Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Why should I choose a Fee-Only planner?

A financial planner who has a financial stake in the course of action recommended to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest and cannot be considered objective and unbiased. The vast majority of financial advisors in the United States are sellers of financial products. Some or all of their income depends upon steering their clients to a limited number of the thousands of financial products available today. Not only does this cause serious conflicts of interest, but it limits the options considered and compromises the quality of investment advice. Advisors who sell financial products include stock-brokers, analysts, insurance agents, accountants and attorneys, as well as financial planners. Many of their clients are not aware of their advisors’ conflicts of interest, or do not recognize its significance. (NAPFA. 2016. National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Web. October, 2016).

Mosaic Financial Advisors is a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor.  The term “fee only” means the firm may accept no referral fees, no finder’s fees, and no commissions for recommendations and advice.  This compensation model is designed to minimize inherent conflicts of interest in the advisor/client relationship so the advisor may remain objective and the interests of client and advisor may remain closely aligned.

Why does it matter that my financial planner be a Fiduciary?

A financial planner who is willing to take a fiduciary oath to service clients is obligated to provide services and recommend products in your best interests. If your financial advisor does not stand in a fiduciary relationship with you, then he or she is not obligated to take your best interests into consideration. When you work with an advisor, you are disclosing a large amount of personal information, and receiving advice that you may or may not be in the position to assess. You want a planner who is obligated to put your best interests before his or her own, so the advice you receive is not compromised by conflicts of interest. Be sure you know how your advisor is being paid.

What is your Investment Philosophy?

Our investment philosophy is the ideology that drives our investment approach and methodology. We base our investment philosophy on academic research and experience which support the following fundamental beliefs:

  • Risk and Return are directly correlated. Risk is an inherent aspect of achieving higher returns. Your risk tolerance is an important consideration in building a portfolio that meets your definition of success.
  • Asset allocation is a primary determinant of investment return in a diversified portfolio. Academic research clearly establishes that selection of the appropriate mix of asset classes is far more critical to investment success than individual security selection or any attempt to time the market.
  • Diversification optimizes risk and return. Although it may be counterintuitive, combining various risky asset classes actually reduces overall portfolio risk and increases return, as long as the asset classes don’t all move in lockstep.
  • Factors that drive investment prices are random and unpredictable. Geo-political, economic, technological, and natural forces are random and unpredictable, and impact the markets in ways that are also random and unpredictable. We do not attempt to “time the market” or make large tactical bets on a given sector of the economy. We believe that a diversified portfolio, rebalanced periodically back to your target asset allocation, is the best way to meet your investment goals.
  • Costs matter. Access to securities markets comes at a cost. We focus on keeping those costs low by primarily utilizing no-load mutual funds and low-expense exchange-traded funds.
  • Investment is not speculation. Historically, investors have been compensated for providing capital to companies for operations and growth. Investors can expect to be rewarded for putting their capital at risk. Investment is not chasing returns, timing the market, or seeking the next “can’t miss” venture. Those sorts of behavior are considered speculative, and are not consistent with our investment approach.

Do you sell insurance or investment products?

No. As a Fee-Only firm, Mosaic Financial Advisors does not sell any insurance, investment, or other financial product. Our recommendations are based on objective advice and not motivated by product sales.

Do you prepare tax returns?

Kathryn K. Lund, CPA may offer tax preparation services to on-going financial planning clients of Mosaic Financial Advisors, LLC upon request. Alternatively, we willingly coordinate information flow with your accountant or CPA to facilitate the return preparation process.

I don’t live in Massachusetts. Can you still provide services?

Yes.  Mosaic Financial Advisors, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor, licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Mosaic Financial Advisors and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.  Mosaic Financial Advisors will take action to become licensed in any state where licensing is required or becomes required.

How do you manage a remote planning relationship?

Although face-to-face meetings are valuable, especially in the early stages of an engagement, much of our ongoing communication with clients is accomplished through e-mail, telephone, and web meetings. In fact, many local clients actually prefer the convenience and clarity of web meetings, and request that option. We work to ensure that the planning relationship and services provided to both remote and local clients are comparable and of the highest quality.

Mosaic Blackground, Photo taken on: 03/03/2013 , Generally in Thailand