Interview Us

Before you hire any FEE-ONLY financial adviser, CPA or lawyer from the independent 1800ADVISER.COM network or otherwise, we encourage you to ask questions and interview them.

Unlike software or robotic programs that match individuals with financial planners, CPAs or attorneys, we believe that you should be comfortable asking questions so that you can hire the best person for you and your situation. Below, is a list of typical questions we receive:  

FAQ Questions (click on each question for answer)

1Can you tell me who founded The Independent Adviser Corporation, their background and experience?
Michael Porcelain founded The Independent Adviser Corporation and in 1998 launched You can read more about the history of the company by clicking here

Throughout his career, Mike has held various leadership positions, including CEO, President, COO, and CFO of Comtech (NASDAQ:CMTL), a public company that developed and operated the most technologically advanced public safety 911 systems and satellite solutions in the world. Currently, he serves on the board of Air Industries Group (NYSE: AMERICAN: AIRI), also a public company and is the chairman of its Audit Committee.

Mike is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a member of professional organizations including The Financial Planning Association - the leading membership organization for Certified Financial Planners professionals and those engaged in the financial planning process, The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) including its Personal Financial Planning Section, The New York State Society of CPAs, and is a lifetime member of The American Association of Individual Investors

He has been a professional money manager for more than 30 years and has been quoted in the press and hosted radio talk shows.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Mike holds an MS degree in Accounting and an MBA from Binghamton University, as well as a BS degree in Business Economics from Oneonta College. He has also taught graduate level business classes.

Outside of his career, Mike is a member of the Board of Directors for The Fund for Modern Court, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting an independent judiciary and fair and equitable courts in New York State.

He lives in New York with his beautiful fiancée, two children and three puppies.

More information about Mike's background can be found on his LinkedIn Profile

2Who writes Your Trusted Buyside Research & how is it different than sell-side research?
Our 100% Independent & 100% Objective Trusted Buyside Research is prepared and authored by FEE-ONLY professionals in our network. Except for our founder who writes much of the research, contributing professionals indicate their name on any specific research or article they author.

All research and articles are intended to generate ideas, opinions about a public company or investment and discussion. Research about public companies is based on various factors that may include an analysis of financial statements, an assessment of the management team, and an evaluation of the competitive landscape in which the company operates.

Buyside research is significantly different than sell-side research produced by investment banks and brokerage firms. Rather than be independent and unbiased, the inherent goal of sell-side research is to create goodwill with the covered company so that investment banking fees can be generated. In addition, sell-side research is intended to create commissioned trading activity, which also creates conflicts of interest.

Because we do not charge commissions for trading or underwrite corporate securities, we refer to our buyside research as "Trusted Research" and "100% Independent and 100% Objective."

Please keep in mind that our Trusted Buyside Research is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell any specific securities, and it is important to conduct your own due diligence and carefully consider your own investment objectives and risk tolerance before making any investment decisions. You should also consult with your own financial adviser or a member of our FEE-ONLY network as to the suitability of a specific stock idea before making any investment.

Please read Our Terms of Use, Legal Notice and Disclaimers for additional information.

3Can you tell me about your investment research style?
Our founder, who writes much of the Trusted Buyside Reseach prefers an investment research style that focuses on value-based and growth companies that pay dividends. Other professionals who contribute research or articles may have their own research style which is generally highlighted in their writeups.

A value/growth approach is centered around finding firms that offer a combination of stability, growth potential, and income. Occasionally, we will publish research on turnaround stories or a contrarian view. Overall, research ideas are generated by typically identifying companies that may trade at a discount to their intrinsic value and that generally has solid financials, experienced management teams, and clear growth prospects. This approach generally involves seeking out firms that have a history of paying dividends, as these companies tend to be more stable and offer investors a steady stream of income.

This investment research style aims to provide investors with the potential for both capital appreciation and a reliable source of income.

You should consult with your own financial adviser or a member of our FEE-ONLY network as to the suitability of a specific stock idea before making any investment.

Please read Our Terms of Use, Legal Notice and Disclaimers for additional information.

4Do you prefer stocks, mutual funds, ETFS, bonds or other types of investments?
We believe that most investors should primarily hold individual stocks and low-cost mutual funds and ETFs. These types of investments typically have the potential to outperform other types of investments over the long term and can help to preserve purchasing power against inflation.

While cash and bonds are often considered "safe," they do not provide for principal growth and should be used mainly for safety, income, diversification, preservation of principal, and liquidity. Additionally, we generally advise caution when considering speculative investments such as bitcoins, digital currencies, commodities, and options, as these investment types may not be suitable for all investors.

If you have specific preferences or concerns about any particular types of investments or industries, be sure to communicate them to your FEE-ONLY financial advisor so that they can help tailor your portfolio to your specific needs.

