FAQs

Professional Evaluation

Where do you custody investment assets?

TD Ameritrade Institutional

Are you a legal Fiduciary in ALL aspects of your services?

Yes, the CPA code of conduct applies to the entire scope of services offered.

How many years of experience do you have in wealth management?

Over 25 years between Arbor’s managing partners.

What are your professional credentials?

Joe Arsenault is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS).

Are there any other conflicts of interest?

Insurance products produce a commission, which is why we exclude insurance and annuities from our Advisory Fee billing. We fully disclose commissions paid to minimize any conflict of interest.

Are you fully independent of third-party influence? If not, which third parties do you work with?

Yes we are fully independent, we are an Independent Registered Investment Advisory Firm and manage portfolios internally.

Relationship Support

What communication methods do you offer?

Phone, E-Mail, Text, Video conferencing and screen sharing, In-Person Meetings

What is your process for monitoring financial plans?

Monitoring of financial and investment plans is an ongoing process. At a minimum, we have a plan review meeting annually.

Do you archive documents like taxes, wills, and trusts? If not, why?

Yes, we feel it is important to have a central access location in case of a life event

What technology solutions do you offer?

Client Aggregation Portal, Robust Trading/Execution Platforms, Document Archive, Advanced Financial and Investment Planning Platforms

Who will I really working with and meeting with?

Managing partners, Joe Arsenault, CPA/PFS & Jake Ulrich. We work as a team with different roles.

Investment Planning

What is your investment philosophy?

Reduce portfolio costs, employ tax sensitive investment strategies, and avoid significant market timing transactions to improve risk adjusted returns while reduce drag on portfolios

What is your management fee on assets?

Our ETF based portfolios have an annual fee of 0.75% on investable assets. Custom portfolios vary.

What is the average expense ratio of portfolios offered?

Averages fluctuate but our objective is to keep them under 0.10%. Ask us about our current average expense ratio today.

Do you have investment minimums?

Client suitability is discretionary, we do not have any hard minimums.

How will you report performance and client cost?

Performance will be shown “Net of fees” (after fees) and management fees are shown directly on quarterly statements.

How often does do you make trades and for what reasons?

We strive to minimize trade activity, but if your portfolio drifts outside of its risk tolerance or there is a tactical tax harvesting opportunity, we make necessary trades.

How do you define investment risk?

We define risk as the amount a portfolio would lose in the worst 5% of simulated scenarios. We strive to minimize risk for retirees.

Are there any platform fees or trade costs?

No, there are no trade costs or platform fees with TD Ameritrade or Arbor Wealth Management.

Do you make any commissions on investments?

No. We like you to make the money. 🙂

Are there load fees (up-front costs in funds)?

No, we do not use any funds with load fees.

What types of investments do you offer?

Exchange Traded Fund (ETFs) based portfolios OR custom portfolios that offer both stocks and ETFs.

Retirement Tax Planning

Do you have experience in tax planning related specifically to retirement planning and wealth management?

Yes, we specialize in retirement taxation and strategies related to qualified retirement money.

Do you offer custom Roth conversion strategies with unique year-to-year planning?

Yes, our advanced financial planning service includes building custom Roth conversion plans, which require annual projections.

Do you use gain-harvesting strategies?

Yes, we believe GAIN harvesting is even more impactful than loss harvesting. Ask us about gain harvesting today.

Do you consider Social Security benefit taxation and Healthcare benefit taxation in your financial planning strategies?

Yes, we help you maximize your benefits while minimizing your taxes on those benefits.

Do you offer tax planning?

Yes, tax planning is an integral part of financial planning and a CPA/PFS specializes in retirement taxation as it applies to your wealth plan.

Do you offer tax-sensitive withdrawal strategies?

Yes, we develop income strategies that are tax-sensitive. We help you maximize your retirement income while minimizing taxes.

Do you offer tax-sensitive investment allocation strategies?

Yes, portfolios are allocated in a tax-sensitive manner. Ask us what this means today.

Protecting Your Retirement

What is the advisor’s philosophy on annuities?

Our philosophy on annuities is very unique to the industry. We look for real money returns and with minimal risk. We look for clean contracts and expanded liquidity. Ask us for our comprehensive explanation to annuity planning today.

What is the advisor’s philosophy on life insurance?

Life insurance is a powerful risk management and tax planning tool. When we use life insurance the strategy intent will be direct and clear.

If insurance licensed, is advisor 100% independent?

Yes we are independent. Nobody tells us what contracts to use and we don’t chase high commissions. We find what’s best for you.

Do you disclose commission paid on insurance?

Yes, as a complete fiduciary our code of conduct requires us to disclose any commission paid.

Does the advisor offer annuity planning?

Yes, we offer annuity planning, but one size doesn’t fit all. Applicability is unique to each individual.

Does the advisor offer life insurance planning?

Yes, we offer life insurance planning as risk management and tax planning tools.

Wealth Management

How are your financial planning technologies different from available online retirement calculators?

Calculators are one dimensional and financial planning software can even have limitations. We use financial planning software and when needed perform manual work as well to make sure financial plans are complete and comprehensive.

Are Social Security and healthcare benefit planning included?

Yes, we help clients maximize benefits and minimize taxes associated with those benefits.

Will you personally help with budgeting?

Yes, we assist in budget planning and offer tools for tracking

What return and inflation assumptions are being used in plan?

Our return assumptions depend on risk tolerance, but we typically use assumptions more than 2% below the default assumptions of most financial planning software. Ask us why we do this.

Are financial plans cash flow based or goal based?

Our financial plans are typically goal-based, but we offer cash-flow based planning as well, depending on the situation.

Do you offer full scope, custom financial plans?

Yes, our financial plans are holistic in nature, each interdependent area of service is designed with consideration to how it affects the other.

Estate Planning

Do you assist in accounting titling, trust funding and beneficiary designations?

Yes, for your legacy plan to play out properly, trusts must be funded, accounts must be titled correctly and beneficiary designations must be up-to-date and correct. We assist with all of this.

Are you considering the unique tax implications of assets within an estate plan?

Yes, how assets are treated when they pass to the next generation can vary. Understanding the nuance to these rules is imperative to your legacy plan.

Do you offer estate and legacy planning with and without financial products?

Yes, we offer estate planning strategies with and without financial products.