Holistic Financial Wellness Counselors

Our experience in financial services gives us a broad background in personal finance issues, and we are able to work on almost anything related to personal finance. We view ourselves as holistic financial wellness counselors and are happy to work with you on whatever basis you prefer (more details below). Services include:

Budgeting • Cash Flow • Debt • Credit • College Funding • Student Loans• Home buying • Marriage & Divorce • Retirement • Insurance • Investment Strategy• Estate Planning • LGBT Issues • And more.

Because people often come to us ‘hurting’ from the issues associated with these subjects, and in order to avoid making the problems that bring you to us worse, we have developed two ways for us to work together: A la Carte and Asset Based Fees. A la Carte means that we will charge an hourly rate for our counseling using a sliding scale to set our fee based on your income and ability to pay. This method is best for clients who need our services for a single engagement, or to solve a limited set of issues that don’t require a financial product to solve, just our advice.

Other times, clients come to us with assets to manage, which we generally do on a fee basis. Our management fee then covers our financial planning work. Our goal is the get the job done for you, not get rich from collecting fees!!

Fee Schedule

We’re committed to being a “no-minimum” firm, so we’ve developed this fee schedule to enable us to cover our overhead while still helping those who need our assistance, and because we never want you to feel like we have to sell a product to get paid. We view financial products as potential solutions to whatever brings you in the door. If a financial product is a suitable solution for your needs, and we earn a commission as a result of our work together, our fee is waived. We also have no minimums on our investment work, and this can, depending on the size of your accounts with us, waive our fee as well. We’d be happy to discuss this further, just click the link on the bottom right corner of this page to schedule an appointment!

Income               Hourly Fee*

$ 45,000                    $  75.00

$ 60,000                   $ 100.00

$ 100,000                  $ 125.00

 

(*Note: We reserve the right to determine the length of the hour. All hours start at 60 minutes, but we adopt Einstein’s’ theory that time is relative and some hours can actually be longer than others)

Wealth Management Services

Our services vary depending on our clients’ needs. We’re proud to offer “Financial Wellness Check-Ins” for clients who only need our services on a one-off basis. Click over there to read more.

Wealth Management is the core of our practice. Rather than representing any one discipline of financial planning, Wealth Management is about taking a holistic look at your financial house and deploying whatever skills and services you need from us in order to reach your goals. These services are provided in a package, a sort of “Netflix for Financial Planning”, where our clients gain access to us as much as they need us, and our services can change over time as your needs change.

Mission-Driven Investment Options For Your

A clear mission is the cornerstone of an effective nonprofit. You know what your mission looks like at work; you see it in action day after day.

If your organization has a reserve fund, endowment, or fund balance we can work with you to extend the duty of obedience to your mission into your investment portfolio. We can help you take a critical look at your current holdings to determine if they support or undermine your organization’s mission. Whether you are a large institution managing a sizeable endowment or a smaller socially driven startup focused on maximizing the support of capital markets, we can offer our time to provide relevant research, advice and a comprehensive suite of fiduciary services.  

At Common Interests, we have a unique understanding of the financial obligations and responsibilities that accompany mission-based work. We recognize that nonprofits range in size, mission, and scope. We understand that while each nonprofit’s mission is particular to their organization, at the same time as a nonprofit they are part of a larger network with shared financial management needs.

Our firm provides a complete, personalized bundle of professional fiduciary services, and in our personal lives, our team members are either current or past Trustees of nonprofits. We know that your aim is to improve our society in your very specific way and that you are dedicated to that cause.  We also understand the need for you to be viewed as accountable, trustworthy, honest and open. Our ultimate goal is to help you meet the responsibilities of being a Fiduciary of the money under your control. Times are changing and so is the current definition of Fiduciary. The old “Prudent Man Rule” now has numerous requirements and real teeth, and we believe additional requirements are coming.

