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What’s with the name?2022-10-13T10:16:02-04:00

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!

What is flat-fee?2022-10-13T10:16:37-04:00

Most advisors use a complicated algorithm to calculate your charges, and it usually means the more you have, the more you pay. It’s not fair to charge you more just because you have more. They shouldn’t need a calculator to determine your fees, and they shouldn’t change every day based on market conditions or your growing wealth. We charge a simple-to-understand inexpensive fee.

What does fee-only fiduciary mean?2022-10-13T10:17:07-04:00

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.

What are your creds? Are you a CFP?2022-10-13T10:17:35-04:00

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.

Do you do strategic tax planning?2022-11-01T10:44:34-04:00

Yes! We’re not a CPA, so we don’t prepare taxes. But we help you plan the immediate and long-term tax strategy that you can implement or hand off to your CPA. Tax preparers are typically only focused on this year. That’s expensive, when it’s at the expense of the rest of your life!

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you retired?2022-10-13T10:18:10-04:00

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!

Where are you located?2022-10-13T10:18:23-04:00

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?2022-10-13T10:18:35-04:00

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?2022-10-13T10:18:46-04:00

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.

How does this work?2022-10-13T10:19:07-04:00

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!

What’s the catch?2022-10-13T10:19:17-04:00

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!

Can you manage our investments for us?2022-12-06T08:45:48-05:00

We prefer that you keep your money under your own control. We walk you through any changes that we recommend, and mentor you on how decisions are made.

We keep track of how you’re invested, and 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. When it’s time for a strategic change, we reach out and guide you through it.

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

Can you steal our money?2022-12-06T08:43:12-05:00

No! We prefer you to keep your money under your own control, and we teach you how to manage and invest it on your own. We never ask you for any login information. Most advisors/planners push you to invest your money with them, and subject you to egregious, growing fees that are taken from your investment accounts.

How do your fees/services compare to others?2022-10-13T10:22:35-04:00

We don’t use complicated rate tables that charge you more just because you have more. Our flat-fees are right on our website! 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.

You’re a small firm, what if you really retire or like, check out?2022-10-13T10:22:57-04:00

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 (!).

Am I obligated to follow your advice?2022-10-13T10:23:13-04:00

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 if we still have debt?2022-10-13T10:23:29-04:00

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.

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