FAQS

What do you do?

What makes you different?

How often do we meet?

What is your process?

How do you get paid?*

My current advisor is commission based. What is the difference? *

What value do you offer? Why do I need you?

What is the difference between Mary & Crystal? Do they have the same function?

What are Mary’s credentials?

What are Crystal’s credentials?

What is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)? And why do I need one?

What if I lose all of this money?

What does it mean to be an independent firm?

Who is Raymond James?

What do you do?

“Making the Complex Simple” is our ultimate goal, the philosophy that defines us. Bringing clarity and vision to all of the financial decisions in your life is simply what we do. We strive to provide great advice along a range of financial services – financial planning, investments and education - to help you find the straightest line to achieving your goals. Whether you’re focused on retiring on your own terms, or leaving something behind for the next generation, we can help. We are here to help manage your entire financial life. Our sound, straightforward, easy to understand recommendations are designed just for you. Just as a boat navigates though rough waters, we will strive to be there to throw you a life saver when you need it – giving you financial confidence. So whatever phase of life you are in – whatever complexities you may face – our experienced professionals are equipped to guide you through.

What makes you different?

We are not just about plans and investments – although we do that too. We are about something much more than that. We help manage every aspect of your financial life. We believe that people with passion can change theirs and their families’ lives for the better. We value long term relationships more than short term success. We operate our business on principles, not transactions. We’ve been able to build our exceptional clientele by serving clients well enough to earn their trust, their friendship and their referrals. We speak English. We bring clarity and understanding to all of your financial questions and concerns. The more you understand, the less stressful your financial life will be. We educate. We help our clients become educated and informed investors. We never use confusing, complicated jargon. We believe that education is an important step in creating an action plan that our clients will be comfortable with, and that is designed to meet their personal goals. We hold frequent education sessions on a variety of topics. We tell the truth. Even if it is difficult. We know that frequent, honest communication builds trust, and that trust is never earned in just one visit. We are transparent, and make all recommendations in your best interest. We do what we say we are going to do, when we say we are going to do it.

We are compassionate. We care. For many clients, we’re the first call when there’s a family crisis. Although we are thorough when it comes to analyzing numbers, we have a gentle touch when it comes to sensitive, confidential and private matters. We understand these things because we are a family too. We are your investment behavioral coach. We manage your plan, your portfolio, and – most importantly – your emotions. As human beings, we don’t act on what we know, we act on what we feel. The most successful coaches address the emotions tied to motivation - as much if not more than - the actual skill. They help you stay focused on your goals! The most skilled golfer with the best clubs will not be successful unless they understand how emotions affect the outcome of their game. We make you feel good about your financial life! We have a sense of humor. And we are not afraid to use it! While we take what we do very seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’ve found that the more approachable we are, the more open people are with us, and the more helpful we become. We are proactive. We foster open relationships with our clients. We really do want you to call us with any financial question or concern. When something is happening in the market, and we think most of our clients will be concerned about it, you will hear from us. We will call you if and when something is going on that’s important enough to require a decision of some sort. Since we’ll always be acting on our plan, and never reacting to current events, this will rarely happen.

How often do we meet?

As often as you need us, but at minimum once a year. Most clients will schedule an additional appointment with a life change – job change or loss, college education, marriage of child, etc. And we are always available to answer your financial questions.

What is your process?

So how do we begin working with you?

  • We start with a complimentary meeting, where we get to know each other. We learn about your goals and your plans, and you get to learn what we do. At the end of that first meeting (usually about an hour), if you think we can help you--and if we think we can help you-- we decide together what the next step is. If not, we’re still happy to have met you, and we’ll part friends.
  • In most cases, we will offer to provide a complimentary analysis of your financial situation at no obligation to you. This analysis would be reviewed at the next meeting.
  • In all cases, you are never surprised with any unexpected costs, and are never pressured into a quick decision.

We are fee based. With this option, the conflict of interest is generally eliminated. The fees are normally a pay as you go plan based on the assets under management. Our compensation increases and decreases with the value of the client’s account. The money managers, as well as the strategies, can be changed without any back-end fees or surrender charges, as often experienced with commission based products. If you are interested in having a plan created for you, but are not interested in transferring your assets or accounts to us, we charge approximately $2000 for a plan, depending on your assets and how much time it requires to create a plan specifically for you.