The nonprofit sector plays a key role in the provision of services we encounter on a daily basis. You can find nonprofits in these 8 familiar industries, and we believe that representation will increase within these and other industries (i.e.technology and transportation) as people and the economy respond to new developments.

Lives and communities across the country and around the globe are impacted by the work of nonprofits like yours. When you look at the data you can see that your nonprofit is part of a worldwide ecosystem championing mission-driven work.

As financial advisors, we are able to help you meet these Fiduciary standards while also incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards being promulgated by the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) into your investments.  We specialize in an investing theme which integrates ESG data into our investment process, called Sustainable, Responsible, Impact investing (SRI). Working together, we can help align your organizations’ investments with your mission, while managing the risk and return characteristics of your portfolio.

All of this new methodology, when added together, with good investing practices has been shown over time to reduce the risk of a portfolio as well as produce a long-term rate of return equal to or greater than a comparable market benchmark

The chart at the left shows various approaches we can take to responsible investing in order to align your investment strategy with your mission (on the left of the dotted line), and that we can use to measure the impact of your investments (on the right of the line). The intended result of this effort is for you to know that your investments are at a minimum ‘doing no harm’. Using the techniques on the right side of the line we can take this a step further and actually understand and mindfully design the impact of the investments we make.  The common name used to describe this is “Values-Based Investment”. Using this theme changes your organization’s relationship with its money, from a necessary but separate part of the organization that enables you to pursue your mission to an integrated part of your mission, working towards the same goals

As financial advisors, we operate as your ally, supporting your efforts to realize change by:

  • Acting as trusted advisors, helping your organization manage your investment needs, with a strategy based on managing risk through integrating Environmental, Social and Governance data into your portfolio.
  • Providing support to evaluate tradeoffs between spending and maintaining your corpus’ purchasing power
  • Timely, clear and comprehensive communications
  • Informative, customizable reports for committee members and staff
Your Investment Policies and Objectives

When you are unaware that there are effective ways to maintain the integrity of your mission throughout your investment portfolio, the documentation of your investment policy is bound to be no more than an obligatory legal chore, filed for good record keeping and the inherent want of a return on your investment. 

Life is full of too much humdrum paperwork.  We want to engage with you so that your investment policy becomes an extension of what moves you, that is, your mission driven-commitment— a document and process by which you are excited as a result of the potential to further your cause. 

  • We will help you to better understand the impacts of the options that are available to your organization from the standpoint both of financial risk/return and alignment with your mission.
  • We can partner with you to explore and identify cost-effective strategies to integrate ESG screened investments into your 401k, 403(B) or employer-sponsored retirement savings offerings.
  • We can work with you to facilitate clear and focused strategic conversations with your board members and stakeholders around impact themes, mission-alignment, engagement, and buy-in.
  • We can provide thorough and digestible tools and resources to help you influence other nonprofit colleagues and peers to adopt a mission-driven sustainable investing approach.
Aligning Your Endowment And Your Mission

For most foundations and non-profits, there is a “firewall” between the investment portfolio and the mission of the organization. Typically, these organizations are required by the IRS to give 5% of their net worth each year towards Program Related Investments, or they loose their tax status. This means that they will generally target 5% returns/year to replace what’s given out, and it’s left to the investment advisor to determine how to do this without taking on too much risk. This leads to situations like This one, where the Gates Foundation discovered that their endowment was invested in companies that were directly at odds with their mission.

We believe that mission-driven organizations must not turn a blind eye to their investments. Let’s work together to find a way to express your mission in your portfolio, whether that means starting with the Hippocratic Oath: “first do no harm”, fully divesting from fossil fuels, or putting your endowment to work on the ground through local investing initiatives or gender lens investments. Visit our SRI Investing page for a deeper look at what’s possible, and remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Fiduciary Partners
  • Fiduciary Care — Just as you are a fiduciary to your organization, we are a fiduciary to you, providing advice with your organization’s best interests at heart.
  • Common Interests — Our sole source of compensation is in the form of reasonable, transparent fees for the services we provide. With no hidden commissions or similar third-party arrangements, our interests are clearly aligned with yours and only with yours.
  • Experienced Partners — Our team has walked in your shoes. Both Bob and Max serve on the boards of mission driven non-profits, and understand the way the process works. We’re here to help and serve your organization as partners who understand your needs and are willing to be flexible and work with you to set, measure, and achieve your goals.

