OnPlane Financial Advisors
Do Well. Be Well. Financially.

Blog | Fee Only Certified Financial Planner Washington DC

I like to write about what happens in our lives and how it can relate to our financial lives. Not always but most of the time. So keep checking in. I'm glad to have you reading along.

Just Be You - A New Chapter

I still remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was still very new to the business, not even a year under my belt and I was trusted by two good friends to help them with their financial life. I'd been coached by others who'd been in the business longer than me as to how I should conduct my meetings, set expectations, so forth.

Prior to our meeting, I sent an email to confirm our meeting and set expectations. I thought this was how you did things. In hindsight, it wasn't.

After our my meeting, my friend called me and said they were pretty steamed by my email. It rubbed them the wrong way. Fortunately, my friend had a pretty cool head about him. Instead of snubbing me or taking his business elsewhere, he gave me some advice. In a nutshell, this is what he said:

"D - just be you."

I've learned quite a bit over the past 10 years in this business. That piece of advice - well, that's stuck with me. It’s helped guide me through how I’ve interacted with potential clients and clients. And that piece of advice compelled me to embark on the newest chapter in my career.

Today, I'm excited to officially share with you my new firm, OnPlane Financial Advisors LLC.

But wait? Isn't that the name of your company anyway? Yes! And no.

At the end of 2018, I left my previous firm which was affiliated with a mutual life insurance company and broker dealer. While there, I operated under the same business name…OnPlane Financial Advisors. My time there was extremely valuable. I remain grateful for the chance they took on me and the opportunities. In addition, I'm grateful for the people who helped me grow, improve, and learn along the way. I wouldn't be here today without those experiences.

That quote, though. It’s always been with me and, total transparency, I struggled with some internal tug-of-war. I felt a strong pull toward being independent and conflict free. In order to "just be me" there was, in my mind, only one solution.

Beginning today, OnPlane Financial Advisors LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor, independently owned and operated by me. So what's changed? A few things…

-100% independent: the new firm is structured such that I have no affiliations or business arrangement with any financial company to sell or distribute their products.  
-No insurance products: I still believe in a protection-first philosophy and will continue to advise on and make recommendations for insurance. I wanted my financial planning practice to be free from product sales and the associated conflicts of interest. So no insurance sales.
-Technology: being independent allows me to better take advantage of current/new technology and implement them to provide additional value for your financial life.  
-Fee Structure: no more wondering how your financial advisor gets paid. My fee is flat and is paid by you and you alone. This was a driving factor in my decision to start my own firm. Financial advice shouldn't be driven by a product sale, or the amount of assets you do or don't have. To me, a flat fee structure feels like the fairest way for clients to receive financial advice.

What hasn't changed:
-the company name, for one

-it's still me. Same names, different address.-the value of the advice I provide-the same expertise around financial planning, investment management, and protection

-the same core beliefs:

  1. Life is NOT a Straight Line

  2. Focus on Factors YOU can Control

  3. Be Well. Do Well. Financially

I imagine some of you might have questions. If so, call me. Text me. Shoot me an email.

I'm super excited about this new chapter and both happy and proud to share it with all of you. As always, I'll be here.

And still following my friends' advice: just being me.


Darren Straniero