FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ANYTHING NEW AT PLANVISION BEFORE I READ THE FAQ?
After 6 years at $96, we have finally raised our first year price to $149! This has been long overdue. PlanVision continues to be a work in progress, like many businesses. But we have grown quite a bit recently and need to build out our business and this is the right price. As a PlanVision client, you will still renew at the end of the first year at $8 a month, which is $96/year, and can cancel any time.
Jason will be joining PlanVision as an advisor in early February. We are delighted to have him on board. He is a CPA, boglehead, and PlanVision client as well. He will initially focus on advising our US based clients. His tax experience and commitment to simple, low-cost investment strategies, and support of our model make him an excellent fit with our work.
Yes. However, as we grow, we may need to occasionally use a waiting list. Hopefully it will not be too long.
It is per couple. However, if you want to work with PlanVision separately from your spouse or partner (this happens quite a bit) it is two separate fees. Some of our clients that are married or have a partner do their own thing, and in that case, if they both want to work with PlanVision, each would pay the fee separately.
Yes. That’s it. We don’t generate referral fees, assets under management charges, commissions or other fees. We also work with smaller employers and generate revenue off of our work with them, however our guidance for our individual clients like you is completely unrelated.
If you live close to our offices in Minnesota and want us to visit you in person, we will charge more – about $250. Or, if you reach out to us with some complicated situation and you badly want our help, we will tell you up front what the fee would be. In the several years we have been doing this and the thousands of people we have helped we have only charged for extra work for 2 clients.
Clients buy our guidance with a credit or debit card.
No! And we don’t even want it. For our clients that use eMoney, you don’t provide your SSN and you can even provide a different DOB if you want to. You also can add your accounts manually to eMoney instead of syncing them. If you are an expat client and use interactive Brokers and link your account to PlanVision, we will have access to your account information. You can setup your account directly with IB if you like.
Only if you use a link provided by Interactive Brokers to setup your account. And if you do this, you can easily delink your account from PlanVision at any time.
You can cancel anytime. As in the day after you buy. You just send us an email.
Nothing gives. We are good at this. We have a very streamlined process and use technology efficiently to support our work. Also, since we simplify investment guidance and planning (yes, many advisors imply that this stuff is incredibly complicated but it isn’t) we have the capacity to work with more clients on a daily basis.
It simply depends on how long you want our help. We have clients that have been working with us for five years now since we started offering individual guidance under this current model. Other clients just want help for a few months or one year. Some prefer help for a few years.
Nothing too scientific. We wanted to help people that don’t have much extra money. Also, we realized that if we use technology efficiently it doesn’t take much time to provide professional, personal guidance and we could service many clients and make a profit.
We do! Watch the video again. In fact, there will occasionally be cases where people buy our service and misunderstand how we can help them or are not a match for our guidance. We will recommend that we send their money back.
Yes. Your cooperation on this is critical and mandatory. We cannot overstate how important our onboarding process is to helping us provide you personal guidance at an amazingly low price. When you start with PlanVision, you will complete our quick introductory survey so we understand your background and how we can help you. It is not too long – you can easily complete it in under 5 minutes and many will just take a couple of minutes to get it done.
It depends upon how you complete the survey. We provide next step instructions once you submit the survey.
No limit. We want you to feel comfortable that you can reach out to us without the meter running when you have a question. However, don’t abuse this. The success of PlanVision depends upon our clients appreciating our business model. Be respectful of our time. Don’t setup up 50 minute appointments every couple of months. If you reach out to us every week and want to have a session monthly, after a while we will just send your money back – you obviously haven’t figure out the program. We haven’t had to do this yet.
Yes. We have a secure sharefile system link on our emails and on our website you can use to send documents to us securely. Also, if you use eMoney, you can drop documents in their vault. We record many sessions with of our clients and can send you the recording password protected using WeTransfer.
Yes you can. However, before you do this, combine them all together in to one PDF!!! You have to do this!!! Seriously. You can use smallpdf.com to get this done. On our side, it takes forever to download several different PDF’s and is quite aggravating. We have an audio explanation of this during our onboarding survey.