Align your Entire portfolio with your Philanthropic Goals

Not just what you give away

Our firm exists to Democratize access to impact investment opportunities. In the philanthropic space, this means 2 things:

  • Providing access to Donor Advised Funds that provide tax-advantaged philanthropic opportunities for the money you want to donate
    • At lower cost than running a family foundation
    • Without administrative overhead or separate tax forms
    • No mandatory distributions or excise tax on investment income
    • With the possibility of anonymous donations from the fund – if you desire.
    • While bringing the next generation into the conversation – using these tools, we can help build your family’s relationship with its’ money by engaging the next generation in the decision making process.
  • While also aligning the investments in the fund with the objectives of your philanthropy
    • Too many times, we’ve seen investors with philanthropic intent invest the funds they intend to donate in strategies that contain holdings that are working against the themes they want to support.
    • We believe that the funds you intend to give away should also do good work while they’re invested, so we offer high impact investments, customized to support your preferred impact themes within a broad, diversified portfolio.
    • We also function as consultants, helping  you identify just how much good your charitable dollars will do. We believe in Effective Altruism, understanding how much of the money you donate actually goes to the causes you want to support. This tool, from GiveWell, is an excellent place to start.

How it works

Step 1

Make a tax deductible contribution to the fund.

Step 2

Choose from a range of Responsible Investments or Impact Investments that compliment your philanthropic goals

Step 3

Recommend grants to your chosen causes or charities. You can also design a custom philanthropic program to advance your charitable goals.

Benefits

  1. Income Tax: You receive an immediate income tax deduction in the year you contribute to your Donor Advised Fund. This makes tax planning easier by enabling you to get the tax benefit now, then decide when and where to actually give the money later.
  2. Capital Gains Tax: You will incur no capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated assets (i.e. securities, real estate, other illiquid assets).
  3. Estate Tax: Your Donor Advised Fund will not be subject to estate taxes.
  4. Tax-Free Growth: Your investments in a Donor Advised Fund can appreciate tax-free.
  5. Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT): If you are subject to alternative minimum tax, your contribution will reduce your AMT impact.

Holistic Financial Wellness Counselors

Our experience in financial services gives us a broad background in personal finance issues, and we are able to work on almost anything related to personal finance. We view ourselves as holistic financial wellness counselors and are happy to work with you on whatever basis you prefer (more details below). Services include:

Budgeting • Cash Flow • Debt • Credit • College Funding • Student Loans• Home buying • Marriage & Divorce • Retirement • Insurance • Investment Strategy• Estate Planning • LGBT Issues • And more.

Because people often come to us ‘hurting’ from the issues associated with these subjects, and in order to avoid making the problems that bring you to us worse, we have developed two ways for us to work together: A la Carte and Asset Based Fees. A la Carte means that we will charge an hourly rate for our counseling using a sliding scale to set our fee based on your income and ability to pay. This method is best for clients who need our services for a single engagement, or to solve a limited set of issues that don’t require a financial product to solve, just our advice.

Other times, clients come to us with assets to manage, which we generally do on a fee basis. Our management fee then covers our financial planning work. Our goal is the get the job done for you, not get rich from collecting fees!!

Fee Schedule

We’re committed to being a “no-minimum” firm, so we’ve developed this fee schedule to enable us to cover our overhead while still helping those who need our assistance, and because we never want you to feel like we have to sell a product to get paid. We view financial products as potential solutions to whatever brings you in the door. If a financial product is a suitable solution for your needs, and we earn a commission as a result of our work together, our fee is waived. We also have no minimums on our investment work, and this can, depending on the size of your accounts with us, waive our fee as well. We’d be happy to discuss this further, just click the link on the bottom right corner of this page to schedule an appointment!

