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Dr. Lawson answers FAQs

  • Are you a registered investment adviser? With the SEC or State? – Yes, I am an investment advisor registered with the Texas State Securities Board


  • Are you a fiduciary?  – Yes, which means that I am legally obliged to always work in my clients’ best interests.


  • How are you compensated? – Fee-only


  • If fee-only, please define the method of determining fees – Percentage of assets under management or hourly or annual retainer


  • Do you have minimums for assets, account size, annual fees paid, etc?  – $250,000 minimum assets under management, or $2,000 a year, no fee for initial engagement


  • And what is your typical fee or charge for an initial engagement? – No fee


  • Do you provide a written agreement detailing the total compensation and services that will be provided before an engagement? - Yes, a standard service agreement approved by the Texas State Securities Board


  • Do you provide a thorough written analysis of one’s financial situation and recommendations? – Yes, I provide a worksheet, a thorough discussion and a question-and-answer session. 


  • Do you offer assistance with the implementation of the plan? Please elaborate - Yes, I advise the client on what steps to execute


  • Will you provide a second opinion or one time review? – Yes, at no charge if I deem the prospect to be seriously considering my services

  • Why did you become an investment advisor/financial planner?  – I've been in the investment management and financial services industry ever since graduate school 25 years ago.  15 years ago, I moved from advising institutional money to private practice to apply my experience and analytical skills to assist families and individuals with portfolio management and financial planning – The short answer is that I want to use my expertise and experience to help private individuals

  • What is your educational and experiential background as it relates to personal financial planning? – Experience - I've been working with investments for over 25 years.  Education - I have degrees in mathematics (BS), statistical sciences (MS) and financial economics (PhD), CFP® (certified financial planner)


  • What are your financial planning credentials/designations and affiliations? – CFP®, Fee-Only Network, NAPFA, American Finance Association, American Statistical Association


  • What are your areas of speciality? – Investment management, retirement planning, budgeting, cash management, counselling/advising


  • Please describe your most common engagement/service provided. And the type of client or client situation you target? – Investment management and financial planning.  I don't target anyone specifically, but I have additional expertise and experience for individuals and couples approaching retirement


  • Are you a registered representative of any broker/dealer? – No


  • NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor – Yes

  • Other (i.e. MBA, JD, MS, PhD) – MS (Statistical Sciences), PhD (Economics)

  • What other questions should I ask in my search for an investment advisor or financial planner?  –  Next to fee-only, experience and expertise, I would question, and question, and question again the investment and financial planning methodology.  And see this article about selecting an advisor

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