Mark Zoril — Plymouth, Minnesota
Mark Zoril. Index Fund Financial Advisor For American & Global Expatriates. Annual Fee $96. No Minimum Account Size Requirement.
- Please tell us a little about yourself professionally, including your qualifications.
I am the founder of PlanVision. I have 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 2012, after too many years, I decided that small businesses and middle class people could be served in a better way than I was able to in my prior arrangement. I am an Accredited Investment Fiduciary and have been responsible for enrolling thousands of people in employer based retirement plans over the years. I have also helped many smaller employers set-up and run their retirement plans. As an integral part of my work, I have provided financial and retirement plans to hundreds of my clients.
- Please tell us something about you, as a person.
I very much enjoy my work. Over the years, I have been very influenced by my clients who continue to work well into their 70’s and even their 80’s. As such, my goal is to work as long as I can provide competent guidance and advisement as my health will allow. I realize this is not the plan for most people, but I would like to stay engaged in my work as long as possible.
In addition, I am a huge advocate of foster care. We adopted our second daughter through Hennepin County in Minnesota. It was a great experience and I am very fortunate that we decided to go through this process to expand our Family. I have been very affected by the plight of many children that are abused or neglected or both and promote foster care as a legitimate way for people to grow their families. We are better off for this experience.
- Could you give us an introduction to your firm?
PlanVision is an RIA that provides guidance to smaller employers and individuals. We recommend index funds from Vanguard to our clients. We do not accept or support any forms of compensation such as commissions, revenue sharing, referral fees, or soft money (marketing dollars). We charge our clients flat fees. We believe that, in general, people massively overpay for investment and insurance products as well as financial guidance and consultations.
It is our intention to simplify the investment process for our clients. All of our guidance is provided personally (one on one) to our clients. We use technology effectively to support our low cost approach. We integrate Survey Gizmo with our CRM, Salesforce. Also, we conduct most of our client meetings through video conferencing using Zoom or Skype. In addition, for financial planning we use Finance Logix technology.
We do not using any hype, sales tactics, or ploys in engaging our clients. We do not promote using any type of forecasting tools at all, nor do we make any forecasts for our clients. We provide honest assessments of what people might be able to accomplish and explain what their risks are.
- What is the minimum account size requirement you have, in order for a person to become a client?
Nothing. Zero. Zip. $0. (I suppose we could say $96 because that is what we charge). We are happy to provide guidance, ideas, education, planning to anyone who is interested in working with PlanVision. Our model is not based upon asset size so that is not how we promote our services. We charge a flat fee. People should consider it to be a lot like a health club. You pay membership dues of $8/month and you get access to your own personal financial adviser who provides guidance to you based upon your situation. We have realized that most people, once you get them up and running and educated about what they are doing, like receiving ongoing support. However, for most regular people, their situations are normally not so complicated that they require much time and resources – maybe 1 to 2 hours a year of questions and review. So they shouldn’t have to pay a significant amount for this ongoing guidance and $96 is a great price point for most people and a profitable price for our firm.
- Why do you only build portfolios of low cost index funds or ETFs for your clients?
It has become obvious to us, after 20 years in the business, that index funds provide investors the highest probabability of better relative returns. Since they eliminate the risk of making incorrect investment selections and are so much less expensive, they are better positioned to provide better returns over the long run than more expensive actively management funds. Volumes of data reveal that index funds outperform most actively managed funds.
In addition, the whole idea of financial service firms and advisers tracking and monitoring the performance of funds adds an additional layer of management and fees. Therefore, using index funds reduces that additional cost as well.
After so many years in the industry we have realized that much of the promotion of investing products, and ideas, is simply marketing instead of sound investing. Most financial services firms and advisors promote complexity to add value in their services. But using index funds simplifies the approach and goals for the investor, which in turn reduces their cost and increases their understanding.
Anecdotally, I happen to have four friends who are professional fund managers. Three at hedge funds and one for a small cap publicly available fund. They have all divulged to me that they use index funds for their personal investments!
- Could you give us an idea of the kind of services you offer, as well as your charges? If they differ, based on circumstances, could you give us a few examples?
We charge $96 for 12 months of support to our clients. That’s it! We do not accept commissions or AUM charges or referral fees. (We actually offer a money back guarantee of our $96 if the client is not satisfied with our initial plan or investment recommendations). All of our guidance is provided personally with our clients through video conference sessions and phone work. We use Zoom meetings and Skype for our sessions. We prefer to work with the “common man or woman” instead of high net worth individuals. Our guidance involves full financial and retirement planning (using Finance Logix), investment recommendations, help with budgeting, reviewing cash flow and making suggestions, and reviewing and discussing insurance options. We also help all of our clients implement whatever strategies make sense for them, such as opening new accounts.
- Could you give us your contact details and your firm’s website?