Frequently Asked Questions

Fee-only means our only form of compensation are the fees paid directly to us from clients. We do not sell products, earn commissions, or accept referral fees of any kind. Being fee-only advisors reduces potential conflicts of interest, and allows us to provide objective advice.

As registered investment advisors, we are legally required to act in your best interest. Unlike broker-dealers and some bank representatives who are compensated by selling products, and are not fiduciaries, we always put your interests first when making investment recommendations.

We specialize in helping families who are at or near retirement with figuring out how to replace their income in a tax-smart way. We recognize we can’t be all things to all people and don’t pretend to be. As an independent registered investment advisor, we provide objective advice that is specifically tailored to your needs, and our only compensation comes directly from the families we serve.

Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner” or a “financial advisor.” But only professionals who fulfilled the certification, education, training and renewal requirements of the CFP® Board can display the CFP® certification marks. That’s why it’s important to look for the CFP® designation when considering who to hire as your financial planning. As a CFP® Professional, we are required by the CFP® Board to put your interest ahead of our own.

Here’s what’s required to hold a CFP®:

  • Education – Complete a comprehensive course of study, which covers the financial planning curriculum approved by the CFP Board.
  • Examination – CFP® professionals must pass CFP Board’s comprehensive examination, which tests an individual’s ability to integrate and apply their financial planning knowledge.
  • Experience – Three years of financial planning-related experience before one can use the CFP® marks.
  • Ethics – Agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.

Fiduciary has the highest ethical obligation to put your interests ahead of their compensation and any other considerations. Most financial professionals are not held to this standard and only required that their recommendations are “suitable,” a loosely-held definition. This can sometimes result in conflicts of interest, and people being sold products that may generate a higher commission. We will always put your interests before our own and are personally liable if we give you bad advice.

We are a fee-only (commission-free) financial planning firm. This means the only compensation we receive comes directly from the advice we provide you. We believe this is the fairest method to provide financial advice and ensures our interests are always aligned with yours. Since we’re not tied to any proprietary products, we can act as true advocates to identify the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions to meet your goals. Before committing to an engagement, our clients know exactly what they’ll pay for the advice they receive.

For your safety and convenience, Custom Wealth Planners uses Charles Schwab Investments as a third-party custodian for our client investment and retirement accounts.

Charles Schwab administers more than $7.5 trillion in assets for more than 34 million account holders. 

As a trusted custodian, Charles Schwab safely holds your investment accounts and provides reporting to you and the IRS each year. Your accounts can be viewed at any time at  or through the Custom Wealth Planners Client Portal.

Although Custom Wealth Planners is located in Ankeny, Iowa we are equipped to serve clients virtually with video conferencing software. Each virtual meeting is protected and we adhere to strict security guidelines to protect your privacy.

We are able to serve clients who may not meet asset minimums now but still need a trusted partner with our project-based engagements. View our services here.

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