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Frequently Asked Questions

Why flat fees?

My priority is to deeply understand you and your finances, and then make the optimal decisions for your family.

Flat fees allow me to explore all possibilities to optimize your family’s finances, without being influenced by conflicts of interest (like holding onto more of your assets or selling you certain products). As an added benefit, you also get a clear and transparent cost structure.

I have witnessed firsthand the conflicts that arise when charging based on assets under management (AUM) and I want you to know my recommendations are in solely your best interest.

Here are a few situations where your goals, preferences, or situation would not be aligned with an AUM-advisor’s fees:

  • A desire to hold a larger emergency fund, instead of investing the funds
  • Paying off debt instead of investing
  • Rolling an old 401(k) into your new employer’s 401(k) to preserve the backdoor Roth IRA option, instead of rolling the 401(k) into an IRA managed by an AUM-advisor
  • Investing in accounts your advisor cannot manage (and therefore charge upon); for example, 401(k)s, HSAs, 529s, donor advised funds

Why focus on young families and professionals?

Young families and professionals have unique financial planning needs that are not well-served by the vast majority of financial advisors, primarily due to legacy cost structures: commissions and assets under management (AUM).

Kardinal Financial was created to fill this gap and provide comprehensive financial planning and investment management when you need and want it, not when you gather enough assets to meet $500k or $1mm minimums.

All financial decisions (not just investing) compound over time. Get guidance on investments, cash flow, tax planning, company benefits, stock compensation, risk management, and more far earlier in your life, instead of waiting until you hit an investment threshold.

Check out this Guide to Financial Planning for Young Families to learn more.

How do we work together?

Choose among two engagement options to work with Bryan:

Comprehensive Relationships include ongoing, comprehensive financial planning and investment management. Fees for these services are $4,200/year for individuals and $5,400/year for couples.

One-time Project Plans are limited engagements based on your financial planning needs. Projects may range from 1-2 financial planning topics to a comprehensive one-time plan. Fees range from $1,500 to $5,000 based upon complexity.

If I don't live in Madison, WI, can we still work together?

Yes! I work with clients throughout the United States using video-conferencing services (Zoom).

If you are in the Madison area, I would love to meet in-person, but the majority of Kardinal Financial's clients choose to engage primarily or exclusively through Zoom.

Are you a Fiduciary?

Yes. I am sworn to a Fiduciary Duty, meaning I must put your financial best interests ahead of my own. 

Although this sounds like a given, it is not legally required of financial advisors. Other advisors may only be held to a "suitability" standard, meaning their advice must be suitable to you, but not necessarily solely in your best interest (i.e. selling products that generate bigger commissions).

As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), I am held to a strict standard of fiduciary duty and code of ethics. And I would not do this any other way.

What makes Kardinal Financial different?

I started Kardinal Financial with unique and strong views on how financial planning should be done.

  • Our incentives should be aligned and I should treat your situation as though it were my own. That means being agnostic to where assets are held, using all possible tools to optimize your financial well-being, and mitigating conflicts of interest.
  • Investment Management should be included as part of your financial plan. Investment Management should not be a prerequisite, an upsell, or the sole offering.
  • Flat fee financial planning strives to mitigate or eliminate the conflicts of interest inherent in the assets under management (AUM) pricing model. You should be confident that the advice you receive is solely in your best interest, not influenced by your advisors compensation model.

Who is your ideal client?

Kardinal Financial is built for young families and professionals in their 30s and 40s. 

My clients have progressed in their professional lives to a point where they have greater financial resources and complexity, and their personal lives are also rapidly changing. This leads to increased concerns surrounding saving and investing appropriately, protecting their family, and ensuring they are "on track." My clients want to make sure they are thinking about and doing the right things, and have reached the point where they want expert guidance.

Do you manage investments?

Yes. Investment management is included as part of comprehensive relationships. See the Investment Management page for details about Kardinal Financial's investment strategy & philosophy.

Important to note, not all investment accounts can be managed directly by your advisor (ex: 401(k) plans). For these accounts, we evaluate investment options, develop and implement a strategy, and monitor and rebalance as necessary.

What are your qualifications?

I have over a decade of experience in financial services. My experience includes serving as the Director of Investment Research at a $2.5 billion wealth management firm and serving as an investment portfolio manager to individuals and families. I have obtained the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations. And I continue to expand my skillset and knowledge through industry associations and relentless self-study of articles, podcasts, and books.

How do I get started?

The first step is a 30-minute introductory meeting via Zoom. Schedule a meeting through the contact page or reach out by phone ((608) 405-6375) or e-mail (bryan@kardinalfinancial.com).

Speak with Bryan