Income               Hourly Fee*

$ 45,000                    $  75.00

$ 60,000                   $ 100.00

$ 100,000                  $ 125.00

 

(*Note: We reserve the right to determine the length of the hour. All hours start at 60 minutes, but we adopt Einstein’s’ theory that time is relative and some hours can actually be longer than others)

Wealth Management Services

Our services vary depending on our clients’ needs. We’re proud to offer “Financial Wellness Check-Ins” for clients who only need our services on a one-off basis. Click over there to read more.

Wealth Management is the core of our practice. Rather than representing any one discipline of financial planning, Wealth Management is about taking a holistic look at your financial house and deploying whatever skills and services you need from us in order to reach your goals. These services are provided in a package, a sort of “Netflix for Financial Planning”, where our clients gain access to us as much as they need us, and our services can change over time as your needs change.

  • Financial Planning

    Make a plan and stick to it

    Budgeting & Cash Flow, strategies to save, pay off debt efficiently, and set SMART goals that you can achieve.

    We also function as “Financial Quarterbacks”, working with the rest of your team: Accountants, Attorneys, and other professionals.

  • Investment Management

    Monitoring and Re-balancing your portfolio

    Our team watches your portfolio and takes action when necessary to keep your investments in line with your objectives.

    Investment Management

  • Protection Solutions

    Understand & Manage Risk

    Are you properly insured? How does your insurance package fit your overall financial life? We’ll review your insurance policies to see if your protection is appropriate and meeting your needs. Especially important if you don’t understand what you own.

  • Retirement Planning

    Strategies for Retirement Income Planning

    Plan your transition from making money and saving to taking income from your investments. Which accounts do you draw from and in which order? How do Social Security, Medicare, and your retirement plan fit together? We put the pieces in place before you retire and prepare you for what’s coming.

    Retirement Planning

  • Estate Planning

    Managing your Legacy and what’s left behind

    When you are gone, what do you want your money to mean? What impact do you want it to have, and how do you want to be remembered? Future generations depend on the decisions we make today, and we can help you make the decisions that are right for you. No two people have the same answers to these questions, and we function as a guide through the process.

  • Career Coaching

    Take your Career to the next level

    We invest in our clients so that they can invest with us. We want our clients to be fulfilled and happy, moving towards their goals with a support structure behind them. To support this, we’re always available to work on your resume, talk about your next career move, and be an outside, objective point of view to help you think through big decisions.

    Career Coaching

  • Philanthropy

    Streamline your Charitable Giving

    What causes do you want to support? How much good is your charitable donation doing? Are you getting tax advantages from your charitable donations and could they be done in a more efficient way? These are the questions we can answer together.

  • Health Care Planning

    Manage the risks and costs of long term health care needs

    An important subset of protection planning, Long  Term Health Care is one of the biggest risks to any retirement plan. Whether you’re going to self-insure, you own insurance that you’re not sure is working for you, or you want to explore your options, we can help.

    Health Care Planning

Mission-Driven Investment Options For Your

At Common Interests, we have a unique understanding of the financial obligations and responsibilities that accompany mission-based work. We recognize that nonprofits range in size, mission, and scope. We understand that while each nonprofit’s mission is particular to their organization, at the same time as a nonprofit they are part of a larger network with shared financial management needs.

Our firm provides a complete, personalized bundle of professional fiduciary services, and in our personal lives, our team members are either current or past Trustees of nonprofits. We know that your aim is to improve our society in your very specific way and that you are dedicated to that cause.  We also understand the need for you to be viewed as accountable, trustworthy, honest and open. Our ultimate goal is to help you meet the responsibilities of being a Fiduciary of the money under your control. Times are changing and so is the current definition of Fiduciary. The old “Prudent Man Rule” now has numerous requirements and real teeth, and we believe additional requirements are coming.

