Who do you work with?

We work with anyone who is ready to evaluate their finances and want a professional to partner with as they define their goals and collaborate on a plan to make it possible. Leslie Ransom, CFP® has a background in the music industry so we cater to creatives, self-employed or small business owners who have “non-traditional” incomes. We emphasize cash flow and building a strong spending/savings structure as the basis for any financial plan.

Ideally, we work with clients who are looking for ways to better manage their income with regards to cash flow and saving to achieve their goals. We try to educate and help our clients establish a system of saving and viewing their income with an eye to both current and future goals.

We want to work with clients who are willing to do the work along with us.

Isn’t financial planning just for rich people?

This is a common misinterpretation of financial planning. While investing is a factor in financial planning, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Any level of income and savings can benefit from financial planning.  We work with people at all levels to help outline ideal savings goals and spending structure to move towards your goals.

However, if you are battling debt issues and don’t have available income to pay for planning, you would be better served to look for pro bono planning to address your needs.

What is holistic financial planning?

Holistic financial planning begins with you and your goals.  We consider where you are in pursuit of your goals and what you might need to do to continue moving towards them. A holistic plan is more than just determining a number to aim for, we want to give you the tools and understanding to see how your lifestyle can help you achieve your goals without forfeiting your present.

Holistic financial planning is designed to help you create a plan that covers the individual parts of your financial life while ensuring that they all work together. It can put you in a position to achieve your goals in a way that is realistic for you. We look at different angles of your financial situation to determine what is working for you and what is not so you can make adjustments accordingly.

Why did you call your firm Indie Financial Planning?

I spent many years working in the music industry for an independent record label. At the time, “Indie Rock” implied working outside the mainstream or “doing it yourself”. The financial industry has long been dominated by high fees and a “it takes money to make money” mindset. I launched Indie Financial Planning to counter that elitist culture in finance. I focus on budgeting and planning for creative or self-employed folks who want to build a financial foundation which will allow them to continue their lifestyle knowing that their planning partner has their best interests at heart.

Can I work with you if I don’t live in Illinois?

Yes! I run a virtual practice that travels with me wherever I go. Indie Financial Planning is registered in the States of Illinois and California, but we can work with clients in any state.

While I spend most of my time in Chicago, I am also often in California and stay abreast of different state laws that might be relevant to your financial plan.

We work with a variety of planning software platforms that allow us to securely share information and allow you to visualize your plan as it continues to develop. You don’t have to make time to come into the office to review any new developments. We can meet virtually either on the phone or on video pretty much any time that works for you.

What makes you different?

I am not a product of the financial industry. I specifically created this firm in the hopes of serving those who might previously felt intimidated or underserved by their services.

I do not represent any specific financial product and am committed to offer advice that is independent and objective. As a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional I only receive payment from my client, I do not accept commissions, referral fees or any other compensation from third parties.

This means that I am free (and, in fact, legally bound) to listen to your situation and goals and formulate a situation that works for you.

How much will this cost?

Excellent question! Before we propose a suggested price for services, we want to spend some time discovering your situation and potential planning needs. Since we consider each situation as singular, we offer a free initial 30 minute session before we present our proposal. We offer several services and will present price and time options based on which service you serve. We try to present you a price that will allow us to best answer your questions and serve your planning needs.

How do you get paid?

We are fee only planners. If you chose to work with us you will only pay our fees, no commissions or referral fees. After an initial meeting, we will recommend the service best suited to your situation and will outline specific fees for your situation. Our Services page should provide you with additional information.

Will you do my taxes?

No. I am not a CPA. I can give you some advice to help put you in a better position vis-à-vis your taxes but I defer to the experts when it comes to filing the paperwork.

What is your Investment Philosophy?
I am interested in working with you, how do I get started?

We offer a free 30 minute “get to know you” session. You can schedule a time to talk on our contact page.

I am not sure if I am ready for or can afford a financial plan, do you have other options?

You can sign up for our newsletter and get updates on things that are going on in the world of finance and investing. You may find some helpful tips there.

You might want to look to your bank or credit union for articles that might be helpful to you.  Additionally, check with your employer or the company that manages your employer plan [401(k), 403(b), etc].  Often, employee benefits include some helpful advice with regards to budgeting and planning.

Using a budgeting app such as Mint or You Need a Budget can be very helpful if you are looking to get a grip on spending.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB] is a government agency dedicated to make sure you are treated fairly by banks, lenders, and other financial institutions.  It can be a great resource if you are struggling with credit card debt, debt collections, problems paying your mortgage and more.

The Financial Planning Association [FPA] offers pro bono financial planning for underserved and at risk communities. They have 80 active chapters in states all over the US [including Illinois].  They have a list of financial planners who provide pro bono planning as well.

Savvy Ladies is a network of 3,000 volunteers providing free financial education for women. Its goal is to promote the advancement of self reliant, financially educated women. The network provides free financial help in addition to hosting events and webinars.

Ready to get started?

Schedule an Initial Meeting