My current advisor is commission based. What is the difference? *

The way advisors are paid directly affects their incentives. Although most advisors are ethical, when they are remunerated by commission, advisors are in essence paid to trade securities and have an incentive to increase the number of transactions they execute. Fee-based advisors on the other hand have an incentive to grow their client’s portfolio in size, as they would get paid more as a result. Personally, I believe the fee-based approach to be more of a win/win structure for the client. As the fee paid is often understood to be for an advisor’s advice, the scope of that advice tends to be much broader. Again, this is not a universal truth, but fee-based advisors tend to offer a more holistic range of services that can include retirement projections, strategies to save taxes, estate planning and insurance solutions to protect against unforeseen events.

What value do you offer? Why do I need you?

As with other professional services, the individuals that seek out our advice realize that they need help and are willing to pay for it. Given the more than 10,000 available investments, thousands of registered investment advisors, and other alternatives, it becomes quite complicated for individuals to manage their own investments. Besides, you have better things to do with your time!! Your plan involves more than investing. We provide meaningful financial guidance personalized financial strategies, education and solutions. We strive to help you reach your goals informed and with no surprises. We are a friendly, easy to understand, highly accurate, and competent team.

What is the difference between Mary & Crystal? Do they have the same function?

Mary and Crystal have the same function here at Evans Wealth Strategies. Mary is the branch manager, owner and senior advisor. Crystal has mentored with Mary for over eleven years. They are both CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ professionals.

What are Mary’s credentials?

Mary is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and registered principal. She has also earned the CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST® designation. She currently holds securities license Series 7, 9, 10, 63 and 65 as well as life, health and long-term care Insurance licenses in Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Temple University, and spent 25 years in corporate finance for several Fortune 500® companies including Exide Battery, Goodall Rubber, Kellogg’s and most recently, held the position of Vice President of Finance for Rodale Publishing. She has been an independent Financial Advisor since 2005.

What are Crystal’s credentials?

Crystal is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional. She currently holds securities license Series 7 and 63, as well as life and health Insurance licenses in Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and has 15 years of experience in the financial industry. She is currently studying for her Series 9 & 10 exams.

What is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)? And why do I need one?

Choosing a financial planner may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your loved ones. Most people think that all financial planners are "certified" but that is not always true. Anyone can call himself or herself a "Financial Planner", but only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP certification marks behind their name. For 25 years, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has fostered the highest standards of excellence for financial planners. It’s not an easy designation to receive. In order to achieve CFP certification, professionals must satisfy the CFP board’s stringent requirements. That means completing advanced college level studies on nearly 100 topics, compiling three years of work experience, passing an exam and agreeing to uphold the fiduciary standard which means putting the client’s interest first above all others.

What if I lose all of this money?

Investing is serious business. All investments involve risks that can result in losses, even though the goal is to preserve and increase wealth. We invest your money in a well-diversified portfolio to reduce your risk, based on your goals in your financial plan.

What does it mean to be an independent firm?

We are an independent firm, which means we operate free from the pressure to promote proprietary products and services. Our advisors’ affiliation with Raymond James allows us to receive the benefits of their extensive office staff, knowledge base, and trading information.

Who is Raymond James?

Since 1962, Raymond James advisors have been creating personalized financial plans. Our founder Bob James was a pioneer of financial planning, bucking Wall Street’s product-first mentality in favor of a belief that financial professionals could do more than sell stocks – they could help build brighter futures. For more than 50 years, Bob’s ideas and ideals have helped Raymond James grow steadily, even through economic downturns, to become one of the most stable independent financial services firms in the country. And every Raymond James advisor draws on our strength, and exercises complete freedom to make the decisions, select the products and build the relationships that are right for clients like you.

* In a fee-based account, clients pay a quarterly fee based on the level of assets in the account, for the services of a financial advisor as part of an advisory relationship. In deciding to pay a fee rather than commissions, clients should understand that the fee may be higher than a commission alternative during periods of lower trading. Advisory fees are in addition to the internal expenses charged by mutual funds and other investment company securities. To the extent that clients intend to hold these securities, the internal expenses should be included when evaluating the costs of a fee-based account. Clients should periodically re-evaluate whether the use of an asset-based fee continues to be appropriate in servicing their needs. A list of additional considerations, as well as the fee schedule, is available in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2A as well as the client agreement.