The nonprofit sector plays a key role in the provision of services we encounter on a daily basis. You can find nonprofits in these 8 familiar industries, and we believe that representation will increase within these and other industries (i.e.technology and transportation) as people and the economy respond to new developments.

As financial advisors, we are able to help you meet these Fiduciary standards while also incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards being promulgated by the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) into your investments.  We specialize in an investing theme which integrates ESG data into our investment process, called Sustainable, Responsible, Impact investing (SRI). Working together, we can help align your organizations’ investments with your mission, while managing the risk and return characteristics of your portfolio.

All of this new methodology, when added together, with good investing practices has been shown over time to reduce the risk of a portfolio as well as produce a long-term rate of return equal to or greater than a comparable market benchmark

Lives and communities across the country and around the globe are impacted by the work of nonprofits like yours. When you look at the data you can see that your nonprofit is part of a worldwide ecosystem championing mission-driven work.

The chart below shows various approaches we can take to responsible investing in order to align your investment strategy with your mission (on the left of the dotted line), and that we can use to measure the impact of your investments (on the right of the line). The intended result of this effort is for you to know that your investments are at a minimum ‘doing no harm’. Using the techniques on the right side of the line we can take this a step further and actually understand and mindfully design the impact of the investments we make.  The common name used to describe this is “Values-Based Investment”. Using this theme changes your organization’s relationship with its money, from a necessary but separate part of the organization that enables you to pursue your mission to an integrated part of your mission, working towards the same goals

As financial advisors, we operate as your ally, supporting your efforts to realize change by:

  • Acting as trusted advisors, helping your organization manage your investment needs, with a strategy based on managing risk through integrating Environmental, Social and Governance data into your portfolio.
  • Providing support to evaluate tradeoffs between spending and maintaining your corpus’ purchasing power
  • Timely, clear and comprehensive communications
  • Informative, customizable reports for committee members and staff
Your Investment Policies and Objectives

When you are unaware that there are effective ways to maintain the integrity of your mission throughout your investment portfolio, the documentation of your investment policy is bound to be no more than an obligatory legal chore, filed for good record keeping and the inherent want of a return on your investment. 

Life is full of too much humdrum paperwork.  We want to engage with you so that your investment policy becomes an extension of what moves you, that is, your mission driven-commitment— a document and process by which you are excited as a result of the potential to further your cause. 

  • We will help you to better understand the impacts of the options that are available to your organization from the standpoint both of financial risk/return and alignment with your mission.
  • We can partner with you to explore and identify cost-effective strategies to integrate ESG screened investments into your 401k, 403(B) or employer-sponsored retirement savings offerings.
  • We can work with you to facilitate clear and focused strategic conversations with your board members and stakeholders around impact themes, mission-alignment, engagement, and buy-in.
  • We can provide thorough and digestible tools and resources to help you influence other nonprofit colleagues and peers to adopt a mission-driven sustainable investing approach.
Aligning Your Endowment And Your Mission

For most foundations and non-profits, there is a “firewall” between the investment portfolio and the mission of the organization. Typically, these organizations are required by the IRS to give 5% of their net worth each year towards Program Related Investments, or they loose their tax status. This means that they will generally target 5% returns/year to replace what’s given out, and it’s left to the investment advisor to determine how to do this without taking on too much risk. This leads to situations like This one, where the Gates Foundation discovered that their endowment was invested in companies that were directly at odds with their mission.

