September 18, 2018

Interview with Angela Dorsey


Why did you become a financial planner?

I worked for over 20 years in large corporations as a Senior Compensation Specialist. During that time, I would meet successful, smart, and competent professional women who worked very hard to get promotions and pay increases, but felt overwhelmed and confused by their finances. Most of these women knew they should be more engaged in their finances, but didn’t know where to start. I could tell that the time and knowledge required to properly manage their personal finances made them feel frustrated and worried.

I would offer them general advice, I found that very rewarding. As a result I dreamed of becoming a certified financial planner to help others understand and manage their finances and achieve their vision of success.

My biggest hurdle though was sales. Most financial planners get paid commissions to sell certain financial products to their clients, but I am not a sales person.
Then I learned about being a FEE-ONLY financial planner. Fee-only financial planners are fiduciaries who are paid based on their advice, like a CPA. With the fee-only business model the focus is on the client’s needs. I am free to recommend the best investments for my clients, not limited to investment vehicles only offered by a particular company. When I discovered the opportunity to be a fee-only financial planner, there was no turning back.

While working full-time in my corporate position on nights and weekends, I went to The College for Financial Planning, passed the Certified Financial Planner Board exam, and eventually started my practice.

How are you different from other financial planners?

I’m different for two reasons:

1. I am a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interest. They do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. As a fee-only financial planner, my attention is entirely focused on the needs of my clients. In fact, many clients who come to me are concerned about whether or not they’re paying too much on investment management fees. In my practice, a client never has to worry about those issues.

2. I have a systematic approach that focuses on the unique financial needs of women. The life of a woman is challenging. We are juggling many priorities and often put the needs of others ahead of ourselves. Also, unexpected life events may occur that we didn’t plan for, like a divorce or death of a spouse that can greatly change our financial needs. I provide my clients with a safe environment where I will both listen and guide them so they gain confidence and peace of mind regarding their financial outlook.

What types of people do you typically work with?

Most of my clients are either single or married women who take the lead in managing their family’s finances. They may feel overwhelmed because they already have very busy lives and don’t have the time or knowledge to manage their finances. As a result they feel their finances are disorganized, or are worried that they don’t have enough money to retire. But they are also ready to take action. They are interested in learning, and getting their finances in order.

I don’t expect new clients to know a lot about investing and financial planning; that’s what I’m here for, to guide them. I want them to maintain open communication with me, since I hold their information in confidence. I want them to use my expertise to gain peace of mind regarding their financial picture.

Do you work with men too?

Of course! The men I work with also appreciate my approach of educating and guiding them so that they gain a better understanding of their finances and what they need to do to reach their financial goals.

What type of person are your services NOT for?

My services are not for someone who is looking to time the market. My philosophy is to create a well-diversified portfolio of low cost mutual funds that fit the risk tolerance and goals of my clients. Investment returns are then competitive with the overall stock market.

What exactly are your services and what do they include?

Each client starts with the creation of a Foundation Plan, which is a personalized financial plan based on their goals, values and financial resources. This financial plan helps them to figure out what their current financial situation is, where they want to go and what are the gaps to get them there. Then after the Foundation Plan is presented, a client can then choose to take advantage of my ongoing service where I provide comprehensive financial planning and investment management services. Then I meet with the client throughout the year to make sure they stay on track.

What results can I expect from working with you?

You can expect to have a plan that reflects your goals and financial priorities. You will have peace of mind knowing that your finances are organized and support your financial goals. In fact, all of my clients get their own personal financial website. They can see their financial life in one place that is easy to understand and updated nightly.

From their personal financial website, they can see their net worth, investments, savings, insurance, real estate, and loans all on one page. They can even see their cash flow and manage their budgets if they choose to. It is a lot easier to see the big picture of your finances when you can visually see what you have well organized.