FAQs

Q. What is a Financial Coach?

We help you with your financial basics.  Budgeting, savings, retirement, debt, planning, home buying, work benefits, etc. There is no license required for a financial coach in Massachusetts. There are some accreditations sold by some private schools. 

Q. What is Registered Investment Advisor (RIA or IAR)

They can get paid to offer you specific advice on investments and securities. They can not take your money and sell you these products. They must pass a Series 65 exam by the SEC.  They must be a licensed Investment Advisor in Massachusetts. They may require you to have minimum amount of assets ($100K) before considering you you as a client.

Q. What is a Financial Advisor?

They can take your money and sell you securities such as insurance, mutual funds and stocks for a large company. While offering some advice and guidance they typically will get paid by commissions and fees on the backend.  They are required to be licensed in Massachusetts. They will need to pass a Series 6 & Series 7 exams by the SEC. They may require you have minimum amount of assets ($100K or $250K) before considering you you as a client.

Q. What is a Financial Planner?

They may offer a full financial plan that includes basics though comprehensive Retirement planning. They can get paid by one large fee for their plan ($2 -3K), on a monthly retainer, or by % of your assets (.7 – 1%). They only need licenses if they are handling your money or offering investment advice.  If so, they must be licensed Investment Advisor in Massachusetts. If they are selling your securities, they will need to pass a Series 6 & Series 7 exams by the SEC. The may hold a CFP designation which is a widely accepted accreditation by a private institution. They may require you have minimum amount of assets ($100K or $250K) before considering you you as a client.