We listen before we advise
Welcome to Sterling Wealth Advisors
Choosing a financial advisor should be painless. To that end, we want to be transparent about our service and what to expect when working with us. Below we’ve answered common questions that come up when clients choose Sterling Wealth Advisors.
What’s your planning process?
We start with an initial, no-obligation meeting to learn about you, and for you to learn about us. This meeting helps us determine if we are the best fit for your needs. When you decide to partner with us, we provide our Welcome Letter and personalized invitation to the Sterling Wealth Portal. The Welcome Letter outlines in great detail our next steps, personalized service schedule, and timeline unique to your situation. The Sterling Wealth Portal is our customized online home. It serves as our primary tool for monitoring progress and houses important documents in a secure, online vault. For additional information regarding the scope of our planning services and the strategies we use to better your financial life, review What We Do and How We Do It documents, or visit our Services page.
How is my plan delivered?
Through a combination of in-person meetings and online resources, we identify your goals and develop strategies to achieve them. This is an interactive process – we provide the information and knowledge to empower you throughout your financial journey. To learn more about how we work with you throughout every part of your plan, watch this video below:
What do you charge?
There are two different ways we are paid for our services. The first is a financial planning fee, a flat fee that can range from $1,500 to $15,000 depending on the complexity of your financial situation. After your initial plan is complete, our annual financial planning fee is typically half of the first year rate. Our asset management fee is assessed as a percentage of your total assets under our care. The starting rate is 1.25 percent, which decreases at increased asset levels. For additional information about our services fees, view our Menu of Services.
What do I need to bring?
Our initial meeting is a time for us to get to know one another. Just bring yourself! When you decide to work with us, we typically request the following documents:
- Most recent tax return
- All loan statements
- Current credit card statements
- Current investment account statement
- Any life, disability, or long-term care insurance policies
- Most recent Social Security statement (ssa.gov)
- Pension statements
- Estimated monthly budget/expenses
- Most recent paycheck stubs
How are you different from other advisors?
Short answer – our independence. Unlike individuals affiliated with a large wirehouse or investment banks, we don’t have quotas to meet or a limited selection of products. We’re business owners. Our founders, Michael Goodwin and Gordon Menard, started their careers in large corporations that focused more on profit than providing the best service possible to clients. In founding Sterling, they were determined to create a business that put the client first. We are deeply committed to providing holistic financial planning and wealth management services. We have a “fiduciary first” mindset, meaning that we always put the clients’ interests ahead of our own. In addition, we have a unique mix of a one-on-one service culture with online resources allowing you to take control of your financial future. Watch the video below to learn more about how we seamlessly integrate our services with the latest planning technology.
How secure is my information?
We take your privacy seriously. Any information you divulge in our meetings will be kept in the strictest confidence, and information contained on official forms is physically secured in our office building with multiple layers of security. Our online resources are equally protected – watch this video to learn more:
Who protects my assets?
Although we are independent, we are not alone. We have relationships with several key companies that allow us to have an incredible amount of autonomy while protecting client assets. Cambridge serves as our broker-dealer and registered investment advisor. They provide back office support and processing services, facilitate the purchasing of investments, and help us adhere to securities law. Clearing firms like Fidelity Clearing & Custody SolutionsSM and Pershing are responsible for trade execution, clearing, and holding client assets. Cambridge is a member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at sipc.org.
Who will I be working with?
Our comprehensive service necessitates a team approach for your financial planning. You will typically work with our advisors (Michael Goodwin, Gordon Menard, Erich Kelley, and Mark Hollis) on financial plan creation, goal setting, investment management, and ongoing plan revisions. Our office manager, Nicole Eddy, is responsible for all administrative items including processing account changes, scheduling, and coordinating meetings.