Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is both a philosophy and a practical methodology to achieve significant results through taking small iterative steps towards the bigger goal. Some of the key concepts of Kaizen include identifying small positive changes and implementing them, reducing errors and waste (time, money, effort), engaging all stakeholders in process improvements, and making continuous improvement a key component of the organizational culture at-large. For many decades, Kaizen concepts have been used in large and small companies around the world to improve their products, services and internal operational efficiencies. We believe the concepts that these companies have leveraged in manufacturing, customer service, or project management realm are equally relevant and powerful in the area of personal finance. Talk to us about this and you might be interested to hear more about how we are using these concepts to benefit our clients.

Where is my account held?

We have selected Charles Schwab to be the custodian platform for our firm’s client assets. Charles Schwab is the largest custodian serving independent financial advisors. Through Schwab, we provide the full capabilities and institutional strength of a large firm while maintaining the personalized service and responsiveness of a small firm.

What is your fee structure?

For investment management, Kaizen Financial Strategies uses a fee-based compensation model to best align our service with our clients’ interests. We charge an annual percentage fee based on clients’ assets under management (also known in the industry as wrap fee).

For Financial Planning and/or Financial Consulting, we charge a mutually agreed upon fee based on the expected complexity of the financial situation, and the time and effort needed to achieve the deliverables of the specific engagement.

Do you sell any proprietary fund products?

Our compensation does not include commissions or residual income (aka "trails") through sale of any specific investment products in client portfolios. As a benefit of this, the client portfolios are designed with holdings that are the right choices, not ones that make the advisor more commissions or be counted towards a certain sales quota, like many other broker-dealer firms.

What about Insurance products?

If and when an insurance-based product fulfills the risk management needs of a certain client household, we may recommend and sell that product and get compensated by the insurance company as a result of that sale. However, our advisors are not captive agents of any particular insurance company, and we always research to find the best suitable products for our clients across multiple carriers, and select the company that has the right solution for their specific needs.

Can we meet virtually?

Yes. This is a judgment call. We are always happy to meet in person. For clients who prefer to meet virtually, we offer virtual meetings (audio and video conference with screen sharing). We also offer secure data sharing technology for exchanging and archiving documents.

Electronic forms and signatures

We can do either paper or electronic forms. Many clients prefer to complete forms electronically using Docusign. This enables not only error free data collection, but it also securely and instantly transfers the required documents for faster processing and account updates.

Data Privacy

We do not share our client data with any other marketing partners. Clients can request our data privacy policy document to review and address any concerns.

What does being a fiduciary mean?

There are two standards of client care within the financial advisory industry. The most common is the “suitability” standard, which requires that advisor recommendations be “suitable” to clients’ needs. At Kaizen Financial Strategies, we adhere to the more rigorous “fiduciary standard”. As fiduciaries, we are required to act in our clients’ best interests at all times, and all of our advice must be conflict-of-interest free. If a potential material conflict does arise, we notify clients immediately and fully explain the conflict.

Do I need to have a minimum amount to invest before I can engage with you?

No. Our typical client household may have multiple accounts with us (retirement accounts, taxable accounts, custodial accounts, trust accounts, etc.), adding up to significant wealth. We still get satisfaction helping aspiring individuals or families who need financial goal planning or a blueprint to invest and grow their assets. We are excited to work with you to build a financially-efficient and trusting relationship.

Let’s connect!