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Asset Planning Corporation focuses on wealth management strategies that cover all areas of your personal financial situation. We’ll help you understand just how much insurance you need to be safe. We’ll show you how to minimize your tax burden. We’ll guide you into setting realistic goals for retirement and exploring options for the money you’ve set aside for your children’s education. AND we’ll strive to offer our advice to you in a timely, accurate and effective manner...because your freedom to grow is our passion.
What is Financial Planning?
Financial planning is a process that helps you... identify your personal goals, review your present financial condition, and design a plan of action to help you reach your goals. Because we are passionate about your dreams, freedom, and enrichment we implement a six-step financial planning process that includes goal-setting, data-gathering, analysis, recommendations, implementation, and monitoring. Thereby putting you on the path to the enriched life.
Why Choose APC?
Financial planners are now a dime a dozen and inconsistently regulated. They come in all shapes and biases: there are insurance-based planners, brokerage-based planners, tax-based planners, and us, independent fee-based planners. Since many planners (insurance companies, brokerage houses, and banks) are focused on the products and services they sell, they are more likely to be “product-centric” or “revenue-centric” instead of “client-centric.”
APC is client-centric. We do not sell products. We give you expert advice for a fee. We work exclusively for you. Period. We have no hidden sales agendas and do not mass-market services and products you do not need or want. We create custom solutions that fit your needs and achieve your goals. Simply put, we allow you the freedom to grow. Central to our mission, we hold to these core values: integrity, respect, care, humility, faith, and learning. These are the vehicles that drive our business.
What Makes Us Different?
We are one of the oldest independent financial advisory firms in the country. As such, we use our more-than-three-decades of accumulated wisdom to help transform people’s lives. By providing an integrity-rich environment and using educational tools and a disciplined asset planning process, we offer a unique client experience. We believe that we have built a holistic model for financial wellness, one designed for people who want good advice.
Being a hometown small business means we are flexible for you, and being nationally recognized as a leader in the industry means professional experience is at your doorstep…allowing you the opportunity for a truly enriched life.
PAUL K. FAIN, III, CFP®, President
Paul K. Fain, III is committed to the development of financial planning as a profession, not as a source for product sales. Paul began his career in financial planning in 1988. After obtaining his CFP® designation in 1990, he became president of APC in 1992. He helped reactivate the Knoxville chapter of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (now called the Financial Planning Association) and served two successive terms as chapter president. He has served frequently on various national task forces and committees, most recently as the task force chairman who organized the 2007 FPA Retreat Education Conference for advanced planners.
On Paul’s “watch,” he and the firm have received several accolades and recognition of expertise including the following:
Medical Economics magazine has selected Paul as one of the top financial advisers in the country. (For years 98, 00, 02, 04, 06)Five years in a row Bloomberg Wealth Manager magazine has ranked APC as one of the top financial advisory firms in the country. (For years 02-06)The Knoxville Interfaith Network has recognized APC for excellence in "Family-Friendly Business Practices."Paul is a weekly financial commentator for NBC television’s local affiliate in Knoxville.He also contributes a monthly column to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Several publications such as The Journal of Financial Planning and Research Magazine quote him as an expert in his field.
Paul is an accomplished, national, financial planning speaker and personality. He teaches workshops and seminars for various local and national corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and professional associations.
Paul is married to his college sweetheart Tina. They have three children–Macy, Jackson, and Harrison–and attend Two Rivers Church, where Paul is an active volunteer in the children’s ministry. firstname.lastname@example.org
SUZANNE W. HIMES, CFP®, Financial Planner
Suzanne W. Himes joined APC in 1999 and provides the primary client portfolio administration as an APC Financial Planner. She is available as a client resource for budget planning and cash flow management questions, an area of financial planning that she is particularly passionate about. She also serves as our main interface with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., as well as being the internal coordinator of our compliance systems. After three years of rigorous study and successful completion of a two-day examination modeled after the bar exam of the legal profession, she obtained her CFP® designation in 2008. She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from the University of Texas.
