FAQ

+ What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary is a person or entity that holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust1 2. In the profession of financial advice, a fiduciary is one solely acting in the interest of a client3.

A proper fiduciary avoids or substantially minimizes conflicts of interest. They also disclose all facts material to the relationship. If a potential conflict may interfere with a professional’s fiduciary duty to a client, the relationship should not be entered into. The professional relationship between a client and a fiduciary means:

  • The client always knows exactly how the fiduciary is compensated
  • The fiduciary will owe their first and foremost loyalty to their client
  • The fiduciary commits to act with diligence and without bias
  • The fiduciary will always act with honesty, integrity, and professionalism
  • The fiduciary will only charge fees for their services (and not commissions), and will only charge amounts that are reasonable for the services being provided

In the United States, the largest organization of fee-only, fiduciary-only financial advisors is known as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)4, of which Callahan Financial Planning Company is a member.

Callahan Financial Planning Company and its employees have signed and are held to fiduciary oaths, in addition to their ethical oaths made as professional certificants of the CFP Board, the CFA Institute, as members of NAPFA, and under fiduciary securities laws in the state of Nebraska and the United States.

 

+ Where are you located?

Our offices are located in Omaha, Nebraska – at Midtown Crossing at Turner Park. Adjacent to the development are the headquarters of Mutual of Omaha, Berkshire Hathaway and Kiewit.

We are also one mile from downtown Omaha. We’re located just west of I-480 (Harney Street / Dodge Street Exit) near Farnam and 31st streets.

3157 Farnam Street Suite 7111, Omaha, NE 68131
Contact Us | View Map and Directions

+ Are you a division or branch of another company?

No, Callahan Financial Planning Company is an independent, Omaha-based Company that provides a unique form of conflict-free financial planning. This independence is important because:

  • Large American banks and brokerages have products for sale, and the job of their financial advisors is to distribute these. They may offer ancillary financial advice along with their product sales, but it is important to note their underlying position: selling you a product.
  • Typically brokerages, insurance companies and mutual funds have what’s known as a “revenue sharing” arrangement in place. This money has to come from somewhere, and unfortunately it’s directly from your investments.

Our business model is distinctly different: we are only compensated by our clients. This is the only way to ensure true and appropriate recommendations can be made, and to ensure you don’t pay these extra costs. You’ll never have to second guess advice again.

+ How are fee-only financial planners different?

Consumers incur costs from other financial institutions in multiple ways. Here are common costs:

– Sales commissions (ie: sales loads, 12b1 fees, etc.)
– Management costs (ie: mutual funds, annuities, stocks, bonds, etc.)
– Trading commissions (ie: stocks, ETFs, mutual funds)
– Trading costs (ie: the “spread” between buyers and sellers)
– Financial planning costs (ie: hourly, annually or a fixed amount)
– Investment advisory costs (ie: a % of your investments or a fixed amount)
– Maintenance and admin fees (ie: a flat $ amount regularly, or a ongoing %)

These costs can be reduced, but not eliminated. There is a certain cost to conducting financial transactions, and our service is designed to help clients accomplish what they need with the least cost possible.

In a 2013 study of competing financial institutions in the Midwest, Callahan Financial Planning was 40% more competitive on average as compared to other providers¹.

Our clients save money by avoiding:

– Sales commissions
– Maintenance and admin fees

And by reducing:

– Management costs
– Trading commissions and costs
– Financial planning and investment advisory costs

As a NAPFA-member Fee-Only practice, we are only paid by our clients. This means clients pay for our service either on a project basis (financial planning) or for ongoing advice (financial planning and investment advice). To request a quote for your situation, please go to our Get Started page.

+ What costs can I expect working with a financial planner?

We generally work with our clients in an open-ended relationship, and not one-time-only engagements.

This is based on our long-term observations about general behavior: clients who receive continuous counsel are more likely to identify regular tax planning opportunities, keep their estate plan current, keep their investment portfolio managed closely to their risk and return targets, keep cash levels in the most optimal banking arrangement and closer to their target balance, and more. We want the best outcomes for our clients, and working with clients in an ongoing relationship generally makes for better outcomes. Our clients are under no long-term contracts while working with us.

As a NAPFA fee-only practice, we are paid in just two ways: hourly rate billing for ongoing financial advice, or a flat % of investment balances for ongoing investment advice and financial planning. You can see a table of our rates here. We think you’ll find this cost structure efficient, fair, and incentivizing the only thing that should matter to a client and financial planner alike: planning for better outcomes for the client. To request a quote for your situation, please visit our Get Started page or give us a call at (402) 341-2000.

 

+ Who is on the financial planning team?

William A. Callahan, CFA, CFP®
President and Chief Investment Officer
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner
Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder

Mr. Callahan founded the firm in 2010. Leading with a strict philosophy of putting client interests first, Callahan Financial Planning Company’s entire team holds a legal and moral fiduciary obligation to their clients. As the President, Mr. Callahan is responsible for reviewing all significant financial planning and portfolio decisions for our clients. Mr. Callahan also works directly with clients to deliver specialized financial planning recommendations and investment advice. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charterholder and Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) practitioner.

