Home » FAQ
Can you manage our investments for us?2021-11-18T10:12:19-05:00

Yes, we often do for folks that are busy with work, life and kids, or those that just don’t have the expertise or don’t want to deal with it. For those that want to learn and take the wheel, we teach them as we make decisions until they’re comfortable.

While we’re managing the investments, we’re always watching for strategic opportunities to change asset allocation, change from TIPS to regular bonds or treasuries depending on inflation forecasts, make sure to use the proper type of bond funds for the current interest environment, and make any moves that will be tax-advantageous, such as Roth conversion, gain/loss harvesting, and asset location. Of course, we do these things only after having discussed with clients and getting their buy-in.

Also, we do a free annual retirement plan update at the beginning of each year for clients. It’s their detailed step-by-step roadmap for retirement, whether it’s traditional or early/FIRE.

What if we still have debt?2021-12-02T07:42:59-05:00

Unlike most financial advisors, we are trained and certified debt/financial coaches and counselors. We know the ins and outs of debt mitigation strategies and have years of experience in this area. We’ll prioritize getting you to debt-free, but at the same time make sure that any investments you currently have in retirement accounts or brokerages are invested properly and working for you in the background.

Can you steal our money?2021-12-02T07:45:36-05:00

As investment advisors, we are only permitted to invest your money as a fiduciary, which means we have a legal obligation to always act in your best interest, not ours. We aren’t permitted to move your funds elsewhere or withdraw them. Your investments are also insured by the SIPC (see other FAQ on this topic).

What’s with the name?2021-09-14T11:31:02-04:00

Emancipare is Italian/Latin/Spanish, meaning to emancipate, liberate, or free (it’s also a spell to release bindings in the Harry Potter series). It’s pronounced Ee-mon-chip-ar-ee, but you can say it however you like. It aligns nicely with our goal – to free everyday folks from financial stress, from jobs they don’t like, and to be free and enjoy the one life we’re given. It’s the perfect name for our inexpensive, ethical, fee-only fiduciary financial advisor business!

Where are you located?2022-09-27T06:55:51-04:00

We’re based in Bethlehem, PA, USA and available for in-person meetings in the Lehigh Valley area. We’re also available throughout the United States via video conferencing, telephone, text, and email.

How can you be so inexpensive?2021-08-23T09:39:45-04:00

We practice financial discipline, carrying no debt and very little overhead. We have no fancy offices or expensive vehicles for you to help pay for. We align ourselves with partners who have a similar altruistic strategy, and use the latest technology to streamline our operations.

How much does it cost?2022-09-12T14:51:56-04:00

Don’t you hate it when businesses are evasive about their fees? We aren’t! Cost is dependent on the type of services you may need. In addition to investment plans and management services, we offer workshops and hourly rates for special projects. See our Rates page for details.

Am I obligated to follow your advice?2021-08-23T09:41:01-04:00

You aren’t obligated to follow our advice. In each case, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of any decision that may need to be made. We cannot make any investment changes in your account without your prior knowledge and consent. You’re the boss!

What’s the catch?2021-09-22T17:30:20-04:00

The catch is that we’re a small firm and we pride ourselves in personal, white-glove, concierge type attention to our clients. We always answer your calls, emails, texts promptly, even on nights and weekends. We can only take on so many clients before we start a waiting list and you get left out, so join us today!

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you retired?2021-08-28T08:12:06-04:00

Actually, I’m financially independent, and don’t need to work. I get up every day and live life on my own terms – doing things I love and enjoy. That’s what ‘retirement’ should be like for everyone, and my strongest desire to make it happen for you, whether you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s or beyond. Everyone should spend every day on their own terms, doing things they enjoy. Imagine that utopia! We are granted but one short life, as far as we know. For me, this is what I love – helping people achieve financial freedom and independence – setting them free, emancipation – Emancipare!

