Charting a path to tomorrow's goals
We take pride in helping our clients bridge the gap from where they stand today to reach their financial goals of tomorrow. The first step of that journey is listening to your financial goals and concerns. While everyone’s destination is different, we have the expertise and tools to chart an individualized path to a better tomorrow.
Our specialty is providing unbiased advice for the large and small financial decisions faced by high net worth individuals and families. Our clients benefit from the sum of our team’s talents in financial consulting, portfolio management, and personal finance education over a lifetime, from optimizing retirement saving to creating a legacy for generations to come.
A true fiduciary
Halpern Financial acts as a fiduciary, which means putting our clients’ best interest first. And that’s why we are:
We don’t get paid to sell you products, period. We get paid to give you advice and manage your portfolio. We charge on a “fee-only” basis (a percentage of assets managed).
We have no affiliation with any bank, broker, or insurer, and we avoid all conflicts of interest.
You wouldn’t hire any other professional without understanding what you get in exchange for the cost, so why should financial advice be different?
A Registered Investment Advisor:
Subject to regulatory standards set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Because we use Fidelity’s institutional platform, we are able to offer our clients many funds and cost savings that are not available to retail investors.
Great Listeners and Explainers:
Our clients share their financial hopes, dreams, and fears with us. They trust us not only to handle the financial complexities of their lives, but also to explain every step of the way in absolutely transparent terms. This trust is what keeps Halpern Financial clients members of our family for the long term.
A high standard of service
When you think of wealth management, investments come to mind--but that is just part of what Halpern Financial does for our clients. Financial consulting, reporting, coaching, and so much else goes into properly managing your financial life every year, every month, and every day.
Recognized for wealth management expertise
Halpern Financial has highly credentialed professionals, our fee-only business model puts clients first, and we adhere to stringent practice management and ethics guidelines. We're members of NAPFA, FPA, IARFC and we have multiple CFP professionals on staff.
But what does the alphabet soup really mean for you?
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
As a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor, we adhere to the industry's most demanding practice requirements and meet NAPFA's (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) rigorous standards.
Fee Only Network
Halpern Financial is "fee only," which means we are paid only by our clients--not by any bank, broker, or insurer to sell their products. This avoids conflicts of interest and is in line with our fiduciary duty to provide advice in the best interest of the client.
Certified Financial Planner (TM)
The Halpern Financial staff includes three Certified Financial Planner (TM) professionals who have completed coursework, passed the CFP exam, and fulfilled the 4000-hour experience requirement in creating financial plans. They also adhere to the CFP code of ethics and engage in continuing education each year.
Financial Planning Association
Halpern Financial is a member of the Financial Planning Association, an industry organization that provides networking and continuing education for financial professionals.
IARFC Ethics Approved
The International Association of Registered Financial Consultants awards the "Ethics Approved" recognition to members who have a clean ethics record free of customer disputes, regulatory events and/or criminal misdemeanors or felonies.
Washingtonian and Northern Virginia Magazine Top Advisor
Each year we have been selected by a vote of our peers as one of the premier financial advisors in the Washington, D.C. region.
Read Halpern Financial insights in...
Halpern Financial regularly contributes our investment and financial planning expertise to publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Bloomberg. And many more...
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Our Approach to Wealth Management
Becoming a client
We believe clients deserve a long-term advisory relationship based on integrity and trust, which fosters open communication, encourages candid advice and promotes innovative strategies. We embrace our role as listeners to best understand what is important to you.
Discovery - Our complimentary discovery meeting will center on learning about your financial needs and goals, while giving you the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the values, philosophy, and capabilities of Halpern Financial.
Wealth Profile - After your discovery meeting, we continue the data gathering process using the Wealth Profile. This provides an overview of your current financial situation, helping us become more aware of your concerns and objectives, and organize and prioritize your goals.
Review and Recommendation (R&R) - Incorporating information from the discovery meeting and the Wealth Profile, we will develop a comprehensive Review and Recommendation report. This report provides a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your current financial situation and presents strategies to help reach your financial goals and objectives.
Engagement and Establishment - Upon engaging Halpern Financial as your advisor we will begin establishing accounts and initiating the transfer process. During the establishment process we keep you informed of progress through proactive communication making it a simplified and seamless experience.
Portfolio Development Report - During the establishment process we prepare a Portfolio Development Report. This report details your customized target portfolio allocation based on your objectives and risk propensity and includes specific steps to reach your target portfolio. We use a number of techniques to ensure your portfolio is implemented prudently, including "in-kind" transfers, value-based dollar-cost-averaging and downside protection measures.
Monitor and Review - By its definition wealth management is an ever-changing process and the approach needs to be flexible to adapt to life events, changes in the markets and economy, as well as new regulatory legislation. In addition to regular portfolio rebalancing and performance reviews, we believe it is essential to regularly assess progress towards your goals and objectives.
Save more, spend less. It sounds simple, and it is. But it’s not easy. Halpern Financial can help you build wealth by optimizing your saving and spending at every level—from running a cash flow analysis of your monthly household spending to finding cost-efficient and tax-efficient investments. All of this keeps more in your pocket to grow and compound over time!
Our investment selection strategy is informed by economist Eugene Fama’s Nobel Prize-award-winning research on Modern Portfolio Theory and efficient markets. This helps us to find the optimal balance asset mix for each client’s needs, balancing potential risk and returns.