Suzanne relocated to Knoxville from Austin, Texas, with her husband Herb and daughter Katarina in 1998. She enjoys baking, various needle crafts, frequent camping with family and friends, and is currently learning to play the folk harp. email@example.com
WESLEY S. BROWN, CFP®, Financial Planner
Wesley S. Brown joined the APC team in 2009, relocating with his family from Maine in August of 2009. He spent nearly six years working in tax accounting and finance before becoming a financial adviser with the Global Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley. Wes recently earned his CFP® designation and is an APC Financial Planner, providing financial planning and portfolio administration services for our clients.
Wes studied music at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and is married to his high school sweetheart Brandie. Together, they have two sons– Emerson and Owen–and attend Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church. Wes tries to spend as much time as possible with his family being active, whether on a hike or out for a run. His other personal interests range from modern jazz music to cycling. firstname.lastname@example.org
KATHY PATTY, RP, Director of Administration
Kathy Patty has been a part of the Asset Planning team since September, 1999. As the office manager, she is a key member of the APC staff and the internal coordinator of our information systems. Her responsibilities include scheduling, bookkeeping, billing, records maintenance, general client service and information technology. She is a Registered Paraplanner(SM).
Kathy is a lifetime resident of the Knoxville area, where she lives with her husband Ed and one of their three children. Her older daughter and son live and work in Knoxville. She is an active leader in the Tennessee PTA and her church. email@example.com
What can you expect from us?
The centerpiece of Asset Planning Corporation’s service is our ability to coordinate your portfolio’s management with a financial planning process. After we have a complete understanding of your financial planning needs and objectives, we begin to develop your customized investment portfolio.
Every aspect of your financial plan is equally important. What sets us apart is our focus on a wealth management strategy that covers all areas of your financial situation, not just investments. We’ll help you understand just how much insurance you need to be safe. We’ll show you how to minimize your tax burden. We’ll help you set realistic goals for retirement and explore options for the money you’ve set aside for your children’s education, helping it stand up to ever-increasing costs.
We strive to offer our advice to you in a timely, accurate and effective manner, and we work to put this information into understandable terms.
How does the Process Work? Stage 1: We interview. We conduct an initial interview and agree on core values, a common mission, and realistic expectations.
Stage 2: We plan.We implement our six-step financial planning process to review your current financial condition and your progress towards your personal financial goals. Our six-step financial planning process includes the following:
We clarify and formulate your financial dreams, goals, specific objectives, and discuss dollar amounts and time frames.
We gather and review the financial data of your life.
We analyze information and run projections.
With your input, we develop recommendations and alternatives for your future.
We guide the implementation of change in your life (insurance selections, preparation of estate documents, cash management, etc.) and partner with you in the long-term management of your investment portfolio.
We review your goals and progress, and guide future changes, especially concerning your investment strategy.
Stage 3: We monitor. APC recommends methods for monitoring your financial plan while we monitor your investment portfolio. In addition to regularly scheduled reviews, you may choose to interact with us throughout the year to monitor your progress and to make any necessary changes. You can rely on APC strategies and advice to be integrated, smart and enduring, and always in your best interest.
What Makes a Great Client/Adviser Relationship?
The ideal relationship between a client and a financial planner is one of good communication, mutual respect, and realistic expectations. Other key attributes are honesty, trust, directness, delegation, and accountability. We view financial planning as a relational and service profession, not just a “sale.” Our clientele include “everyday folk” who want a meaningful life, are ready to take action, and value the services of a personal financial adviser. We take time to know our clients and understand their needs,concerns, and goals. In order to do this effectively we may…
make direct requests, such as, “Will you accomplish ‘x’ by the end of the month?” You may accept the request, counter-offer, or decline.
give straight advice.We will make specific suggestions, regarding opportunities and solutions.
ask questions. To clarify and avoid any misunderstandings, we may be proactive in the questions that we ask.
give homework. We usually will ask you to gather important documents and financial data for our work together.
expect you to reflect on your own biases and beliefs about wealth and risk before undertaking any investment program.
expect you to develop comfort and trust that our recommendations are backed by depth of experience and research.
expect you to remember that the financial media are in the business of selling papers, magazines, and advertising.
expect you not to mistake the volume of financial information for wisdom.
want you to expect us to help you measure your progress and periodically reevaluate your goals as life changes occur.