We try to get to them as soon as possible!! We like to respond within a few hours and no more than a day. In rare cases, we may take more than a day – but we don’t like to go past that. Also, we might be a bit slower on weekends and US holidays and we even take time off every once in a while.
There are several types of clients that are not a fit for our model. If you are interested in meeting in person, unless you live close to our office and want to drive here, you are not a match; if you are looking for a complicated portfolio with precise allocations like 7.8% small company stocks, 11.5% international government bonds, etc… we don’t do that (other advisors are happy to do this for you); if you are interested in speculation or discussion on what will happen in the markets in the short run, we won’t provide that; or if you want to have regularly scheduled quarterly or semi annual meetings, we are not a good fit for you.
Yes. We rely on our clients to understand that the success of our $96 program relies on their ability to work with us in an efficient manner. However, we believe that for the vast majority of consumers all over the world this is not much of a challenge!
To communicate with PlanVision, you need to be able to use email and/or join an online meeting by video conference (unless you live in the UAE where video conferencing is currently blocked). Also, if you need to setup an account with a brokerage, you will likely need to do that online. If we are doing planning with eMoney for you, you will need to be able to enter basic data into an online system.
Two other things. Yes, we really need to mention these!! First, you need to be somewhat organized. You need to remember that you have a meeting with us and check your emails and respond to them when we reach out to you. Not immediately but eventually. (Some people struggle to do this)! Second, you need to be able to follow instructions. Really! We provide written and video instructions on setting up brokerage accounts and using eMoney. They are quite straightforward. But if you cannot follow instructions, you will impede our ability to work with you.
Yes. But we limit them to as many as you can provide.
WOW – great idea!! Imagine buying someone close to you a professional advisor for 12 months for just $96 that will review their situation, educate them about how to invest for their future, and help them develop a plan. And you wouldn’t have to worry about the advisor taking advantage of them and selling any products or investment plans.
What an excellent gift – I should have thought of this!
When you buy the service you can indicate during checkout who the gift is for and provide their email. In addition you can send us a separate email and indicate it is for someone else and we will follow-up accordingly.
Yes. They are in the footer. Also, when you purchase our guidance the Terms and Conditions are linked there and you will need to indicate that you have read them even if you haven’t.
This would not be good! Please let us know. You can use the info email at the top of the page, or Mark Zoril’s email in the footer, or you can call us at our toll free number. And thanks if you do that!
You can email us using the info email in the footer or header.
We rolled this out for our clients in 2019! We provide information relevant to our clients’ financial situation in the form of interviews, videos, podcasts, blogs, and other media formats. It is a great way for us to communicate with those that support our work.
We like and use Zoom. It works really well for us and is free for our clients. We also use skype and other platforms as well. However, with Zoom we can record our sessions with our clients, which many appreciate.
Everything runs off of our appointment system. It is likely that we cannot visit in the next day or two (however, there are times when appointments are available that soon). Normally you have to look out a week or two. While this sounds quite immodest, we are good at our work and take it seriously. There is significant demand for our guidance and we have many clients. We aren’t sitting around killing time, that’s for sure.
We are on task in our meetings. We enjoy being social with our clients, but we also want to make sure that we cover all the information we need to during our client sessions!
Likely yes but no guarantee on this. Most of our clients schedule meetings with us that are just fine for their schedule. It might depend upon how soon you want to meet and what time zone you are in! You might have to meet with us later at night or in the morning or during your work day.
NO! And please, please do not ask!! We have clients setting up appointments with us every day and time slots that become available due to cancellations. It is impossible for us to maintain a list of clients, in order of those that request, to contact in the event that an earlier time opens up. Maybe some other businesses do this, but it is completely impractical for PlanVision.
No. Please do not setup more than one appointment at a time. With our large volume of clients we cannot support allowing our clients to have multiple appointments. You can setup a subsequent appointment after we complete your outstanding meeting.
This is perfectly fine! We can help you put together a plan and don’t need to review your investments. On the other hand if you just want to review your investments and don’t need to do a full plan that is fine as well.
PlanVision does not give professional tax advice. You will want to hire a tax advisor for that. However, to be clear, we always discuss the tax implications of our clients’ investment decisions and consider how their different savings options will impact their taxes. You can’t provide financial guidance without understanding how tax laws impact investment decisions.
