FRequently Asked questions

Vested Financial Planning is committed to helping you understand your best financial planning options. Don’t see your question here? 

Why choose Vested Financial Planning over other firms?

Vested Financial Planning serves the specific financial planning needs of Gen X and Gen Y Silicon Valley tech professionals. I’ll help you address your planning needs that are unique to your career and the Bay Area, which may include making the most of your employee equity (RSUs, ISOs, NQSOs, ESPP), buying a home, saving for your children’s education, or figuring out how to achieve financial independence.  I understand these needs because I worked in Silicon Valley for 20 years at companies including eBay, Yahoo!, Intuit, and startups. I’ve personally experienced the clear need for professional help in achieving your financial goals.

In addition, Vested Financial Planning is a fee-only firm with no account minimums that abides by a fiduciary standard. Fee-only means that I am only paid by you, the client. I don’t get paid through commissions, referral fees or in any other way which minimizes any potential conflicts of interest. Many Silicon Valley firms require that you have at least $1 million or more of investable assets before they will work with you. I don’t require any account minimums because I know that many more people need and deserve good financial planning help even if they may not currently have significant investable assets.  Finally, I abide by a fiduciary standard which means that Vested Financial Planning is ethically and legally bound to act in your best interest.

Click here to schedule a free initial consultation and let me show you how I can help you achieve your financial goals.

How do you get paid?

Vested Financial Planning is a fee-only firm which means you, the client, are the only one who pays me. I don’t get paid through any other means such as commissions or referral fees. This structure minimizes potential conflicts of interest and ensures that I work in your best interest. Click here to learn more about my services.

Do I need a certain amount of money to work with you?

No. Many Silicon Valley firms require that you have at least $1 million or more in investable assets before they will consider working with you. I don’t require any account minimums because I know that many more people need and deserve professional financial planning help even if they may not currently have significant investable assets. Click here to learn more about my services.

Is Vested Financial Planning a good fit for me?

If you are a Gen X or Gen Y Silicon Valley tech professional who is looking for professional financial planning help that includes making the most of your employee equity (RSUs, ISOs, NQSOs, ESPP), buying a home, saving for your children’s education, or figuring out how to achieve financial independence, then Vested Financial Planning would likely be a good fit for you. I understand those needs directly because I worked in Silicon Valley for 20 years at companies including eBay, Yahoo!, Intuit, and startups and personally experienced and witnessed the clear need for help in achieving your financial goals.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, please schedule a free initial consultation.

Who may not be a good fit for Vested Financial Planning?

Vested Financial Planning works best for clients who are ready to carve out the time and attention needed to partner with a planner to build a comprehensive financial plan. If you’re not ready or able to put energy into the planning process, Vested Financial Planning won’t be a good fit for you. Also, if you are looking for an advisor who picks individual stocks or tries to time the market, I’m not the right one for you.

Do I have to come into your office?

No. We can meet virtually if you prefer or wherever is convenient for you. I can work easily with anyone, anywhere in the country.  If you would like to work with me, please schedule a free initial consultation 

What are your qualifications?

I understand the financial planning needs of Gen X and Gen Y Silicon Valley tech professionals because I worked in Silicon Valley for twenty years at companies including eBay, Yahoo!, Intuit, and startups before making a career change into financial planning. As part of that transition, I earned the Certified Financial Planner™ designation which is the gold standard for financial planners. Only about 20 percent of all financial advisors earn this designation. It requires one to meet rigorous education, exam, experience, and ethics requirements.  

I have been working directly with financial planning clients for more than seven years including the last two and a half years at Aspiriant, a leading wealth management firm. I earned my BA at Stanford University and my MBA at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.

If you would like to work with me, please schedule a free initial consultation.

How is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional different than other advisors?

Only about 20 percent of all financial advisors hold the Certified Financial Planner™ designation which has the following requirements:

  • Completed an undergraduate degree
  • Completed three years of client experience in financial planning or two years client experience while working with another CFP®
  • Completed a financial planning education program including:
      • General Principles of Financial Planning
      • Insurance Planning
      • Investment Planning
      • Income Tax Planning
      • Retirement Planning
      • Estate Planning
      • Interpersonal Communication
      • Professional Conduct and Fiduciary Responsibility
      • Passed a rigorous comprehensive exam that historical only has a pass rate of 55-60 percent
      • Completed the required 30 hours of continuing education hours bi-annually
      • Committed to adhering to the standards of ethics and practice outlined in the CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct.

If you would like to work with me, please schedule a free initial consultation. 

What is your investment philosophy?

My investment philosophy is that markets are generally efficient, asset allocation drives most of the returns and that you should focus on low-cost, globally diversified portfolios that seek to minimize risk for a given level of return. More importantly, your comprehensive financial plan guides you to the right investment strategy since it is the primary means to achieve your financial goals. I also believe that price movements are difficult or impossible to know in the short term and no one can time the market consistently over the long term.  Click here for more details on my investment philosophy  

Why wouldn’t I just do all of this financial planning myself?

You could. All of my clients definitely have the ability to do their own financial planning; however, many clients hire a financial planner for the one or more of the following reasons:

  1.  Free up time and energy from the hassle of managing your own financial life
  2.  Gain peace of mind knowing that a financial planner with professional expertise maximizes your chances of achieving your financial goals
  3.  Clarify your financial goals by considering them in a holistic way in the context of your entire life
  4.  Prevent you from making a big financial mistake such as selling your entire portfolio when the market crashes and missing all of the returns as the market rebounds
  5.  Help you get the things done that you need to achieve your financial goals like getting your will done

If these sound like good reasons to you, please schedule a free initial consultation.

Is the initial consultation free?

Yes. I offer a free initial consultation to better understand your needs and help you decide if working with me would be a good fit.  Click here to schedule one.

Sounds good to me. What is the next step?

Schedule a free initial consultation by clicking here.

 

TOM LO, CFP®, MBA

Vested Financial Planning

 

San Carlos, CA 94070 

 tom@vestedfinancialplanning.com

Phone: (650) 315-7372

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