5What is your track record and performance?
When evaluating track records and performance, it is important to remember that every financial situation is unique, and a personal financial adviser's performance should be evaluated based on their ability to help you reach your specific goals.

Keeping that in mind, and acknowledging that while a track record of performance can be a useful tool for mutual funds or hedge fund investors, it is not useful, relevant or appropriate to consider when evaluating personal accounts. Because of these limitations, there are strict prohibitions and restrictions issued by the SEC that prevent us from providing this information to potential clients.

Actual individual performance is provided via monthly statements and in many cases provided daily via online account access.

You should be very wary of anyone providing you published track performance data. We believe it is more meaningful to focus on helping each client achieve their specific financial goals rather than trying to compare performance on an aggregate basis. This is why it is important to consider an adviser's approach to your individual financial goals and to have open communication with them about your specific needs and preferences.

Once your account is established,, your adviser will be able to provide performance information through online tools and monthly account statements.

6Can I receive personal references and what is your success with clients like me?

If you are interested in learning more about the success of a particular financial adviser, we encourage you to ask for references from similar clients.

To help us match you with the most appropriate references, please provide us with a description of your background, financial situation, and goals by completing this brief question form. We will then forward this information to an independent FEE-ONLY financial adviser in your area who can provide you with personal references that are tailored to your specific needs.

7 What process or system will my FEE-ONLY adviser use to define my needs?
Here is a general overview of the process your independent adviser will follow:

STEP 1: Understanding Your Objectives and Goals

This step involves gathering information about your finances and personal circumstances through a questionnaire or other means. This can be done through phone calls, video calls via Microsoft teams or Zoom or in-person meetings.

STEP 2: Developing Your Asset Allocation Model

Your FEE-ONLY adviser will create an asset allocation model that defines the percentage of your portfolio that should be invested in stocks, bonds, and cash.

STEP 3: Selecting Investments

Based on the asset allocation model, your adviser will choose investments that are appropriate for helping you achieve your previously agreed upon goals.

STEP 4: Ongoing Review

You and your FEE-ONLY adviser will decide on the amount of ongoing review that is appropriate for your situation. The approach will be customized based on your unique needs and preferences.

8Can you tell me what financial planning or investment management fees you charge?
Because you will receive personalized service and an individualized portfolio tailored to your specific needs, each specific FEE-ONLY adviser sets their own structure. However, in general, you will pay a set fee for their services, typically around 1% of assets under management (with declining scales available) or an hourly rate or a fixed fee for financial planning services.

Fees vary based on the level of service you require. We believe that this flexible fee structure offers value for the personalized service and ongoing management that you will receive.

Your FEE-ONLY adviser will always be transparent about fees and all should be agreed upon in writing before service is provided. This will be done through a written agreement that will be provided to you by your FEE-ONLY adviser.

For Additional Disclosures Related to Fees, Click Here

9Are there minimum account sizes for financial planning or portfolio management services?
In general, fees by FEE-ONLY advisers are based on services provided, and a range of options are available.

Some services, such as portfolio management, may have minimum account sizes, but advisers are also able to work with clients on an hourly basis or on a fixed-fee basis for certain services.

If you are interested in working with a FEE-ONLY advisers, you should discuss your financial goals and needs with us and we can provide you with a detailed proposal.

10How do FEE-ONLY advisers work with attorneys who are in the network and what happens if I have my own attorney who is not in the network?
Because we are not a law firm, we do not provide legal advice to anyone. As such, when individuals need legal advice and do not have their own lawyer, we can refer them to attorneys who are in our network. If your already have a relationship with your own attorney that you prefer, you are free to do so. You and your adviser choose what is best for you.

Practically speaking, most individuals do not need an attorney for general financial planning or money management services. However, when more complex needs arise, FEE-ONLY advisers may consult with attorneys to assist in the creation of wills, trusts and estates. We also have attorneys who specialize in divorce, tax law, and other civil matters.

We don't put any restrictions as to which attorney the FEE-ONLY adviser recommends, or you use as their primary goal is to ensure that you receive the highest quality advice and guidance specific to your unique situations.

If your personal financial situation requires legal services, the specific arrangement will depend on your needs and goals. All of this will be discussed with you and should be documented in a written agreement with your lawyer.

11What is the next step and how can I begin working with you?
If you are ready to begin working with us, just complete this form. and we will contact you shortly.

Make sure you provide the type of service you are looking for, your email address and your telephone number.

Looking for more information or a complimentary consultation? Simply Click Here to connect with a FEE-ONLY professional adviser. 

Alternatively, visit 1800ADVISER.COM to browse biographies of individual advisers and choose one or more to connect with.