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. If you chose to schedule a session, please take a moment to complete our “Tell Us About You” Questionnaire on the same page.

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What is your investment philosophy?

Please see our page dedicated to this topic.

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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.

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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.

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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™ 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.

For more about being a Fee-Only Planner, please see here.

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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. 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.

Indie Financial Planning is registered in the State of Illinois but we can work with clients in any state.

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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.

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What is comprehensive financial planning?

Comprehensive financial planning involves the detailed review and analysis of all facets of your financial situation including cash flow analysis, risk management (insurance), investment management, tax management, retirement planning, and estate planning. We’ve found that through a comprehensive analysis, your true financial situation can be determined and the proper tailored plan can be recommended.

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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. In fact, our planning system focuses on defining goals and creating a budget or cash flow system to work towards those goals. These are cornerstones to a strong financial plan and should be defined before investments come into play.

You do not need to have “investable assets” to work with us. Our focus is on how you are using what you earn currently and hopefully creating a system of saving to see you into the future.

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Who do you work with?

We work with anyone who is ready to focus on their financial situation 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 budgeting and cash flow planning as the basis for any financial planning. We are also well versed at savings options for small business or self-employed individuals.

Ideally, we are looking for clients who have earnings but are looking for ways to better manage their income with regards to budgeting 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.

Since we do not focus entirely on investments, young individuals or couples who are beginning their earning lives are perfect clients for our systems.

Our planning system is interactive and demands participation on both parts.

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