We believe that mission-driven organizations must not turn a blind eye to their investments. Let’s work together to find a way to express your mission in your portfolio, whether that means starting with the Hippocratic Oath: “first do no harm”, fully divesting from fossil fuels, or putting your endowment to work on the ground through local investing initiatives or gender lens investments. Visit our SRI Investing page for a deeper look at what’s possible, and remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Fiduciary Partners
  • Fiduciary Care — Just as you are a fiduciary to your organization, we are a fiduciary to you, providing advice with your organization’s best interests at heart.
  • Common Interests — Our sole source of compensation is in the form of reasonable, transparent fees for the services we provide. With no hidden commissions or similar third-party arrangements, our interests are clearly aligned with yours and only with yours.
  • Experienced Partners — Our team has walked in your shoes. Both Bob and Max serve on the boards of mission driven non-profits, and understand the way the process works. We’re here to help and serve your organization as partners who understand your needs and are willing to be flexible and work with you to set, measure, and achieve your goals.

Philanthropy: Align your Entire portfolio with your Philanthropic Goals

Not just what you give away

Our firm exists to Democratize access to impact investment opportunities. In the philanthropic space, this means 2 things:

  • Providing access to Donor Advised Funds that provide tax-advantaged philanthropic opportunities for the money you want to donate
    • At lower cost than running a family foundation
    • Without administrative overhead or separate tax forms
    • No mandatory distributions or excise tax on investment income
    • With the possibility of anonymous donations from the fund – if you desire.
    • While bringing the next generation into the conversation – using these tools, we can help build your family’s relationship with its’ money by engaging the next generation in the decision making process.
  • While also aligning the investments in the fund with the objectives of your philanthropy
    • Too many times, we’ve seen investors with philanthropic intent invest the funds they intend to donate in strategies that contain holdings that are working against the themes they want to support.
    • We believe that the funds you intend to give away should also do good work while they’re invested, so we offer high impact investments, customized to support your preferred impact themes within a broad, diversified portfolio.
    • We also function as consultants, helping  you identify just how much good your charitable dollars will do. We believe in Effective Altruism, understanding how much of the money you donate actually goes to the causes you want to support. This tool, from GiveWell, is an excellent place to start.

How it works

Step 1

Make a tax deductible contribution to the fund.

Step 2

Choose from a range of Responsible Investments or Impact Investments that compliment your philanthropic goals

Step 3

Recommend grants to your chosen causes or charities. You can also design a custom philanthropic program to advance your charitable goals.

Benefits

  1. Income Tax: You receive an immediate income tax deduction in the year you contribute to your Donor Advised Fund. This makes tax planning easier by enabling you to get the tax benefit now, then decide when and where to actually give the money later.
  2. Capital Gains Tax: You will incur no capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated assets (i.e. securities, real estate, other illiquid assets).
  3. Estate Tax: Your Donor Advised Fund will not be subject to estate taxes.
  4. Tax-Free Growth: Your investments in a Donor Advised Fund can appreciate tax-free.
  5. Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT): If you are subject to alternative minimum tax, your contribution will reduce your AMT impact.

Want to Learn More?

Let’s get together, either in person or virtually.

©Copyright - Common Interests 2017
Vanderbilt Financial Group is the marketing name for Vanderbilt Securities, LLC and its affiliates Securities offered through Vanderbilt Securities, LLC Member: FINRA, SIPC• Registered with MSRB Advisory Services offered through Vanderbilt Advisory Services, LLC Insurance Services offered through Vanderbilt Insurance and other agencies Clearing Agent: National Financial Services, LLC Supervising Office: 125 Froehlich Farm Blvd, Woodbury, NY 11797 • 631-845-5100 This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the state(s) of AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, IL, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NY, NC, PA, SC and VA. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced. Common Interests does not provide Tax or Legal advice. Consult a qualified professional on tax and legal matters.

These links are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. The links are not part of Vanderbilt Financial Group. web site, and the link to outside web sites does not mean that Vanderbilt Financial Group endorses or accepts any responsibility for the content, or the use, of the web site. Vanderbilt Financial Group does not guarantee the sequence, accuracy or completeness of the data or other information appearing on the linked pages. The company assumes no liability for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions in or from any data or other information provided on the pages, or for any actions taken in reliance on any such data or information.