You’re a small firm, what if you really retire or like, check out?2021-08-28T08:17:08-04:00

The difference with Emancipare is that our goal is to teach you to take the wheel whenever you’re comfortable. It’s why we keep things simple, and teach. Both things are quite rare in this business. It’s not rocket science. I want to be your temporary financial advisor! If you aren’t comfortable with that, and want my guidance for the long haul, we have a great transition plan in place for you should the unthinkable occur to me (!).

How do your fees/services compare to others?2022-09-12T14:53:49-04:00

First off, our goals are to keep your investments low-fee, simple, and understandable, for you to completely understand them to the point that you could take the wheel, if you’d like. We teach you along the way. That’s far different from any investment advisor we’ve seen. For a breakdown of how our rates compare to typical financial advisors, see The Emancipare Difference on our home page.

What are your creds? Are you a CFP?2022-09-13T07:53:42-04:00

The credentials are below. Take note, we’re coming from a place of true altruism – helping people out of dire financial circumstances, and then to build wealth. So, we started out with the areas of study, experience, and credentials in those areas. It means we can guide you from zero to hero, from dire to aspire, from down in the dumps to a maybe a deluxe apartment in the sky!

Licensed/Registered Investment Advisor Representative
AFCPE® Accredited Financial Counselor®
Ramsey Master Financial Coach

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is an additional title, which incurs more time and expense we’d rather not pass along to our clients at this time. CFPs charge more, and that’s not part of our charter. We are fully registered and licensed to do investment management and financial planning for retirement, college/trad/tech school, and other goals. After years of experience and in-the-trenches learning, the value of additional titles and classes diminishes.

Also, be aware that folks who aren’t actual licensed and registered financial advisors may have titles that “sound” like they are – investment counselor, coach, associate, etc. But really they’re not state or SEC vetted and registered. Some are insurance salespeople. They’ll to sell you things that “sound” like investments, but are actually very expensive, complex, and risky insurance products like deferred/variable/indexed annuities, QLACs, whole/universal/indexed/variable life insurance, and so forth. A real investment advisor is required to provide you with their Form ADV, which is approved by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and/or state regulators.

Where will our money/investments be held?2022-09-12T14:55:59-04:00

Our custodian is Altuist Corp (watch the cool short video at that link!) and we chose them because they’re the company with the most honest, ethical principals that we could find. Note the name – altruism is selfless concern for the well-being of others. They are backed by the most honest, ethical brokerage that we believe in and love – Vanguard (which was started with working people in mind). When we invest your money, we’re purchasing Vanguard funds for you – you own them just as you would own a Chevy regardless of whether you bought it at the dealer, factory, or used car lot.

Are our investments insured?2022-09-12T14:56:23-04:00

Yes, they’re insured the same as any other investment – through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Keep in mind, this doesn’t cover investment losses, which is why we take a careful, prudent, and conservative approach to your investments, and invest with funds from a rock-solid titan in Vanguard.

What does fee-only fiduciary mean?2021-09-14T11:18:15-04:00

Fee-only means that we don’t receive money from commissions, or loads, or other places. We only work for you and aren’t affected by the bias that those other sources of income can bring (such as behind-the-scenes payments to advisors from the funds they recommend to clients). Be careful! Similar terms such as “fee-based” or “fee-offset” aren’t the same, and mean there could be hidden biases and sources of income. Fiduciary means that we’re obligated by law to always put your interests first.

How does this work?2021-11-18T10:16:19-05:00

It’s just a few simple steps to your financial goals!

1. Receive and review the ADV informational form for 48 hours.
2. Fill out the short ‘hello’ questionnaire.
3. We meet to do a fun risk tolerance exercise.
4. Sign the digital agreement, if you decide to work with us.
5. Receive and pay the invoice for your requested plan.
6. Fill out the main financial questionnaire or provide the info we need.
7. Set up the awesome app and your portal.
8. We create the plan and review it together.
9. We meet quarterly (or any time you need us!) to review results. If we’re managing your investments, you get a free annual update!

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