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  1. How long has LodesStar® been in business?
  2. How long, on average, have you worked with the majority of your current clients?
  3. How does LodeStar® differ from the competition?
  4. If I sign up for LodeStar's® financial planning services, what will occur?
  5. How do you charge for your Financial Planning Services?
  6. Will you provide me with a fee estimate and a written proposal for your Financial Planning Services?
  7. Is there a fee for on-going Financial Planning Services?
  8. What is LodeStar's® investment philosophy?
  9. How do you select investments for clients?
  10. How are sell decisions made?
  11. Where will my assets be held?
  12. Who is Fidelity Investments, Inc.?
  13. How often do you review my account?
  14. Why do you review investment accounts so often?
  15. How often will you meet with me?
  16. How will I be updated on my portfolio?
  17. Will you consult me when making trades?
  18. What's the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary investment management?
  19. Do I have to stay with your service for any length of time?
  20. Are there any restrictions on taking money out of my account?
  21. What do you provide me with at year-end to prepare my taxes?
  22. Are your fees tax-deductible?
  23. Does LodeStar® maintain a code of ethics?
  24. How can I get started?

How long has LodeStar® been in business?

LodeStar Advisory Group, LLC.® was formed in August, 2003.  We have been performing financial planning work and investment management for clients since 1993.


How long, on average, have you worked with the majority of your current clients?

Over fifteen (15) years.


How is LodeStar® different from the competition?

LodeStar® is different from other financial advisory and brokerage firms in a number of ways.  We are an independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor that provides a holistic approach to managing all aspects of your financial life.  Your assets are managed as part of an overall plan which will give you the highest probability of achieving your lifetime goals.  LodeStar® works with individuals, families and business owners who are interested in using their financial resources together with their values to help them lead fulfilling lives.  People who know that money is a tool, a means to an end, and that life is a journey, not a destination.  Our clients are willing to share who they are and build a meaningful relationship with us.  Our services are much more personalized and our fees are generally significantly lower than many other brokerage and investment firms.


If I sign up for LodeStar's® Financial Planning Services, what will occur?

At our no-cost, no-obligation initial meeting, we get to know each other and determine whether we both want to move forward.  Next, through The LodeStar Experience®, we get to know who you are.  We use our values-based goal setting process to help you envision a life that uniquely fulfills you.  Then we use our expert technical skills to translate your values-based, life-fulfilling goals into financial objectives and to make recommendations for using all of your resources and our expertise to reach those objectives.  



How do you charge for your financial planning services?

The financial planning fee we charge is for 12 months of service.  The fee is based on the complexity of your situation.


Will you provide me with a fee estimate and a written proposal for your Financial Planning Services?

Yes.  After your initial meeting, you will be provided with a proposal letter that details what we will be doing for you with a comprehensive fee calculation for the first year.


Is there a fee for on-going Financial Planning Services?

Yes.  Subsequent years' fees are significantly reduced as compared to the initial fee.  If you place a minimum of $1,000,000 under management with LodeStar®, we do not charge financial planning fees in the second year and beyond.


What is LodeStar's® investment philosophy?

We favor a philosophy whereby the criteria of value, preservation of capital and discipline are paramount.  We look for growth opportunities, but not at just any price.  We believe that it is important to avoid disasters by diversifying your resources and that it is possible to discover profitable investment opportunities in all sectors, even the more mature and less trendy ones.


How do you select investments for a client?

Before we recommend any investment, we consider current economic conditions, where we are in the business cycle, the outlook for that particular asset class or type of security, valuation levels and how the investment fits within your portfolio given your objectives and tolerance for risk.


How are sell decisions made?

LodeStar® adheres to a rigorous sell discipline aimed at avoiding disasters.  We sell any stock that becomes unattractive due to the prospect of deteriorating fundamentals, relative overvaluation, or both.


Where will my assets be held?

We manage and report on your portfolio via direct downloads from our custodian, Fidelity Investments, Inc.


Who is Fidelity Investments, Inc.?

Once known primarily as a mutual fund company, Fidelity has adapted and evolved over the years and is now a global leader in the financial services arena. 


How often do you review my account?

Generally, we review each account on a continuous basis.  If circumstances warrant, such as market irregularities or a specific need surfaces, we will review your account(s) and contact you immediately.


Why do you review investment accounts so often?

Simply because that is what our system is designed to do.  We are always watching for news relating to our current mutual fund, stock and bond, etc. holdings and ones we would like to invest in.  If there are major economic, political, and/or market changes, we will review your portfolio immediately.


How often will you meet with me?

We give you the option to meet with us as often as you'd like.  Generally, clients like to get together to discuss their portfolio(s) on an annual basis.  Additionally, we encourage you to call us when you go through a major life event, such as a new job, a baby, a marriage, a divorce, or if you are planning to purchase a new home or start your own business.


How will I be updated on my portfolio?

You will receive a monthly statement from Fidelity Investments, Inc., which will list your securities, transactions that have occurred in the account during the month and the current end of month values.  Additionally, as trades are executed, you will receive a confirmation statement with full details of each buy or sell.  You may also view your account through the client area of LodeStar's secure website.


Will you consult me when making trades?

Our practice is to consult with you prior to any initial investment allocation.  We discuss different investment strategies and what you can expect from those strategies.  This is explained to you in writing in your investment management contract.  Almost all of our accounts are managed on a discretionary basis.   If your account is managed under a discretionary agreement, we generally will not discuss each and every trade with you.  You may, of course, call us at any time to discuss any aspect of your portfolio.  You do have the option of having your account managed under a non-discretionary agreement.


What's the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary wealth management?

Under our Discretionary Wealth Management Agreement, we have the ability to trade in your account without your verbal or written permission for each trade.  Under our Non-discretionary Investment Management Agreement, we must speak with you directly prior to any trade that is made in your account.


Do I have to stay with your service for any length of time?

We would like you to stay with our service forever.  However, there is no obligation on your part to do that.  We disclose, in our contracts, that clients can terminate service with us at any time upon receipt of written notice from you.  We will require payment of any fees owed us through the date of termination.


Are there any restrictions on taking money out of my account?

It's your money - there are no restrictions on withdrawing or depositing funds. Our services include the ability to write checks or wire funds from your account, and to make automatic monthly or quarterly deposits to or withdrawals from your account.  We ask that you alert us sooner rather than later about large deposits (e.g. upcoming bonus) or large withdrawals (e.g. down payment on a house) so that we can ensure your asset allocation is properly configured.


What do you provide me with at year-end to prepare my taxes?

Fidelity Investments, Inc. provides tax reporting data via a comprehensive Form 1099 at year-end.


Are your fees tax-deductible?

Yes.  Section 212 of the Internal Revenue code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A.  It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income of your personal tax return.


Does LodeStar® maintain a code of ethics?

Yes.  LodeStar® is committed to the highest ethical and professional standards.  Memebers of our staff who have earned the CFP® designation are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility as outlined by the CFP Board of Standards, Inc.


How can I get started?

The first step is an initial inquiry from you. Call us at (973) 218-2440 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation initial meeting.  Appointments are scheduled based on availability during regular business hours of 9-5, Monday through Friday. Expanded office hours are available to accommodate special needs or emergency situations. Most clients find the financial planning process to be stimulating and enlightening. The end result, of course, is to get you to a place in your life that is uniquely fulfilling.  We look forward to guiding you to that place. 

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