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What is a CFP® Professional and what do they do?

CFP® stands for Certified Financial Planner TM and can only be used by a professional who has met rigorous qualifications for financial planning.  Only those who have fulfilled the CFP Board's requirements are authorized to call themselves a CFP® professional.  Those requirements include a commitment to high ethical standards, several years of experience delivering financial planning services to clients, and passing the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam. More information can be found at and

What is a CPA and what do they do?

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and is an accountant who has passed certain examinations and met all other statutory and licensing requirements of a United States state to be certified by that state.

CPAs are no longer just number crunchers and tax preparers.  They are business and financial strategists for their clients and provide numerous services, including but not limited to: tax preparation, tax planning, bookkeeping, accounting, auditing, business consulting, and more

What is a PFS?

 PFS stands for Personal Financial Specialist and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who meets the financial planning requirements established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  The credential is awarded only to CPAs who demonstrate the requisite experience, education, examination, and ethical standards established by the AICPA.

 In order to obtain the PFS credential, one must:

  • Be a CPA in good standing
  • Be a member in good standing with the AICPA
  • Earn a minimum of 80 hours of personal financial planning education
  • Pass a comprehensive Personal Financial Planning exam
  • Have at least two years (or 3,000 hour equivalent) of full-time financial planning business experience
  • Agree to be bound by the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
  • Meet continuing education requirements

What is a Financial Advisor?

Investopedia defines “Financial Advisor” as “one who provides financial advice or guidance to customers for compensation.”  Financial advisors can provide many different services, such as investment management, estate planning and comprehensive financial plans.  They must carry specific licenses in order to conduct business with the public. 

Why should I choose a Financial Advisor with tax expertise?

Considering how dramatically investments can impact your tax return, why wouldn’t you want your financial advisor to be a tax professional!  The tax knowledge that a CPA has greatly outweighs the limited investment related tax knowledge that other financial advisors have.  This gives Joe a leg up on other financial professional by being able to more successfully position your investments so that any impact on your tax return is minimized.  We invite you to join us for a complimentary consultation.  Contact us today!

What makes Ochotny Wealth Management different from larger firms and wire-houses?

Jeanne and Joe work through their broker/dealer, Avantax, to provide clients with a vast array of investment options.  Larger firms may be tied to a specific product or company, whereas we are able to provide a long list of different types of investments from different companies across the US.  We do our best to provide you with the best client experience and will always have your best interest at heart.  When you work with us, you become a part of the Ochotny Wealth Management family.  Contact us today for a free consultation!

Can’t I do this myself? 

Most financial advisors have gone through intense training in investment strategies and have years of experience with client financial plans and implementation.  They spend countless hours completing continuing education requirements, reviewing theories, reading news articles & industry updates, as well as researching investment products in order to provide the most appropriate and beneficial recommendations to their clients.  You have to ask yourself if you’re willing to put that much time into learning the business and keeping up with it or, instead, if it’s more worthwhile to delegate that financial anxiety to a trained professional.  In most cases, delegation to a professional is the answer.  Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

How do I determine who I should work with?

You should always feel comfortable with the professionals you hire and work with.  They are your trusted advisor and they are here to give you recommendations on ways to reach your goals.  You should always feel that you are listened to, your concerns are addressed, and the recommendations make sense to you.  If you don’t understand something, always ask for more information or for the advisor to explain it a different way.

What’s a good age to start investing?

Now.  It’s normally never too early or too late to start investing.  The first step is to Contact Us.

How much money will I need to retire?

That certainly is an important question.  The amount of money you’ll need in order to retire is determined by a lot of factors, such as: What would you like your retirement budget/lifestyle to be?  Do you want to travel?  How much do you have saved now?  How much more do you need?  What do you expect your expenses to be?  How old are you now and at what age would you like to retire?  Would you like to continue working part-time while in retirement?  Once we see the big picture and what your goals are, we can better determine what it would take to reach them.  Contact us now for a free consultation.

How much should I be putting into my 401k or IRA?

Normally, everyone should be contributing to their retirement plan.  The amount you can contribute is determined by your current age, your income, and the IRS limitations.  Reviewing all of your options when it comes to employer retirement plans and IRA contributions is key to save for retirement.  To start, Contact Us for a free consultation!

How do I plan for my child’s/grandchild’s college education?

There are a few investment options when looking to fund college or post-secondary education.  Depending on the amount you’d like to contribute, the amount that’s needed to be funded and any contribution limits based on gifting limits, these vehicles can be a great way to get a leg up on those high costs.  It all starts with a phone call.  Contact us to schedule your free consultation!

Should I buy an investment property?

This can be a very enticing prospect, however, you should know how it will affect your bottom line.  We can take a look at your current situation and how this new purchase would change that.  Contact us today for an appointment.

Should I update my will?

If it’s been a while, or things have changed in your life, the answer is “Yes.  Absolutely!”  We can also review your assets and make recommendations on how they should be positioned to minimize tax and maximize the amounts going to your heirs.