions are made. It could change the trajectory of your financial future for the better.
That's why Planning in Motion is firmly committed to a fee structure that allows you pay for financial planning like you would pay for any other service and does not require a minimum level of investable assets to engage our services.
HOW DO YOU GET PAID?
Planning in Motion is a fee-only firm, which means we are solely compensated by the work we do and the advice we provide to clients like you. We do not get paid to sell or recommend any products or make referrals to other providers.
It should also be noted that our fees are never drafted from your investment accounts. Instead, you'll receive an invoice that can be paid online (or the old-fashioned way, by check if you prefer), just like any other bill. You'll always know exactly how much you're being charged for your investment advisory and financial planning services.
As a fiduciary, Krista is legally obligated to put your interests first. In practice, this means that if a mutual fund or insurance policy is recommended to you, you know she's made the recommendation because she believes it serves your interests best, not because she's receiving a commission from it.
WHAT IS YOUR INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY?
We believe that no one can consistently outsmart the market over the long-term and research continuously reiterates the low predictive power of experts in stock market forecasting and timing.
With this in mind, we construct portfolios that embody a diversified, passive investment strategy and utilize low-cost funds and ETFs. Our evaluation includes consideration for factors like fund costs (i.e., fees), number of holdings, asset classes, fund construction, industry exposure, tax-efficiency, minimization of trading costs, among others. From time to time if requested by the client, we may apply an additional lens (like Socially Responsible Investing) as portfolios are designed.
Our goal is to provide you with objective investment advice, selecting investments that will maximize your expected return with a measured amount of risk. In the evaluation of your portfolio, we take multiple factors into consideration including: your risk tolerance/capacity, investment horizon, investment costs, tax implications, required minimum distributions or other withdrawals, and other factors specific to your unique situation.
If investment lingo is not your forte, don't worry-- we believe in talking about investments in an accessible way so you'll never have to worry about feeling intimidated by jargon.
While we do not currently manage your investments directly, we do walk by your side-- providing direct step-by-step guidance on account types, investments, rollovers, rebalancing, tax considerations, etc. There are a few benefits to this arrangement-- it means you'll won't feel pressured to transfer management of all of your investments to us and we won't encourage an unnecessary rollover from your 401(k) or 403(b) unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
This means we can help you understand the right investment avenues for you-- whether it's your employer retirement plan, a robo-advisor, or a traditional brokerage account. We want to educate, empower, and assist you in implementing investment recommendations that make sense for you.
I DON'T LIVE NEAR ATLANTA. CAN I STILL WORK WITH PLANNING IN MOTION?
Yes! Planning in Motion operates as a location-independent virtual financial planning firm. That means we can offer flexibility in how and where our work takes place. Virtual meetings, calls, and screen sharing make it easy for us to work together, even if you're not in the Atlanta area.
Would you like to schedule an introductory meeting?
TELL ME MORE ABOUT KRISTA'S BACKGROUND IN FINANCIAL PLANNING.
In 2013, Krista began her career in the personal financial industry at a boutique tax firm, known for tax planning and preparation for high net worth individuals, trusts, and estates. That's where she began to see huge differences among even the firm's most wealthy clients-- there were clients who were disorganized, always scrambling and anxious about their situations. But there was a second group who were the opposite. They were calm and proactive-- they had a plan, made fewer mistakes, and seemed confident in their financial decisions. She had found her purpose and knew it was to help others cultivate that same sense of clarity and peace in their financial lives.
To build momentum, Krista returned to school to study financial planning through the CFP® program at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA, completing coursework and passing the notoriously difficult CFP® exam in 2015. Though anyone can call themselves a financial planner, the Certified Financial Planner™ mark is the highest professional standard available.
The (CFP®) is granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., and is assurance that the certificate holder has completed the comprehensive course of study at a university with graduate level curriculum approved by the CFP® Board. Certification also requires qualified work experience and passing a notoriously difficult exam covering areas of financial planning process, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, investment management, and insurance planning, and ethical practice standards.
For several years, Krista had been working informally alongside her mentor and was invited to join her fee-only financial planning firm serving the Atlanta area after completing the rigorous requirements for CFP® certification.
As a financial planner, Krista worked one-on-one with clients across all age-ranges (mid-20's to mid-80's) to develop and deliver comprehensive financial plans that addressed needs specific to clients in the accumulation, pre-retirement, and retirement phases.
In 2017, she departed to establish Planning in Motion, LLC.
Krista maintains active membership in several professional organizations including the National Association of Personal Financial Planners (NAPFA) and the XY Planning Network. She is also a graduate of the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. Her media contributions include quotes in The New York Times, NerdWallet, The Miami Herald, CNBC, among others.
WHY FINANCIAL PLANNING?
Financial planning helps you align your money with what you want for your life.
Let's be honest. No one really knows how our lives will take shape over the next 30+ years. But financial planning provides the tools to make a guess and start taking steps to achieve the future you have in mind. If a course-correction is needed later, that's great (in fact, we'll assume that course corrections will be par for the course). In the meantime, you'll have better clarity on where you are and what it will take to make progress toward the future you want as it becomes more apparent.
The following perspective offered by NY Times columnist Carl Richards drives to the heart of why financial planning matters for the types of clients we generally serve.
“You don’t hire a financial adviser because you’re not smart enough to do this yourself,” says Richards. “You hire one because they’re not you.” Richards says it’s difficult to be unemotional about your own money-- that’s the real purpose of having an advisor. We believe it can be eye-opening to view your finances through the unbiased evaluation of a financial planner. Otherwise, it's often difficult to see the forest for the trees.
If you'd like another outside perspective, read "10 Reasons Why Financial Plans Aren't Just for the 1%."