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Frequently Asked Questions


Do you work with people outside of Minnesota?

Yes! While many of our clients are in Minnesota, we work with people all over the United States.

Is there a fee for the initial call or discovery meeting?

No, we believe that everyone should be able to ask some initial questions and take a test drive without cost.

What is the Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) designation?

CFP® professionals must meet extensive education and experience requirements and commit to CFP Board's ethical standards requiring them to act as a fiduciary for clients. For more information visit https://www.letsmakeaplan.org/.

What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of a client and is bound both legally and ethically to act in the client's best interests.

How does Great River Financial get paid?

We charge a straight-forward annual fee percentage, which includes both financial planning and investment management. We are “fee-only” fiduciaries and do not receive commissions.

What does “fee-only” mean?

A fee-only financial planner is compensated solely by the client. The firm does not receive commissions, or any other sales-based compensation, that could pay them more to recommend certain products over others.

Who is not a good fit for Great River Financial?

If you are looking for hot stock tips and/or trying to time the market.

Where will my money be held?

We will help you open investment accounts at Charles Schwab, which are set up so we can trade your investments on your behalf.

Is it a hassle to move my accounts?

It usually involves a few signatures to open accounts, and we work with Schwab who contacts the previous firm to transfer the assets on your behalf without you having to contact your previous firm or advisor.

What is the benefit of hiring an advisor versus doing it myself?

A lot of our clients were do-it-yourselfers before hiring us. The reasons they hired us and continue to work with us are as unique as they are, but these are some common reasons we hear: We implement strategies to reduce their taxes. We help them optimize their Social Security income. We coordinate the automatic deposits from their retirement investments with their Social Security so their monthly cash flow and tax withholding is as seamless as getting a paycheck. Provide updated market information that helps them stay disciplined when investment markets are volatile.