More broadly, our philosophy is to focus on the factors that are within our control (as opposed to trying to predict the fickle moves of the market). These [content missing?]
Rebalancing is the only way to improve your probability of consistently buying low and selling high. However, it feels very counterintuitive to buy “losers” and sell “winners,” so very few individual investors actually do rebalance.
Our portfolios for tax-deferred and after-tax accounts are designed to ensure that various investments are in the correct type of account to limit taxes. In addition to the broad portfolio design, we take tax efficiency into account on a variety of levels, taking specific investments, cash flow needs, and the individual’s tax situation into account with every move we make within the portfolios. This includes holding the right securities in the right type of accounts, and monitoring the tax implications of gains against losses.
Low institutional costs
The funds and ETFs we select for our portfolios have extremely low expense ratios, which keeps more money “in your pocket” to grow through the power of compounding. Because of our size and institutional access, we are also able to trade free of cost, and we only use products free from commissions and other hidden fees.
Regular performance reporting, independent 3rd party custodians, and no hidden fees
Please review Important Disclosure Information set forth in the last section of this web site.
Halpern Financial can also provide advice on a variety of financial issues throughout the phases of wealth accumulation, wealth distribution and wealth preservation.
- Retirement Projections
- Retirement Income Planning
- Qualified and Non-Qualified Retirement Plans
- Required Minimum Distributions Monitoring
- Portfolio Design and Implementation
- After-Tax Investment Planning
- Pre-Tax Investment Planning
- Real Estate
Cash Flow Planning
- Cash Reserve Strategies
- Debt Repayment Schedules
- Buy vs. Lease Dilemmas
- Mortgage Analysis
- College Projections
- College Savings and 529 Plans
- Tax Efficient Portfolio Design
- Coordination with Tax Professionals
- Estate Planning Fundamentals
- Coordination with Estate Planning Attorney
- Multi-Generational Wealth Transfer
- Donor-Advised Funds
- Private Foundations
- Review and Analysis of Insurance Needs
A: As a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), we are committed to aligning our interests with those of our clients. We can remain unbiased in our relationship with you because we accept no commissions or referral fees. Our compensation comes directly from our clients. Our independence from the broker-dealer and wire house world allows us to offer unbiased advice in an objective manner.
A: A Registered Investment Advisor is any person that meets the definition of Investment Advisor under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and is registered with either their state or the SEC. In general a Registered Investment Advisor with more than $100 million under management must register with the SEC, and those managing less than $110 million may register at the state level.
A: It indicates that a financial planner adheres to the industry's most demanding practice requirements, including Fee-Only compensation, and meets NAPFA's rigorous standards. Click here to learn more.
A: Absolutely not. Our sole compensation is management fees paid directly to Halpern Financial from our clients.
A: Halpern Financial believes in the concept that an advisor should always act in good faith and in the best interest of each client. As such, we all abide by a Fiduciary Oath and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to our clients. We strive to build relationships based on integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence.
A: We subject to regulations set forth by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. Client assets are held at an independent third-party custodian. We avoid conflicts of interests by not accepting commissions or referral fees. We report performance on a quarterly basis, inclusive of any fees.
A: Halpern Financial has relationships with a wide range of clients, including professionals and business executives, small business owners, widows, individuals, families, retirees, and those with sudden wealth via an inheritance. We best serve clients looking for exceptional client service and that value a long-term partnership.
A: Our current minimum portfolio size is $1,000,000. However, minimum asset levels are not always imposed and we have a list of growing clients. If you have unique circumstances that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
A: Fees include a one-time establishment fee and quarterly advisory fees based on the level of assets under Halpern Financial's direct management. Advisory fees range up to 1.20% per year, billed quarterly in arrears. The overwhelming majority of mutual funds we use are traded free of charge. Fidelity assesses a transaction fee ($8.00 per trade for most accounts) for the purchase and sale of individual stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
A: There is no cost for our initial discovery meetings. This meeting gives us the opportunity to get to know one another. We seek a mutual agreement before we begin assessing any fee.
A: Using a team approach you will have access to the expertise of all of Halpern Financial's professionals. The reputation of the Halpern Financial team, the breadth and depth of our experience will provide you with sound and unbiased advice.
A: While we serve as an Authorized Advisor to execute transactions on your behalf, you remain in control of your assets. Accounts are held in your name through the institutional platform of Fidelity Investments, an independent third party custodian.
A: In addition to quarterly investment reviews and regular performance reporting, clients can access their accounts on the Halpern Financial website 24 hours a day.
A: We believe clients are best served when their advisors use a coordinated team approach, benefiting from the expertise each professional provides. Privacy comes first, so after receiving your approval we encourage sharing of information and when appropriate, joint meetings with your key advisors. If you do not have an established relationship we will be happy to refer you to a trusted source to address your needs.
A: We suggest reviewing the Pursuit of a Financial Advisor Field Guide, provided by the NAPFA, a non-profit organization for fee-only advisors dedicated to advancing the profession of financial planning.
A: Please contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation. During this consultation we will take time to understand your goals and objectives and explain our investment methodology and philosophy on wealth management.
Please review Important Disclosure Information set forth in the last section of this web site.