FAQ

Is there a cost for the first meeting?
Are your fees tax deductible?
Are you a fiduciary?
How do you charge for your services, and how much?
What licenses, credentials or other certifications do you have?
What services does your firm provide?
Can you describe your typical client?
Are there any clients that you specialize in?
What is your investment approach?
How much contact do you have with your clients?
Will I be working only with only one advisor or with a team?

Is there a cost for the first meeting?
No, we use this first meeting to determine whether or not we can effectively be of service to you, as well as to allow you to evaluate us. In other words, it's a time for us to get to know one another. As long as that is the main purpose, there is no charge for the meeting.

Are your fees tax deductible?
Yes. The Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return. Please see your tax advisor for further information.

Are you a fiduciary?
Yes. A fiduciary is a person who has to place the client's interest ahead of his or her own. Fiduciaries must also disclose what their fees are, how they're compensated and any other conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that might influence an individual's decision to use their services.

In contrast, non-fiduciary financial advisors are held to a different standard of care for their clients. They are only required to recommend investments that are suitable, but are under no legal obligation to recommend investments that are in your best interest. In other words, while an investment may be suitable for you, it may not be the best choice for you.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards issues Rules of Conduct for fiduciaries, which state, for example, that CFP's should define what services they will provide and only offer advice in areas in which they are competent.

How do you charge for your services, and how much?
We charge a 1.3% Asset Management Fee. This fee decreases to 1.1% for clients who have more than $500,000 invested with us, and decreases to 1.0% for clients with over $1,000,000 invested with our firm.

For clients who require detailed financial planning advice, we charge a flat fee to perform the calculations, generate a personalized financial plan, and assist them in implementing our recommendations.

Please refer to our ADV for a more detailed explanation of our fees.

What licenses, credentials or other certifications do you have?
Our advisors hold the following designations:

CFP® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner
CRPC® Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor
ChFC Chartered Financial Consultant
CPA Certified Public Accountant
PFS Personal Finance Specialist
MBA Master of Business Administration

Please refer to our Team Page for a detailed description of each advisor's qualifications.

What services does your firm provide?
Benedetti, Gucer & Associates is a full service Wealth Management Firm based in Atlanta, GA. We specialize in retirement planning, tax management, estate planning strategies, investment management, retirement plan distribution and wealth preservation strategies.

For our corporate clients, we design, manage and benchmark retirement plans. We will work directly with the owner, CFO or Head of Human Resources to design a Retirement Plan that best suits the needs of the company and its employees. This involves helping the company to manage their fiduciary risk, streamline the selection and analysis of investments, and identify cost efficiencies within the plan.

Can you describe your typical client?
Our typical clients are successful, busy and down to earth. Their success has caused their financial lives to become more complicated than they are willing or capable of handling on their own. They value their time and ours, and they are typically fair and generous people.

Our clients may or may not be investment savvy. If they are, they recognize the value in paying an expert for advice and delegating the management of their investments. Even if they are not investment savvy, they are good judges of character and have surrounded themselves with qualified advisors whom they trust.

They may be hands on or hands off, and they are value conscious, not fee conscious. Our clients appreciate the time that we spend with them and the work that we do. They are generally not individuals who have inherited wealth, but who have built it over their lifetimes.

These are the types of people we resonate with and tend to attract.

Are there any clients that you specialize in?
While we work with all kinds of clients, several of our advisors have developed specialties working with the following clients:

Business Owners
Doctors
Dentists
Attorneys
Divorced or Divorcing Women
Corporate Retirement Plans

We are headquartered in Atlanta, GA, but we work with wealth management clients all over the United States. We also have many international clients who rely on us for investment management of their US assets.

What is your investment approach?
Our objective is to obtain the best net return for our clients, with as little risk, given their risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals.

There are some very important concepts built into this one sentence, so lets break them down.

the best "net return"... Given two comparable choices, we want the one that gives us the best return after all taxes and fees have been taken out. This is the approach that is going to put the most money in your pocket. As an example, if a mutual fund with high internal expenses is consistently outperforming a low cost index fund, net of fees, we are going to use the mutual fund. If the opposite is true, we are going to use the low cost index fund.

Inherent in this approach is the idea that we do not favor one particular type of product (mutual fund vs. ETF), or one particular investment philosophy (active vs. passive) over another. We believe that investment products are like tools in a toolbox. Each has its own particular set of uses, which can be appropriate in certain situations, and inappropriate in others. It's like the old saying goes, "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." We want to have access to all the tools we need, and we want them to be of the best available quality.

with as little risk... It is important to maintain an optimal relationship between risk and return. In other words, you never want to be taking a risk that you are not being compensated for. When looking at a client's portfolio, we always ask ourselves "Can we obtain this same return while taking less risk?" Or, alternatively, "For the amount of risk that is currently in this portfolio, can we obtain a better return?"

given their risk tolerance... We have conservative clients, aggressive clients, and everything in between. An investment that is perfectly suitable for one client may not be suitable for another.

Your behavior and your comfort level with volatility will affect your returns. The reason is that everyone has a threshold of discomfort that, once crossed, will cause them to behave irrationally and make bad decisions. This explains why so much money is made and lost in down markets. We believe it is important to set realistic expectations about how a portfolio will behave, in good markets and in bad. This avoids surprises and increases the likelihood that you will stay the course when it matters most.

goals... If you ask the right questions, it becomes apparent that most people don't care about having the biggest pile of money. They care about what that money allows them to do...whether their goal is to sail around the world or to buy a cabin in the Alps.

This is where good financial planning becomes important. By first determining what rate of return you need in order to achieve your goals, we can use this information to drive a more prudent investment strategy. Because if you only need a 4% rate of return to accomplish everything you want with your money, why would you take any more risk than you absolutely need to?

In order to achieve higher returns, you may decide that you want to be more aggressive with your investments than you actually need to be. And that's OK, but it should be a conscious decision.

How much contact do you have with your clients?
For a new wealth management client looking for financial planning advice, we will typically hold 2-3 initial meetings where we will present our findings and implement the recommendations in the Financial Plan. After everything is in place, we recommend meeting 2-4 times per year on an ongoing basis. This can be in the form of face-to-face meetings or conference calls.

Some clients prefer to meet more often, and some less. We will work with you based on the service frequency that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Will I be working only with only one advisor or with a team?
You will be working with our entire team and will receive the benefit of a wide range of experience. There are numerous advantages to this approach, but the most important is that it allows us to provide continuity and ensure that someone is always available to assist you.

We believe that continuity in a firm is critical for the long-term success of its clients. If you are working with a solo practitioner, what would happen if your advisor got hit by a car? Would you still have access to your accounts?

What will happen when your advisor retires?

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