Frequently Asked Questions
Who is your typical client?
Our client is a mission-oriented professional who is smart, coachable, driven, and wants to enjoy life to the fullest. Although we specialize in educators, health care professionals, and first responders, we do serve clients outside of those fields. If you are a hardworking person who wants unbiased independent financial advice from a fiduciary without concern that someone is taking advantage of you, then this is the firm for you.
What is a "fiduciary"?
A fiduciary has the legal obligation to put your interests ahead of their own. This means we are bound to put your personal and financial interests ahead of my compensation. We sign a fiduciary pledge for all our clients. We promise to work for you and not receive any commissions from outside agencies.
Why should I hire you instead of doing this myself?
Psychological biases and emotions prevent the majority of people from maximizing their financial success, especially in getting out of debt and maximizing investment returns. As a fiduciary to you, we will work alongside you to construct strategies that will maximize your returns in alignment with your investing timeline and investment risk comfort level. As an objective and stalwart support, we will also reduce financial stress by always explaining how and why you are on the path we've designed.
What is your investment philosophy?
Together, we will practice "controlling the controllables," specifically debt reduction, minimizing risk, and passive investment management. We don’t believe we can beat the market and instead choose to reduce fees by investing in low-cost funds that align to your financial timeline and risk tolerance. Together, we will focus on maximizing compounding growth by creating savings strategies. Together, we will select the best low-cost investments that are aligned to your risk level and timeline so that your money can effectively work for you.
How do you invest your personal money?
We practice what we preach. We have personally experienced the same goal setting and values discussions we conduct with clients hundreds of times. In addition to using the same investment approaches and strategies for my personal accounts, we use them to support our families as well.
Who is not a good fit for this firm?
If you believe in individual stock picking, market timing, or daily stock trading, we may not be the best fit. If you are not interested in setting goals and pursuing them, we may not be a good fit. If you are not passionate about improving your financial outlook or being coached in this philosophy, we may not be a good fit.
Do I have to come in to your office?
To keep our costs as low as possible so we can serve you at the most affordable rate possible, we don’t have an office and choose to operate as a home business. We can meet virtually over Google Hangouts or Facetime, we can talk on the telephone, or use whatever method of communication is best for you. This saves you the time of commuting to an office and enables us to meet whenever is convenient for you. That having been said, we are also happy to come to you if you are local and prefer in-person contact. For your convenience, we are willing to make ourselves available evenings, weekends, and even the occasional snow day. Schedule a call here!
Do I have to pay for my first meeting?
No. We enjoy meeting with you about your current needs to determine if we would be a good fit before their is any discussion of cost. Bring whatever financial questions you have. If we are not the right fit, we are happy to point you in the right direction.
What training did you take to become a financial planner?
We completed the Certificate of Financial Planning from Boston University and completed the necessary requirements with the States of Maryland and New York to become a registered investment advisor. This included the passing of the NASAA Investment Advisers Law Examination administered through FINRA. We also have a BS in Education with a minor in business from Castleton University, and a MA and advanced certificate in School Leadership from Johns Hopkins University.
How are you paid?
Garritt Financial Solutions is fee-only. This means our only compensation comes from the services we provide you. We get NO commissions or kickbacks. We work only for you. We only get paid from you. After careful research across the financial industry, we believe this is the fairest form of compensation a planner should receive, aligning our values and our interests with yours. Our fees are completely transparent.
I need help getting out of debt. Can you help me?
Yes! The majority of Americans are in debt and not all debt is bad. Together, we will come up with a debt reduction strategy that is in your best interest and aligns to your financial interests.
Is my money safe?
Garritt Financial Solutions does not hold custody of your money. If you choose the investment management option, your money is held with Betterment LLC under my discretion.
Do you work with people outside of Maryland?
Of course. We want to help as many people feel great about their financial futures as possible. The educators, first responders, medical professionals, and other working people who serve our country deserve to live the life of their dreams. We will happily work with clients across the country.