Ask the Expert: Get to Know your Financial Advisor

By Janet Mendez

Janet Mendez is Assistant Manager of Trust & Investment Services at SchoolsFirst FCU.  She has more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry. She joined the SchoolsFirst team in 2009.  Her previous positions were Senior Retirement Advisor and Financial Advisor. Janet believes it’s important to guide Members through every step of their financial planning goals.

There are many reasons people don’t get professional financial advice — they may worry about the cost, or feel like they don’t have enough money to warrant formal planning.

Whatever your reasons may be, 2020 may be a great time to schedule a one-on-one with a SchoolsFirst FCU financial advisor. This guidance is a benefit of your Membership to help you make good financial decisions and plan for a secure future. Here are some things you should know to help you get started.

What a Financial Plan Costs

While fees vary for professional financial advisors and planners, our advisors don’t charge you to create a financial plan. If there are fees and expenses involved with any investing choices they might suggest, they’ll discuss them with you and help you find the ones that are right for you. In general, fee-based advisors will charge between $1,000 and $2,000 for a financial plan, after that they will charge a monthly retainer or hourly rate if you need additional guidance. When you think of these costs, why wouldn’t you meet with one of advisors to discuss your goals and lay out a plan to make the most of your money?

Why a Plan Matters

Research has shown that consumers who have a plan in place tend to feel more positive about their financial situation and are able to make more progress to create lasting security. Read How to Create and Stick with your Financial Plan to discover strategies to improve your financial well-being.

What you can Expect from Your Meeting

Our advisors are here to help Members achieve their financial goals. This means they will listen to your hopes and dreams, and gain an understanding of your risk tolerance as well as your investment timeframes.  These factors allow our advisors to show you how to overcome challenges that you may be dealing with, such as saving for the future or college, and protecting your family if something happens to you. If you work for a school district, we also have Retirement Plan Advisors who can assist you with your 403(b) and 457(b) plans. In addition, they understand Public and School Employees’ Retirement Systems such as CalPERS and CalSTRS, so you can see if you’re on track with your savings strategy.

Why People Leave Financial Advisors

Some of the reasons people leave their financial advisors include their advisor’s inability to communicate effectively to help them achieve their goals, dissatisfaction with the returns on their investments and high fees. Our advisors are employees of SchoolsFirst FCU and want to build a relationship with you that isn’t about their own personal gain, but rather your financial well-being and world-class Member service.

Keeping your Best Interests at Heart

One of the ways SchoolsFirst FCU financial advisors make a difference is they will always act in your best interest with their recommendations. Simply put, they will put your needs first, so you can feel confident that you will never pay unnecessary fees or purchase products or services that are inappropriate.

Make 2019 the year you have a clear path toward building financial security. Learn more about scheduling an appointment with a financial advisor.



Securities sold, and advisory services are offered through CUNA Brokerage Services Inc.(CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with SchoolsFirst FCU to make securities available to Members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, may lose value, no financial institution guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.

CUNA Brokerage Services Inc. is a registered broker/dealer in all 50 states of the United States of America.

Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us at 800.462.8328, ext.  4116, option 2 for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a financial advisor who can help tailor a solution for you.

When you click on external links, you are linking to alternate websites not operated by SchoolsFirst FCU, and SchoolsFirst FCU is not responsible for the content of the alternate websites. The fact that there is a link from SchoolsFirst FCU’s website to an alternate website does not constitute endorsement of any product, service, or organization. SchoolsFirst FCU does not represent either you or the website operator if you enter into a transaction. Privacy and security policies may differ from those practiced by SchoolsFirst FCU, and you should review the alternate website’s policies.

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