Frequently Asked Questions

why work with a "fee-only" financial planner?

When you're planning for your finances, you need objective, clear and impactful advice. Being an independent, fee-only financial planning firm allows us to offer you services and guidance that always puts your interests first. Traditional financial planners often have associations and relationships with banks, brokerages and insurance companies, managers to answer to and weekly numbers to reach. Because we are independent and are only compensated by your client fee, we are able to focus completely on you.

Because we work for you, we are able to customize our work and planning for to fit your goals and vision for your financial future. And since you pay us directly for an agreed-upon fee, you can trust that our advice is always free from the influence of affiliations and commissions - since we don't accept them. 

Additionally, Personal Path is a proud member of the Garrett Planning Network, an international organization of hundreds of hourly, fee-only planners just like us.


Simply put, a "fiduciary" is someone in a position of trust and confidence that must place the interests of those he or she serves ahead of their own. When a planner takes the Fiduciary Oath, they are committed to putting their clients' financial needs and interests ahead of their own. Mary Macdonald is a fiduciary and proud to take this Oath to serve both our clients and prospective clients. 

Don't I have to have lots of money to need or get a good financial advisor?

No and in fact, we have no income or investment account minimums for hourly engagements. We also offer some great, accessible plans and services for clients who have never worked with a planner and want to try it out with specific questions or needs. Learn more right here.

What defines financial planning - Frequently Asked Questions

What defines "financial planning?"

Done right, financial planning is a process to help you figure out where you are financially today, where you want to be in the future, and then help you determine the best way to get there.  Our process involves an initial in-depth review of a client’s current financial situation and then the creation of a blueprint on how to achieve future goals and objectives. Learn more about services here.


What If I want (or need) to buy investment or insurance products? How do I do that?

We don’t sell products, only our time and expertise.  We will offer specific recommendations and opinions on various products and services that may be appropriate for a client’s situation, and in turn can advise a client where to obtain those products or services. If appropriate and at the client’s request, we can help with plan implementation.

I already have substantial assets and am doing quite well financially, I think. Can you help me?

Yes. We offer many services for those people who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice. If a goal is to simplify your financial affairs, an ongoing client review may be right for you. Or, if you’re interested in a professional review or a second opinion, we can provide that too. Schedule a complimentary meeting with us to get started.

I'm in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my company, and would like to get more employees to participate. Can you help me?

Education is key to increasing employee participation and appreciation. We can tailor a program for a company’s employees to help them understand the benefits of various programs. Contact us to learn more.

Once my financial plan or project is finished, will our relationship end?

We're in this with you for the longhaul. After an initial project ends, we'd love for you to contact us as your need arises. We like to think of our role as ongoing providers. Just as someone thinks of a dentist as an ongoing provider and has regular dental checkups to maintain good dental health, good fiscal health requires periodic reviews of your personal finances. Because financial planning is a process, not an event, we offer ongoing services, periodic reviews, and day-to-day consultation as requested and/or needed if you so desire.

What other questions do you have? We'd love to answer them.