What qualifies you in this field? What are your areas of specialization?Asset Planning Corporation has been providing financial planning advice in the areas of personal finance for more than three decades. The entire Asset Planning Corporation staff has earned degrees and certifications that support the company’s efforts to serve the community in financial planning and asset management.
What financial programs do you offer? And what’s your approach to financial planning? We focus on managing our clients’ investment portfolios on a discretionary basis. We passionately believe that the financial planning process is the foundation of a successful investment experience. Furthermore, our approach to client service is based on the following...
We place our clients’ interests before all others.
Our clients deserve unbiased advice, free from hidden conflicts of interest.
Our clients deserve qualified experts in the areas of service we provide.
Our clients deserve personal attention and commitment.
We treat our clients as we would like to be treated.
How are you paid for your services? APC is a fee-based advisory firm, meaning that we receive project or portfolio-based fees for our advice and expertise.
What types of investment vehicles do you recommend? We are mutual fund specialists and utilize both passive and active fund managers to construct client portfolios. Through diligent research, we maintain an approved list of leading, no-load, low-fee mutual fund companies. We also have access to the exclusive Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual funds.
Who can benefit most from our services? We believe that financial planning and portfolio management requires a commitment by the client-- a commitment to provide complete information, to learn new concepts, and to examine choices in light of their own goals, even if it means changing behavior in saving, spending, and investing patterns. Our service relationship is a dialogue. Our clients are not just spectators. If they are willing to make the commitment and join in the dialogue, then they can indeed benefit from our services.
The PIE Plan: Planning + Investment = Enriched Life
Financial planning and portfolio investment management are the two main slices of our PIE Plan. Guided by the principles of asset allocation and global diversification, we help you decide how to manage your investments and monitor the results. By providing exposure to a diverse portfolio of asset classes–including stocks, bonds, and cash–we optimize the risk/reward trade-off for our clients while striving for their individual goals for growth, financial freedom, and ultimately their enriched life. We strive to give you A piece of life for your peace of mind.
Our service includes...
Creation of a customized Investment Policy Statement.
Development of portfolio allocations to reflect your risk-management and long-term performance goals.
Implementation using both active and passive strategies, some of which are exclusive arrangements and therefore not available to most investors.
Making investing simpler and easier to understand.
Reporting the total portfolio’s performance, not just part of it. You know where you stand.
Conducting regular meetings with you to answer any questions.
Analyzing your cash needs and helping you gain access when needed.
Maintaining tax records for your end-of-year tax planning.
We design a portfolio that is closely linked to your dreams and personal financial plan. We will help you better understand how much risk you can or need to take to achieve your dreams and enrich your life.
APC’s smart approach to investing is based on the following important assumptions...
Global diversification reduces risk and enhances returns.
Markets are efficient. It is virtually impossible to know the future direction of the market as a whole or of any individual security. It is, therefore, unlikely that any portfolio will succeed in always “beating the market” in the short-term.
Portfolio structure is the key determinant of results. The principal challenge for investors is to develop an asset allocation policy that matches an investor’s risk preferences with returns offered by the capital markets. A successful policy is one that can be adhered to without anxiety in both good and bad markets.
The portfolio as a whole is more important than an individual security. The appropriate allocation of capital among asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) will have far more influence on long-term portfolio results than the selection of individual securities.
Investing for the long term (preferably longer than ten years) becomes critical to investment success because it allows the long-term characteristics of the asset classes to surface.
Equities offer the potential for higher long-term investment returns than cash or fixed income investments. Equities are also more volatile in their performance. Investors seeking higher rates of return must increase the proportion of equities in their portfolio, while at the same time accepting greater variation of results (including the occasional decline in value).
Timing the purchases or sales of investments in an attempt to “beat the market” are highly unlikely to increase long-term investment returns; they also can significantly increase portfolio operating costs. Such practices are, therefore, to be avoided.
Lower expenses increase investment returns.
The management of tax liabilities is just as important as expenses in considering overall investment returns.
An effective investment strategy should be integrated with an overall financial plan.
