World-Class Financial Planning
in San Mateo

What Is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

The “Certified Financial Planner” (CFP) designation is the highest designation bestowed on a financial planner. CFPs are held to more rigorous standards than non-accredited financial planners. A CFP must earn continuing education credits (30 hours every two years). Additionally, a CFP has a fiduciary duty to serve the client’s best interest versus recommending investments or services that might be “suitable” for the client.

CFPs who receive legitimate complaints can be decertified by an independent review board. Thus, the CFP designation offers an unmatched protection to clients who choose to engage with a CFP over a non-certified financial planner or financial advisor.

We know that there are many financial advisors and financial planners in San Mateo willing to serve you and hope that you will consider Gosho Financial Group in your search. To help you to find the best financial planner and advisor for your needs, please see our list of 50 things that a financial planner can do for you.

Financial Planning

What starts with your inquiry and a complimentary financial planning session will, we hope, develop into a lifelong relationship. Here’s how we would work with you:


Financial Guidance Needed

You have financial questions–we have or will find answers to help you achieve your life goals and define “financial independence.” Our broad experience in life and with stock and bond markets can introduce “what if” scenarios that you might not have considered.  Financial planning should help you prepare for the expected, and more easily adjust for the unexpected life changes.

Some common topics are: allocating education funds for children or grandchildren; paying off debt; building after-tax retirement income; rolling over a 401(k) to an IRA or a Roth IRA; exercising stock options or benefiting from an IPO; receiving an inheritance; losing, changing or retiring from a job; or caring for elderly parents or for yourself. We will work with you, your tax professional, your estate planning attorney and others to help keep you on your path to prosperity and security.

Call Gosho Financial Group

A brief five-minute phone call will help us clarify your concerns and whether or not we can help you.  We will always try to direct you to helpful resources in any case.

Online Questionnaire

It will save everyone time if you download and complete our online questionnaire. It’s a simple form that allows us to get an at-a-glance picture of your financial situation for a more meaningful discussion. Once we receive the completed questionnaire, we will call you to set up an appointment for a complimentary 30-minute “get-acquainted” meeting.

Get-Acquainted Meeting

Meetings with potential clients are always better face-to-face if possible. We usually meet at our San Mateo office, 951 Mariners Island Boulevard, Suite 385, San Mateo, CA 94404 near BridgePointe Shopping Center in Foster City.  However, we have access to Regus office suites throughout the Bay Area and around the world. We can also meet in the evening or on Saturday if necessary given the daunting work and family schedules and traffic that many people face.

In our first meeting, we listen to you – your immediate and long-term goals, values, and resources. We ask questions that you may not have considered but that are critical to your financial success. We might ask you to bring one or two years of tax returns, bank and investment account statements, and a social security benefit statement to estimate the scope of work required to create a personalized plan for you.

Review Proposal

We will send you a written proposal soon after the “get-acquainted” meeting. It will be based on the work required to complete a financial plan.  See Fee Schedule.  If you approve our proposal, we will begin the data-gathering process.

Data Gathering

As the “nuts and bolts” part of the financial planning process, this stage involves collecting personal and financial information, entering data into financial planning software, creating one or two scenarios to review, and writing a concise, easily understandable summary of your current and anticipated financial situation.

Plan Presentation

We will present your financial plan for your approval in a face-to-face meeting.  We might agree to add an additional “what if” scenario if necessary.

Plan Implementation

Gosho Financial Group separates the fee for developing the plan and the fee for investment management to avoid conflict of interest.  We like transparency.  If you receive a financial plan for free, then you will most likely be paying for it through commissions on recommended investment products such as insurance, annuities, privately managed portfolios, or mutual funds.

With a good financial plan, you should be able to implement the plan yourself or engage a professional to help you implement and monitor your plan.

Our Financial Planning Philosophy

In our view, the purpose of financial planning is to help people define and reach financial goals. To explore how we approach this, let’s work backward from a hypothetical goal of becoming a millionaire. How much does it take to save a million dollars?

This raises more questions – what is the purpose of saving a million dollars? Would a million dollars be enough at retirement? And now that retirement is in the picture, how long would a million dollars last in retirement? Because time is now a factor in that money’s ability to last through retirement, what is a reasonable age to expect to retire?

Other goals may also be relevant. One client may be looking for a retirement plan, while another client may be interested in financial independence. In the first case, the money only needs to last for a time, but in the second case, the money will need to be generating income through investments to fund a continuing financially independent lifestyle. With financial independence, a key question is how much will be required to live comfortably and not have to work. Where would that income come from?

San Mateo County has a population of tech employees who have made significant earnings from IPOs – if you’re one of them, a custom financial plan could be a simple way to turn that success into lasting financial independence.

These goals can be achieved with a disciplined approach to investment that considers financial resources like:

> Social Security – how much is there for you and when should you begin drawing it?

> Investments – are they working hard enough to support your goals?

> Savings – do you have enough cash immediately accessible to you?

> Assets – what do you own and what is it worth?

Finding the Best Financial Planner

We know that there are many financial advisors and financial planners willing to serve you and hope that you will consider Gosho Financial Group in your search. To help you to find the best financial planner and advisor for your needs, please see our list of 50 things that a financial planner can do for you.

50 Things: What a Professional Financial Advisor Does for You

View PDF

When you meet with potential financial planning firms, we suggest that you ask which of these services they provide. The answers will allow you to compare firms and find which best meet your needs.