From Omaha, NE, Mr. Callahan previously served as a financial advisor at local commercial banks. He received a BSBA with concentrations in Finance, Banking and Financial Markets, Investment Science and Portfolio Management at the University of Nebraska Omaha, his Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis (MIMFA) both at Creighton University, and completed the Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner education requirements at New York University. Mr. Callahan is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Nebraska and past President of the Financial Planning Association of Nebraska.

Reuben J. Brauer, CFP®
Senior Financial Planner
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner

Mr. Brauer has been with the firm since our opening in 2010. He works closely with clients and other staff to analyze, develop and implement financial plan and investment recommendations. Mr. Brauer is also part of our firm’s investment management, research and decision making process.

From Omaha, NE, Mr. Brauer received a BSBA from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a concentration in Finance. His previous experience includes securities analysis and client relations at a local registered investment advisor and a regional commercial bank. Mr. Brauer completed his Certified Financial Planner™ professional education at the College for Financial Planning. Mr. Brauer is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Nebraska.

Allison N. Cerven, CFP®
Financial Planner
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner

Mrs. Cerven joined our firm in 2013 after completing a BS in Family Finance, Housing, and Policy at Iowa State University. Her academics were the pursuit of improving the quality of financial planning for individuals and families. She is an active and integral contributor to our financial planning process.

From Stanton, IA, Mrs. Cerven earned her graduate Certified Financial Planner™ professional education at Iowa State University. Allison is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Nebraska and the Financial Therapy Association.

Spencer D. Schwarting
Financial Planning Associate

Mr. Schwarting is the newest member of our team, joining the firm in 2015. His background includes education and professional experience in personal financial planning. Previously, Mr. Schwarting served as a financial advisor at an Omaha-based financial advisory firm. Mr. Schwarting is an active contributor to our financial planning process.

From Omaha, NE, Mr. Schwarting received a BSBA with concentrations in Financial Planning and Business Intelligence and Analytics from Creighton University. He has completed the Certified Financial Planner™ professional education requirements and is currently pursuing his certification. Mr. Schwarting is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Nebraska.

+ How can I get in touch if I have questions?

It’s easy! Choose your method of choice:

  • By Phone (Omaha): (402) 341-2000
  • By Phone (Lincoln): (402) 474-1200
  • By Phone (Toll-Free): (800) 991-5195
  • By Email
  • In Person: Get Directions

Hours of Operation
Mon – Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sat: By Appointment

+ What is Socially Responsible Investing?

Holding a portfolio you can feel good about while earning an appropriate return is not only possible, it’s important. This can be accomplished through a formal “screen” of companies we consider for investment, and is often called Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). This category is broad, but can include evaluating companies based on social justice, corporate governance, and their environmental impact. We take pride in our unique capabilities to monitor these criteria for our clients.

If this is important to you, talk to your financial planner at Callahan Financial Planning about applying filters to your portfolio. If you’re not currently a client, you can start a dialog by visiting with a planner.

+ How safe is my money managed by Callahan Financial Planning?

Callahan Financial Planning is not a bank or brokerage, and therefore does not ever take custody of our clients’ funds. Instead, for those clients whose assets we manage in an ongoing manner, they are held safely with the independent custodian you’ve elected. Clients of brokerage companies generally receive Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC) coverage of up to $500,000 should the brokerage fail or be the victim of fraud. Additionally, if your account has any cash deposits, you’re protected by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) coverage of up to $250,000. There are specific requirements that must be met at all banks and brokerages to ensure full coverage, so it’s important that you work closely with your financial planner to ensure you qualify.

You can visit the FDIC or SIPC directly for more information.

+ Where is my account held if Callahan Financial Planning manages it?

Clients of our investment management services select the investment brokerage (“custodian”) of their choice. This ensures full transparency and independence to our clients while allowing us to make the ongoing trades necessary for investment management. The two most common brokerage custodians our client’s utilize are TD Ameritrade and Scottrade. Assets held at TD Ameritrade Institutional and Scottrade are SIPC insured, and cash deposits are FDIC insured up to their respective maximum federal limits. Callahan Financial Planning Company does not receive any compensation for recommending one custodian over another, and will help you select the one most appropriate for your situation.

For those clients who are prohibited or it’s in their best interest to hold their investment assets at another custodian, special accommodations can be made. When working with our clients, we’ll develop a specific plan outlining how our trades are to be made.

+ What can I expect from an introductory meeting?

In your meeting, you can expect to learn more about our firm, our process and discuss your current situation, concerns and goals. This meeting, held with a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, generally lasts 90 – 120 minutes. You will also discuss any estimated costs associated with your desired investment advice and/or financial planning services.

+ Do I need to bring anything with me to my first meeting?

Prior to your meeting, you will receive an appointment kit that outlines what information is needed for your meeting, including a “Personal Financial Checklist” and “Personal Information Questionnaire”. Please complete both of these and bring them along with you, and use the checklist as a reference guide for additional documents that will help your financial planner better understand your present situation.

+ Where are you located?

Our offices are located in Omaha, Nebraska – at Midtown Crossing at Turner Park. Adjacent to the development are the headquarters of Mutual of Omaha, Berkshire Hathaway and Kiewit.

We are also one mile from downtown Omaha. We’re located just west of I-480 (Harney Street / Dodge Street Exit) near Farnam and 31st streets.

3157 Farnam Street Suite 7111, Omaha, NE 68131
Contact Us | View Map and Directions