We have the ability to design and manage investment portfolios with risk/return profiles that range from very conservative to very aggressive. Managing risk can be just as important as managing return. Diversification is the process of placing a percentage of your investment portfolio in different market sectors with low correlation to each other to help minimize risk. Within each asset class, we will recommend particular funds that we have researched and believe to be well-suited to meet your financial and life goals.
Through diligent research, we maintain an approved list of leading, no-load, low-fee mutual fund companies. We also have access to the exclusive Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual funds.
After we select investments we believe are best suited for your personal objectives, we will monitor your investment portfolio for consistency of investment style, philosophy, and performance. We will regularly review your investment portfolio, regarding its performance and risk tolerance and your personal goals.
Ultimately, our success is measured not by performance statistics but rather by our clients’ success in achieving their goals.
Fain Financial Learning
The roots of Asset Planning Corporation run deep into financial education. The late Kemp Fain instructed the first personal financial planning workshops for the University of Tennessee’s non-credit programs. He also authored a popular financial planning workbook Money Matters. Today, Paul Fain continues the legacy through his offerings of client wellness and general public financial literacy.
Paul has a passion for sharing his extensive knowledge. Through the written and spoken word, he makes complex concepts simple to understand – and fun to learn. He has previously served as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Tennessee and at present, serves as a weekly television commentator and a monthly newspaper columnist. Also, he’s a chief storyteller to the elementary-aged children of Two Rivers Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Paul frequently conducts corporate workshops to educate employees on the fundamentals of cash management, planning for retirement, and investment strategies. He is also a popular keynote speaker for local and national conferences and corporate retreats.
Paul Fain is an expert on the topics below...
Life Planning: More than Money
Setting Financial Goals and Realistic Expectations
Cash Management (the dreaded “B” word: Budgeting)
Investing for Financial Independence
Planning for an Abundant Retirement
The Legacy of Wealth
Customized topics encouraged
For rates and/or to schedule a presentation, please contact: Kathy Patty, (888) 690-1231.
What people are saying...
“Paul Fain’s opening keynote speech at FPA’s 2003 Retreat was a huge breath of fresh air and an inspiring start to our meeting. He galvanized the veterans and newcomers of the financial planning profession and encouraged them to reflect and work together creatively and innovatively to unleash the profession’s potential. His combination of down-home common sense, humor, and entertaining delivery style energized our group for the rest of the meeting. It continues to rank very high as one of my very favorite sessions. He has the ability to take the complex and convert it into simple yet powerful takeaways for any audience. I highly recommend Paul Fain for your next meeting!”
Marv Tuttle, CAE ~ Executive Director/CEO~Financial Planning Association
“Paul has that rare ability to make a genuine connection with even the largest of groups. His presentations motivate and inspire through a skillful combination of heart and humor. Paul is a great speaker and a great entertainer.”
David B. Yeske, CFP® ~ Yeske Buie, San Francisco, CA
“Paul is part entertainer, part confidante, and part sage adviser when he speaks. He shares himself and his own life with his audience. There is great thought and wisdom embedded into everything he says.”
Elissa Buie, CFP® ~ Yeske Buie, Falls Church, VA
“Paul Fain’s authentically open, sincere, and self-effacing style disarms audiences and creates a quality speaker-listener connection that allows him to very effectively communicate an uncommon wisdom.”
Guy M. Cumbie, CFP®, CIMA® ~ Cumbie Advisory Services, Fort Worth, TX
“As a long-time columnist for his hometown paper, Paul can be counted on for real-life financial advice -- from raising kids so they handle money well to managing your emotions related to investing, along with easy-to-understand, nuts-and-bolts advice that makes readers smarter and more confident in their decisions.”
David Keim, Assistant Managing Editor ~ Knoxville News Sentinel
“We asked Paul Fain to educate our employees on the importance in investing in the 401(K) and the options available to them upon retirement. Paul has gone beyond our request and has taught our employees to think about the type of life they would like to have when they retire. He not only emphasizes the numbers but also the quality of life. Paul’s delivery provides information in a manner that holds the attention of those attending.“
Joyce Darby ~ Knoxville Utilities Board
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