The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) suggests that these questions be asked of every financial planner you are considering engaging

What education and experience do the principals of the firm have?

·                  Stephen Galligan has obtained the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), CPA, and RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) designations.  Sara Galligan and Jessica Slowter are both attorneys.  The Biography section of this web site details their formal education, qualifications and professional experience.


Are you a member of any professional organizations?

·                  Stephen Galligan is a member of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners and the Minnesota Society of CPA’s. Stephen Galligan is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and is recognized as a Personal Financial Specialist (PFC) as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Sara Galligan and Jessica Slowter are both members of the Minnesota Law Board.


What continuing education in financial planning do you pursue?

·                  In order to maintain our CPA & CFP® designation, we must complete 120 hours of continuing education every three years. As a member of NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), we must complete 60 hours of continuing education every two years.


Have you ever been cited by a professional or regulatory governing body for disciplinary reasons, or have there been any disciplinary citations against you?

·                     No


Who will be responsible for my planning?

·                  Either Stephen Galligan or Jessica Slowter will be responsible for your planning.  Typically we use a team effort for most clients and either can respond to client inquiries.


What is included in your financial planning services?

·                 Galligan Financial offers comprehensive personal financial planning services to individuals, families and small business owners.  The Planning Services section of this web site details the services provided by Galligan Financial. 


How long have you been offering financial planning services?

·                  Galligan Financial has been in existence for over 20 years and has operated as a joint CPA-RIA firm since its inception.  Stephen Galligan has over 25 years experience in the financial services prior to working at Galligan Financial.


Do you have clients who might be willing to speak with me about your services?  Will you provide me with references from other professionals?

·                 Yes, but only as a final step to retaining Galligan Financial for financial planning services.  We have more than 125 extended families as clients in 18 states and get 5-10 inquiries per week regarding our services.  We will not share confidential client information or burden our current client base with referral requests unless this is the last remaining hurdle to retaining us.  In this case, we ask what kind of referral is desired and will then ask a client’s permission to be contacted.  You can be assured that if you become a client of Galligan Financial that you, in turn, will not be contacted routinely by new prospects and that your personal information will be guarded assiduously. 


Does the service include recommendations for specific investments or investment vehicles?

·                Yes, we offer full plan implementation including on-going advice on specific investments (refer to Market Advisories in this web site). This may include no-load mutual funds, stocks, bonds &/or Exchange Trade Funds (ETF’s).


How is your firm compensated and how is your compensation calculated?

·                 We are fee-only planners so there are no commissions and no products are sold.  We do not receive nor do we offer referral fees to outside professionals.  Our fees are received directly from our clients.  We have a sliding scale fee schedule that takes into account CPA tax work, financial planning and asset management.  We have no financial relationships with any other firms nor do we receive compensation of any kind from the placement of investments. Please refer to the Planning Fees section of this web site for a detailed discussion of fees.


Do you offer continuous on-going advice regarding my financial affairs, including advice on non-investment financial issues?

·                 Yes, our role is to act as your advisor and we encourage you to call on us at any time. In addition, we’ll provide you with updates throughout the year at your request. Any changes to your objectives as well as economic, tax or other developments will be addressed.


Do you take possession of, or have access to my assets?

·                 We use Charles Schwab Investments to custody assets under management for clients.  We are happy to advise you on your full financial picture, regardless of custodian, but will not offer on-going advice when assets are not managed by Galligan Financial as a matter of choice.  We do, however, offer on-going advise for financial assets that cannot be directly managed by a financial advisor such as funds held in qualified retirement plans. 


Is your firm registered as an Investment Advisor?

·                 Yes, we are registered as a CPA firm with the state of Minnesota and as a RIA firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission.