Hi, I'm Ryan – aFinancial Advisor with Richard Young Associates. We’re an independent, fee based firm (no commissions) devoted to helping individuals and families achieve financial independence. We do this by providing planningand investing services that help you save for retirement, reach your life goals, and build wealth. I believe in being as transparent as possible when it comes to what I do and how I can help you. If you would like to learn more, please look through the frequently asked questions below.
I know life is busy and it can be hard to find time to work on that to-do list. I want to be as accessible to you as possible, so if normal business hours don’t work for you, I’m also available for a quick call or meeting during after-hours and on most weekends. I'd love to connect – check my calendar to choose the time that works best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
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1) Who is your firm and how do you work?
Richard Young Associates is a financial planning and investment firm that has been helping people in the Augusta area for over 30 years. We are a team of advisors who are teachers at heart. It’s important to us that we try to help our clients truly understand the reasons for the advice we are giving and then empower them to make the best decisions going forward. We don't tell, we teach.
When you work with me, you are working with the collective wisdom of the Richard Young Associates team. This structure helps each of us provide the best advice, letting you benefit from a whole host of professional experiences.
2) So you're a fiduciary – what is that?
As a registered investment advisor, we are held to a fiduciary standard, meaning I am required by law to place your interests above my own, unlike the lower standard to which brokerage firms are held. That means that when I give you financial advice, you can rest assured that it is intended for your good, and not to sell a product.
3) Why should I hire you instead of doing this myself?
There are a multitude of reasons why working with me is in your best interest. Here are a few:
While you can certainly plan and invest on your own, we find that most people don’t have the time or expertise to do this well, and quite frankly, the majority of people would rather do just about anything to avoid dealing with their finances.
In investing, even a single percent makes a huge difference when compounded over the years, and a recent study by Vanguard showed that working with an advisor actually added an estimated 3% to investors’ returns compared to investing on their own.
We also add value far beyond the managing of your investments. I partner with you to build plans for the many financial events in your life such as buying a house, sending your kids to college, and saving for retirement. Whenever you have a question, I’m here to help.
4) Who is your typical client?
I work with individuals, families, and small businesses seeking help with their financial planning and investments. Unlike most financial planning companies who have high minimum investment limits, our minimum investment is only $20,000, allowing us to serve a wide variety of people from all walks of life. This doesn’t necessarily have to come from cash in the bank. You can also roll over old retirement plans, IRAs, and other investment accounts.
5) How do you invest my money?
We build you a portfolio of all sorts of stock and bond funds – big and small, from the US and abroad – that matches the needs of each of your accounts. For instance, a retirement account that you won’t need for many years can lean much more heavily on stock funds that fluctuate more but also tend to grow more. On the other hand, money you’re saving to buy a house should likely be invested in a way that is much more stable.
To build this portfolio, we use mutual funds. In essence, these are like baskets of different types of stocks and bonds. They let you build a very diverse portfolio that would otherwise be difficult to construct on your own. This diversity helps lower risk while still benefiting from stock market returns.
6) Why should I invest?
Why should you invest rather than stockpiling cash? That’s a great question, and the answer lies in the power of compound interest. Back in 1970, if you were to invest a single dollar in one-month treasury bills (similar to your savings account at the bank), by the end of 2017 that dollar would have grown to a bit over $9. By contrast, if you had invested that same dollar with returns like those of the S&P 500 (made up of the largest US companies), that dollar would have grown to over $122!
Let’s put this in perspective. Let’s pretend that in 40 years, you want to retire and pull $50,000 from your savings for 30 years of retirement. How much do you need to save to make that happen?
The details: Over the 40 years from 1978 - 2017, the S&P 500 returned 11.8% per year (what we’ll call “investing”) and one-month treasury bills made 4.6% per year (what we’ll call your bank savings account). Remember, everything we buy gets more expensive each year because of something called inflation, and for that same period the Consumer Price Index averaged 3.5%, so we’ll call that inflation. This changes each year, but let’s just use these averages.
For money in your savings account, how much do you need to save each year to withdraw the current day equivalent of $50,000 per year in the future? You need to save over $44,000 each year for 40 years to be able to take that much in retirement. This simply isn’t feasible for most people.
So, what if you had instead invested and earned those S&P 500 returns? To draw the exact same amount of money in retirement, you only need to invest $3,000 per year!
That is why you should invest – it makes a very successful retirement attainable for all of us. While the future growth of your investments will almost certainly differ from the past, what we do know is that history shows that investing provides the best chance for the growth we need for retirement.
7) Who are you not a good fit for?
We take a very disciplined approach to investing, building portfolios from the asset classes that research has shown to have outperformed in the long run. We’re not trying to predict the next big company or figure out where the market is headed next. This means that if you’re looking for an advisor to try to time the market or pick individual stocks for a quick return on your investment, I’m not going to be a good fit for you.
8) How do you get paid?
We are a fee-based firm – we get no commissions from the investments of our clients, and we're proud of it. Instead, our sole form of compensation is an advisory fee based on the value of the investments we manage (except for the rare one-off projects we occasionally undertake). This means our interests are well aligned with yours. We have every reason to help you make the best decisions possible for you, because when you do better, we do better. You don't have to just accept my word for it – I am also a fiduciary, meaning I am legally required to put your best interests above my own.
9) I'd like to learn more. What is the next step?
Schedule a phone call or meeting to discuss your goals, no cost to you.
Here's my calendar link
to make finding time easy. I’ll look forward to talking with you!
10) Do you work with people outside of Augusta?
Yes, we work with people in over 25 states from all across the US. With today’s technology, it's easy to work with us from the convenience of your own home!