Recently we shared with you the top ten questions you should ask when interviewing a potential financial advisor. It’s essential to find a trusted financial advisor to meet your unique needs, so it’s important to ask lots of questions and gain a thorough understanding of who they are and how they can serve you.
At CSH, we’re committed to the highest standard of client service. Many people worry about effectively managing and protecting their money. We want to provide trusted financial guidance that builds confidence and helps you know you’re making the right decisions. We believe everyone deserves a reliable financial partner they can trust.
With that, we’d like to offer you our answers to the ten questions we previously shared with you:
1) What are you specifically licensed to do?
At CSH, we have almost the entire investment universe at our disposal. Unlike many advisors, we are not captive to an insurance company or certain mutual fund families. (Read about why we don’t like mutual funds here.) In other words, we have all the tools we need to help our clients achieve their financial goals.
2) How will you be compensated?
At CSH we choose to use a fee-based model. We charge based on the dollar amount of assets that you have. The investment vehicle we use is irrelevant to our compensation — we will charge you the same. Put simply: If you make more money, we make more money! And if you lose money, our pay goes down. You can rest assured knowing that our interests are aligned. We are fiduciaries, so we will always act with your best interest in mind. (See #9 below.)
3) Can you help me with my other assets?
Absolutely! Our team has extensive experience in real estate investing. We have managed investments in residential, commercial, and farm real estate successfully, and we also have experience in business ownership. We have bought and sold many businesses over the last three decades and consulted with many more. We definitely know how to deal with employees, clients, regulations, and deadlines! Transferring a business to a new group of people can be complicated. We know what can trip you up, and we know how to overcome those obstacles.
4) Can you minimize my taxes?
With 30 years experience in taxation, we have prepared and consulted on thousands of tax returns. We have also taught and lectured on tax issues ranging from trusts & estates to corporate taxes.
While taxes should never drive investment decisions, it’s important to consider the tax consequences when selling or keeping an asset you’ve inherited. We at CSH Investments can help you use the tax code to your maximum advantage.
5) Do you have any professional designations?
There are almost as many designations and credentials as there are advisors. Some only entail a fee and attendance at a weekend course. Others are much more challenging to obtain.
One of the most respected financial designations is Certified Financial Planner. CFP’s are required to have college degrees and pass a very comprehensive exam. Getting the CFP designation takes a 3-5 year commitment. Steve Henry obtained his CFP in 2003.
Then, in 2009, he obtained a Masters Degree in Financial Services. An MSFS degree takes 2-7 years and is the highest designation in the financial planning community. Steve is also an Enrolled Agent. An EA passes a comprehensive tax exam that is administered by the Department of Treasury (IRS) and can represent their clients in audits before the IRS.
Steve worked hard for many years to earn these professional designations. In addition to reflecting his high standards of excellence, they are also a true representation of his high level of experience and skill in the world of financial services.
6) How often will you contact me?
We are in regular contact with our clients. We send out educational emails on various topics once or twice a month. We also write a newsletter every quarter to share a little about the markets and how they are affecting our clients now and down the road. Most of our clients contact us through emails and text messages, but we also partake in virtual meetings.
7) What if something happens to you?
At CSH, we have an investment team. Our partner, Robbie Johnson, has extensive experience in investing, financial planning, and tax law. Even if Steve’s expiration date was tomorrow, he is highly confident you would be treated with the utmost care and respect.
8) What is your level of experience?
Over the last 25 years, we have been through some pretty rough markets as advisors and as investors as well. No matter how diligent a student you are, you simply can’t replicate the emotions that a bear market can bring out. Being able to recognize patterns that have happened before and how to react — or NOT react — is crucial to long-term investing success. We’re confident in our ability to guide you through the highs and lows of the market fluctuations.
9) Are you a fiduciary?
Yes, CSH is a fiduciary firm. We represent our clients only. We have no obligation to another company, nor do we receive any compensation in any form from an insurance company or investment firm. We fully disclose our fees, and we invest our clients money as if it were our own.
10) Do you have an investment philosophy?
Our core investing philosophy can best be described as value investing — we only want to invest where we have a margin of safety against permanent loss. To do this, we study financial statements and read independent research. It is a rigorous process we have honed and refined over the last 25 years. Once we make an investment, we have a system in place to monitor and assess how it’s doing. You can read about our detailed approach to investing here.
There is always risk associated with investing, but at the end of the day, our goal is the same as yours — to help you achieve the financial freedom you desire.
We’d Love to Work With You!
We hope these answers gave you a little bit of insight into who we are as an investment firm. At CSH, we are committed to providing the highest standard of financial advice to help our clients manage their money well.
We’d love to help you do the same! If you’re ready to partner with us to improve your financial future, please reach out to us on our website or give us a call at 217-824-4211! We’re excited to work with you!