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Financial Services

We focus on the things that will better help our clients.

Brown Financial is a different type of Financial Planning firm. Rather than traditional, commission based “Financial Planning Services”, we offer Investor Coaching.

Our Investor Coaching model is built upon the premise that the traditional financial planning model is broken. Consumers no longer want to buy financial products from a salesman. Instead they want to work with a financial “coach” – someone that will take the time to educate them, and will work on their behalf.

Visit our Coaching vs Planning page for more information on our Investor Coaching model

Our Financial Coaching Services Include:


  Retirement Planning Services

Is your retirement plan on track?

Are you concerned about:

  • reaching your retirement goal
  • having to delay your retirement
  • affording healthcare
  • leaving an inheritance
  • converting your assets into retirement income

We all have visions of what we hope our retirement will look like – whether it is world travel, exotic beaches, pursuing your long ignored passion, or spending more time with your loved ones, reaching those goals will take careful retirement planning and purposeful actions.

Our Retirement Planning Services include:

  • Investment Management
  • Social Security Planning
  • (Insurance Planning)
  • (Estate Planning)
  • (Tax Planning)
  • Thrift Savings Planning

Whatever your retirement vision, Brown Financial will work with you, and for you to help put a strong retirement plan in place.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the difference a Financial coach can make in your life.


  Investment Management Services

With so much technology and information at our fingertips one would think that investing has become so much easier for everyone. Interestingly, the opposite is true. So, to stay focused on what really works for our clients, we always keep in mind our Investment Pillars.

Educate and re-educate the investor on how markets work
Historical evidence suggests that the ownership of equities, above other asset categories, provides investors with the greatest opportunity to fund long-term goals.

Own equities commensurate with an investors ability to tolerate short-term volatility
Therefore, Free Market Portfolio Theory will be the basis for the management of client investment portfolios. We will refrain from making investment recommendations that involve variations of stock picking, market timing or any reliance upon past performance as a future guide.

Own as many asset categories as possible
Global diversification is an integral component to the success of any prudent investment strategy.

Buy Low / Sell High
This “Golden Rule” of investing is accomplished thru portfolio rebalancing which is the selling of asset categories that are relatively high and the buying of asset categories that are relatively low.

Avoid Investor Mistakes
See the Investor Mistakes tab for more details.


  Texas 529 College Savings Plan

For many of us, paying for college will be one of the largest expenses in our lives, second only to our homes.

According to a recent MoneyWatch (article), over the past decade college tuition and fees have increased 5.4 per year more than inflation. More data:

  • From 2000-2010 funding per pupil at state universities (across the U.S.) fell by 21 percent
  • Total public funding for education has decreased overall by 14.6 percent since 2008

Fortunately, Texas is one of the exceptions. Texas increased its commitment to higher education by 6.6 percent during this period.

Features and Benefits of 529 College Savings Plans

  • Tax Advantages

    There are some valuable tax benefits that accompany 529 plans.

    They offer tax-deferred growth, meaning that any earnings on contributions you make are federal tax-free. Those earnings, reinvested can make a significant difference over time.

    A 529 college savings plan also entitles you to federal tax-free distributions for certain qualified expenses. Some examples of qualified expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies, on-and off-campus room and board and even certain expenses for special needs students.

  • Estate & Gift Tax Benefits

    Not only does a 529 college savings plan help you afford the increasing cost of a college education, but it also provides the opportunity to remove significant assets from your taxable estate while continuing to maintain control over your assets. Under the annual federal gift tax exclusion, you can contribute up to $65,000 (or $130,000 if married and filing jointly) to a 529 plan immediately and average the contribution equally over a five-year period without incurring a federal gift tax.

    Friends and family can also contribute to a loved one’s 529 plan while removing taxable assets from their estate.

  • Flexibility & Control

    529 college savings plans allow you to maintain flexibility and control over your assets. You, the account holder, decide when to take distributions for various qualified college expenses covered by a 529 plan, how much money to spend, and to whom the check should be made payable. You also have the freedom to change the beneficiary at any time to another family member. This is a great benefit if your loved one’s college plans change and you would like to transfer the 529 plan to another family member of the current Beneficiary.

  • Investment Options

    Most 529 plans offer a variety of investment options and individual fund choices that best suit your investment style and risk. The Enrollment-based portfolio is one popular type of investment option. This type of portfolio allows you to invest in a 529 plan and the portfolio automatically reallocates according to the years remaining until the prospective student expects to go to college. Traditionally, these portfolios start with more aggressive allocations and adjust to become more conservative as college approaches.