The people at eMoney can roll their eyes at this one. There is no comparison. These online services provide nice budgeting and tracking and account coordination tools. But when comes to long term projections, programs like eMoney, regarded as a top of the line financial advisor planning program, are so much more sophisticated in their range of planning and forecasting capabilities that it’s not comparable.
Some of our clients enter their information in a day or two. Others take months. eMoney is user friendly.
We have developed the eMoney Tracker. This online tool acts as a checklist you can use to stay organized and track your progress towards completing the information. You submit it once you have finished entering your information in eMoney.
We review and clean up the information and then you will then have a 5 to 15 minute video meeting with Christian Rieck. In this session Christian will answer your questions and prepare the information with you so it is ready for your planning meeting.
You then schedule a 30 or 50 minute session with Mark to go over the plan and more follow-up sessions as necessary.
No. These aren’t necessary. We think you should meet with an advisor when you have a reason for a session. But having regularly schedule sessions is not a good use of our time nor do we think these are particularly useful for our clients. On the other hand, we are happy to visit with you any time you would like.
If we are reviewing your investments, or developing recommendations, or completing your plan we typically don’t get this done immediately. It will likely take anywhere from 3 to 14 days. We realize this is a big range, but it depends upon the complexity of your request and how many other cases we are working on at the time.
NO! You will onboard yourself to the planning system – but we will help you along the way if you have questions. You will receive excellent, thorough instructions on how to do this!! The vast majority of our clients do not struggle at all on this, but you have to follow our instructions to do it correctly. For $96 a year, we cant afford to do data entry.
Yes we can. We are good at this and have lots of experience.
There is no “deal” with Andrew. I don’t pay him and he doesn’t pay PlanVision. We connected a few years ago through an online reporting service. Andrew learned about our business and put PlanVision on his website. He likes what we do and promotes it to expats and others that want to follow the same approach that he has used over the years. I have been impressed with his commitment to helping people and getting out this important message. He is doing great work!
Yes. Yes – depending upon the brokerage you use. We can provide tips on how you can get your account setup correctly. Yes. Yes. Yes.
We do the best we can. We have no special work around. For many of our clients, we work with them by phone. We would prefer that you call us but we can call you too. Also, many of our clients use a VPN and we can connect with them with video conferencing.
Not all of our clients need to open up an Interactive Brokers account, but if you do we have an extensive account setup video along with other shorter videos our clients use to use to get going with an IB account. We also have a PDF instructional tip sheet we provide as well.
Starting this Summer, we will also recommend that our clients have a very brief 5 to 10 minute session with Christian Rieck prior to starting the account setup process.
Of course not! You can invest in whatever you want. We recommend low-cost index funds or ETF’s and think you should use them as well, but what you invest in is your decision. Many of our clients have other assets such as properties, cd’s, other bank accounts, fixed or variable annuities, private businesses, etc… You are hiring us to provide our professional opinion on how you should invest your money. We will also provide perspective on other investments you may be considering. (Turns out people like this).
We don’t offer “portfolios”. We don’t manage money. We help people like you setup simple portfolios using target date funds, other all in one funds or ETF’s, a few index funds, etc… We believe that people should try to get market based returns less very small fees.
Yes!!! At this point, investors here in American and worldwide can setup low-cost, broadly diversified portfolios which should give them a better chance for long term success than more complicated, hard to understand strategies. We have no interest in overdone portfolios with clever asset allocations. There are plenty of other advisors that will build more complex portfolios for you.
Mark Zoril invests all of his money in a Vanguard 2040 Retirement Date Fund. I don’t track my performance, don’t compare it to other portfolios, and rarely even look at my account. I don’t know “how it is doing.” I am very happy with this and have been doing it this way for 10 years.
We don’t have any interest in stocks. You can buy them if you like and we can provide a comment on them for you, but we certainly will not recommend any.
Not in the conventional sense. We are working on trying to provide more regular content to our clients. However, it has nothing to do with market updates, or economic forecasts, or any of that type of gibberish.
Sure – if you really want to! You can do whatever you like. Particularly if you have some interesting information on investment products. However, I am really not interested in stories about market predictions or unique sector opportunities, etc…