Frequently Asked Questions for Luminate



Anyone can call themselves a "financial planner" or "financial advisor" and not be certified. CFP® Professionals must meet stringent requirements including:

  • A course of study offered by a college or university program which covers financial planning curriculum approved by the CFP Board
  • Successfully completing the CFP Board's exam
  • Acquiring three years of financial planning related experience
  • Ascribing to the CFP Board's code of ethics and additional requirements, which includes providing financial planning services as a fiduciary, or acting in the client's best interest

For more information, please go to the CFP Board's website.


WHAT is a get acquainted meeting?

In the Get Acquainted meeting we'll talk about your current financial situation, your goals,  and what you are looking for in a planner. I'll explain more about my process, services and fees. Based on our discussion, we'll see if it makes sense for us to work together, either on a one-time basis or an ongoing basis. If we both think Luminate is a good fit for you, we'll schedule our next meeting: Data Gathering and Goals.



If you've never worked with a financial planner before, you may be wondering what the process is like. We start with four meetings, and go from there depending on how you want to proceed. This graphic illustrates the steps you'll go through, starting with a complimentary "Get Acquainted" phone meeting. 


How do you get paid?

I am a fee-only financial planner, which means my only compensation comes from the services I provide to you. I believe financial planning should be transparent – no commissions, kick-backs, “trails,” or anything other than the fees I charge you directly. I am held to the fiduciary standard, which means I have to act in your best interest regardless of the compensation I receive. 


What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary has the highest ethical obligation to put your interests ahead of their compensation and any other considerations. 


Who is your typical client?

Anyone who wants an approachable unbiased professional guide to help build a bright financial future is a Luminate client! This includes families with college-bound teens who are looking for tools to navigate the college funding process or a young professional looking to balance income and expenses, or families who want to make the most out of their financial assets, but are too busy to spend the time and resources of planning and investing on their own. 


What is your investment philosophy?

Luminate investment portfolios are global, diversified and low cost. The investments we choose are time-tested and research-based. I subscribe to a passive investment management style. You can beat 90% of actively managed mutual funds just by keeping costs low. You can get even further ahead by managing other factors within your control with strategic asset location, properly diversified asset allocation, movement-based re-balancing and strategic tax loss harvesting. I use low-cost ETFs, and mutual funds from Dimensional. Dimensional is an industry leader in evidence-based investing.


Who is NOT a good fit for LUMINATE?

If you are interested in trying to time the market, or want to pick individual stocks, we are probably not a good fit for each other. I don't think you can beat the market over the long term, but I do strive for market returns out of your portfolio. Our portfolios are global, diversified and low cost. The investments we choose are time-tested and research based. 


Do I have to meet you in person?

No! I am happy to meet in person, but we can also meet virtually over Google Hangouts, Zoom, or simply by phone if you prefer. Your convenience is my priority. 


Is my money safe?

Your money is held at a custodian bank, which is insured by the SIPC for up to $500,000 per account type and are protected against losses resulting from the failure of a broker-dealer. Please note, unlike FDIC insurance for banks, SIPC does not protect against losses due to normal swings in the market. An explanatory brochure is available at


I’d like to learn more. what's the next step?

Click here to schedule a complimentary Get Acquainted meeting to see if we are a good fit for one another.