    There are also other portfolio options available that may better suit your individual needs. Some of these options include individual portfolios which usually have specific objectives and are often used to create a customized investment strategy.

  • General Benefits

    529 savings plans also offer several other benefits not offered by other college savings investment vehicles. There are no age or income limitations, providing greater flexibility for people who fund 529 savings plans and those who are the beneficiaries. Contribution limits are often quite generous, with most states’ limits exceeding $300,000 per beneficiary, and accounts have the potential to grow even higher with earnings.

    Some 529 plans offer state tax deductions when residents invest in their own state’s plan. These potential state tax deduction amounts vary greatly and should be considered along with other suitability factors such as performance and investment options when choosing a 529 plan.

  • Texas 529 College Savings Plans

    Texas offers a number of options to help you save for college:

    • Lonestar 529 Plan: the Lonestar plan is an advisor sold plan, managed by Oppenheimer Funds. It offers an age-based option, two multi-fund portfolios, and 11 individual fund portfolios.
    • Texas College Savings Plan: this plan is managed by an Oppenheimer Funds affiliate, and offers 2 age- based options, and 8 static investment options.
    • Texas Tuition Promise Fund: use this fund to purchase future educational units at today’s prices. Prepay the tuition and mandatory fees at a Texas public institution

    There are many benefits to 529 college savings plans. You should consider all the alternative investment options available and decide what vehicle is right for you.

    From a financial planning standpoint, student loans should be one of the last options for paying for college. Contact us for more information about saving through a 529 plan, or to schedule a free consultation.


  Social Security Retirement Planner

Income from Social Security represents a good portion of many retirement plans. Yet very little thought or planning is put into this asset.

Social Security planning should be a component of, and coordinated with, your overall Retirement Income Plan.

One of the most important retirement decisions many individuals and couples will have to make is determining when to elect to start receiving their Social Security benefits. A mistake in when you elect to begin receiving your benefits can make for a difference of $50,000-$100,000 in lifetime benefits.

Considerations:

  • A retiree can start taking social security benefits at the age of 62 plus one month, put if off until turning 70, or start at any point between the two. The decision will be influenced by:
    • Health Status
    • Life Expectancy
    • Need for Income
    • Are you planning on working
    • Survivor needs
  • Deferring benefits until the age of 70 provides an annual return of 7.6% per year – guaranteed and tax deferred. Tough to beat that investment strategy.
  • There are three types of benefits with Social Security: individual, spousal, and survivor. You should understand each of these benefits individually, and how they coordinate together.

Can’t I talk to Social Security Directly?

Social Security does provide some helpful, educational information on their site, and most of their agents do have a good understanding of their product, however, they are not financial experts, nor do they take the time to understand your individual situation.

SSA representatives are actually PROHIBITED from giving advice about when you should elect to take your benefits – they are trained to focus on MONTHLY benefits only.

Going to the Social Security office for planning help, is akin to visiting the IRS for tax planning guidance – wouldn’t you rather go to a tax expert?

At Brown Financial, we have the software, experience, and expertise to help you make the right choices when it comes to Social Security planning.

Contact us for more information or to schedule your free consultation.


  Thrift Savings Plan Advice

A Thrift Savings Plan is a defined contribution plan – meaning that your retirement benefit depends on your contributions and earnings over the life of your career.

Thrift Savings Plans are available for most active employees of the United States Government, including active duty or Ready Reserve military members.

Getting the most out of your Thrift Savings Plan

Start today! It’s never too early or late to get started.

Develop a strategy that is appropriate for your circumstances and retirement goals:

  • How much do you need to be contributing each month?
  • Do you need to take advantage of catch-up provisions?
  • What is the appropriate asset allocation for you to reach your goals?
  • Should you be making traditional “pre-tax” contributions or Roth contributions?
  • Adjust your asset allocation accordingly as you get nearer to retirement.
  • You could spend 2 or 3 decades in retirement. During that time it is important that you monitor your financial situation, including:
    • Review your investments and account balance.
    • Consider your current and future income needs.
    • Make changes based on your needs and risk tolerance.
  • Are you confident that you are saving enough to meet your retirement needs and goals?

    Brown Financial can help you get the most out of your Thrift Savings Plan. Contact us for more information or to schedule your free consultation.


Now you have a choice in Financial Service models… contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the difference a Financial coach can make in your life.

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