Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers you’re looking for.

Why do I need a financial advisor?

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra

We can help you develop a financial plan, understand what you need to do to reach your goals, and make reasoned investment choices to complement your plans.  

How is CFM different from other firms?

We are different from other firms in that we combine an extensive range of fiduciary services and capabilities with local, independent roots. We’re here for you for the long-haul and have been for over 30 years.

Am I qualified to become a client of CFM?

We welcome the chance to talk with anyone who is beginning to think through their plans for the future or wondering about their investments. A minimum investable balance of $500,000 is suggested.

Do you work with clients outside of Colorado?

Yes! Even though Colorado is our home, over the years we have added many clients throughout the United States. Technology makes staying in touch and holding virtual meetings easier every day. We often travel to meet in-person as well.

How do I get started?

Contact us to arrange for a free, no-obligation introductory meeting with one of our advisors to learn more about your goals and how we can help.

What should I bring to the introductory meeting?

Consider bringing a list of your assets and debts, as well as your most recent tax return and portfolio statements in case any detailed questions come up.

How can I check the background of a financial advisor?

To see the background of an advisor, the two best tools are the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure database and FINRA’s BrokerCheck. More detailed biographical information is found within a firm’s ADV Part 2B. You can also check the status of any professional designations with the relevant granting authority (e.g. CFA/CFP).

How are you compensated? What are your fees?

We are fee-only fiduciaries and the only compensation we receive is from our clients. Our fees are based on a tiered schedule and include investment management and financial planning services. The first two million in assets under management are billed at 1% annually, 0.75% for the next two million, and 0.5% for amounts over four million. Our minimum annual fee is $5,000. Fees are deducted quarterly in arrears.

Where can I find your thoughts on the market?

We publish market updates several times a year and also post on stand-alone topics in our blog.

What is your investment philosophy?

Our investment philosophy is pragmatic, not dogmatic. We combine active managers and passive strategies to deliver a portfolio that is customized to your needs and values. We focus on broad diversification, stay nimble for opportunities, and keep expenses low.

What is the difference between asset allocation and diversification?

Asset allocation is the description of how the various parts of a portfolio come together. You will often see this represented visually as a pie chart. Diversification is a concept related to the old saying of not keeping all your eggs in one basket.

Do you guarantee any rate of return for my investments?

No. We estimate future expected returns as part of our investment process, but these are not a guarantee.

Do you offer sustainable investments?

Yes, we offer customized portfolios for clients interested in matching their values with their investments. Sustainable, responsible investing has a long history and deep ties in Colorado. Our scale and size means we have specialists on staff ready to help.

What is your relationship with Schwab and Fidelity?

Charles Schwab is a financial custodian, an entity that holds securities and executes trades for its customers. Our clients maintain accounts at a custodian, generally Schwab or Fidelity, and authorize us buy and sell securities within their account. Both the custodian and CFM send clients periodic statements describing any account activity and the resulting balances in your account.

What does a financial plan entail?

A financial plan documents an individual’s short- and long-term goals and creates a strategy for accomplishing them. It involves a detailed, comprehensive review of your financial affairs, starting with a calculation of your net worth and cash flow. Financial plans address and involve areas such as retirement strategies, a comprehensive risk management plan (including insurance reviews and asset protection strategies), a long-term investment plan, education planning, tax optimization strategies, and an estate plan review.

How often should I have a financial plan completed?

A plan should be completed or updated when goals, or circumstances affecting existing goals, have changed meaningfully. Whether you decide to sell a business to retire years earlier than originally expected, you receive a significant inheritance, or recently had a child and need to put a college savings plan in place, we can re-focus an existing plan or create a new one, depending on the changes to be implemented and analyzed.

What is eMoney and how does CFM utilize it in conjunction with financial planning?

eMoney is a comprehensive financial planning software application that assists our planning team in providing goal and cash-flow based analysis and projections. When we gather asset and income data from clients, we input this information into the software, along with the specific goals and objectives the client is hoping to accomplish. The software assists in providing calculations in a user-friendly way for discussions and presentations with our clients, and helps us store their information and documents safely and securely.

Are there limitations to what the financial planning team at CFM can do?

Unfortunately, we cannot draft your tax returns or your estate planning documents. Nor do we sell insurance. But we do pursue a collaborative approach by working closely with your outside accountant, attorney, or insurance agent to make sure your financial plan is synchronized and is consistent with your overall goals and objectives. We are a strong advocate of pursuing this team approach on your behalf, believing you benefit most when all of your professionals are working closely and efficiently together.

Who will help me when I need to move money or receive a report on my account?

Every client has a client service manager personally dedicated to them as part of our team-based approach. If that person is unavailable, another client service manager is always able to assist.