FAQ

General

When you reach out to us for your free initial consultation, we will soon follow up to get this scheduled. The consultation is typically a web meeting, although we may meet in-person if you're in the Cincinnati area and the situation calls for it.

 

From this point, you can decide whether our services are right for you. If they are, there are typically 3 scenarios when our clients reach out for support:

  1. Acute issues: You're considering a large purchase or sale, you may be caught up in a scam, you want help implementing a password manager, etc.
  2. Education: You want to learn about the tax code, device and browser fingerprinting, how to use git for source control, etc.
  3. Ongoing maintenance and support: Portfolio rebalancing suggestions, privacy and security audits, updating and maintaining your devices, etc.

For simple requests, we also regularly assist our clients via encrypted text messaging (Signal, Session, Briar), often at no cost - examples:

  1. Free
    1. "Do you think Bitcoin has more room to fall?"
    2. "What password managers do you recommend?"
    3. "What VPN services do you recommend?"
  2. Paid
    1. "How should I plan for retirement?"
    2. "How should I protect myself from ransomware?"
    3. "How can I make my network more secure?"

We would also like to emphasize that our services are most effective when we maintain an open and honest relationship. It's typically when clients keep us in the dark that they make their biggest mistakes (e.g. buying a home when home prices are at all-time highs).

Life does not start at 9:00 and stop at 5:00. Many of our clients have a full-time JOB, so we're here to serve them and you at times that work for your schedule. Therefore, we don't have fixed hours.

 

We generally assist our clients during reasonable hours in the eastern time zone, which may include weekends and holidays depending on the situation.

We acknowledge the difficulty that many have in justifying a new expense. Our services are well-researched and engineered to more than pay for themselves. Recent examples:

  1. In early 2022, we convinced one of our clients not to buy a single-family home. Since then, home prices have been cooling off. This 10-minute discussion will likely save him tens of thousands of dollars.
  2. One of our clients spent a little time in California, but never worked there. Years later, CA sent her a threatening letter demanding thousands of dollars due to allegedly failing to file tax returns. With very little effort, we helped her prove to CA that she had no obligation to file a return and got this matter resolved quickly.
  3. A client was selling an item online worth about $2,000. She received an offer and asked us to review it. We immediately identified it as a scam. This 5-minute review saved her thousands.

However, much of the value we provide is tougher to put a price on. How much would you value:

  1. Your time? We painstakingly review apps and services, study the tax code, and evaluate new technology so our clients don't have to.
  2. Preventing getting arrested over a geofence warrant for going near a crime scene or being investigated by the police for walking by a protest?
  3. Limiting your sensitive data exposed in the never-ending slew of data breaches we're experiencing?
  4. Reducing being harassed by scammers and spammers?

Of course, if you don't feel as though we're providing you the best value, you're free to fire us at any time.

We generally communicate virtually using end-to-end encrypted web meetings, calls, text messages, and emails using tools such as Jitsi, Signal, Briar, Proton Mail, etc. We may make on-site visits in the Cincinnati area if the situation calls for it.

We charge an hourly rate for our services.

 

We do not take a percentage of your hard-earned assets, make commissions by selling you dubious products, collect ad revenue, or sell your data.

We may accept Monero (XMR) or Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for our services at our discretion. If you're interested, please let us know before billable services are rendered so we may make the appropriate arrangements.

 

We do accept Monero (XMR) and Bitcoin (BTC) contributions from those who would like to support us.

 

We prefer Monero (XMR) over Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies due to its superior privacy protections, which protect us and our clients/contributors.

Corporate surveillance is alive and well, but your data is safe with us.

 

Our first line of defense is minimizing the data we collect. As long as we have a way to communicate with you, it's up to you to share what's necessary for the services we render. We do not request access to your assets, accounts, or government ID numbers (e.g. SSN). For contact information, feel free to provide us with burner phone numbers and email addresses.

 

Our customer data is generally stored locally, in separate locations, on encrypted devices that we have physical control over. Examples of potential exceptions: Emails, text messages, and web form submissions (although we do clean these up on a regular basis). We don't store customer data in Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox or related cloud provider because we don't believe these provide adequate protections for our customers. Other than data you provide through a form submission, we do not store visitor or customer data on this website or the service that hosts this website.

 

Communications and documents are delivered to clients through end-to-end encrypted means where feasible. Doing so may require some cooperation on the client's part (e.g. installing the Signal app), although we do not require any specific app or service.

 

Note that we have a separate Privacy Policy for our consulting services, which we share during the new client onboarding process, before any billable services are rendered.

Finance

No. We believe in teaching our clients how to fish.

 

That being said, we can help you in ways that most portfolio managers will not. Many portfolio managers won't even speak to you unless you give them $100,000 or more in assets to manage. We do not have asset minimums, nor will we charge you more simply for having more money.

 

There is, however, a time and a place for professional portfolio management. In this case, we refer our clients elsewhere, but continue to serve our clients in other areas.

We believe all adults should have an estate plan and encourage our clients to consider this seriously.

 

Regarding trusts, wills, and other legal documents, we provide education and suggestions for our clients. We do not practice law in any regard, but instead request that our clients seek the counsel of an experienced attorney in their jurisdiction.

 

However, we also believe that an effective estate plan requires much more than a last will from your attorney. Have you thought about your digital assets (cryptocurrency, family photos, websites, accounts, etc.)? Have you effectively communicated your estate plan with the appropriate people? Has your lawyer even bothered to explain to you how your documents work? This is where we we add value, and we won't charge you $400/h like your lawyer will.

No. We do not sell or recommend:

  1. Insurance policies or products (life insurance, annuities, etc.)
  2. Specific investments or securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, etc.)

Rather, we provide the following to assist our clients:

  1. Educate and reference material on these matters
  2. General suggestions (e.g. "You may want to consider getting an umbrella insurance policy.", "You may want to consider one of these ETFs with lower expense ratios.")
  3. Our personal opinions, experience with, or analysis of products and services
  4. etc.

That's a matter of personal preference, but we're of the opinion that spouses or partners should be involved in any major decision, particularly involving money. Financial issues are a leading cause of divorce, so it's important that everyone is on the same page.

 

We find that:

  1. Clients get the most value from our services when everyone is informed and in alignment
  2. Partners often trust the judgment of a neutral 3rd-party (such as us) over each other
  3. Allowing us to speak to both of you directly saves time, reduces miscommunication, and builds trust

We do not serve minors directly, but may discuss financial matters with them per your approval, supervision, and acceptance of our agreements.

 

From our experience, children tend to instinctively disregard financial advice from their parents. Having a neutral 3rd-party may be helpful in reinforcing the importance of sound financial planning. Minors have access to significant financial opportunities (compounding, no or low taxes, Roth IRA, college planning, etc.), so this should be considered carefully to set them off on the right foot.

Privacy & Security

That's a matter of personal preference, but we're of the opinion that spouses or partners should be involved in any major decision. Note that a spouse or partner's disregard for their privacy or security can have serious implications for you and your children.

 

We find that:

  1. Clients get the most value from our services when everyone is informed and in alignment
  2. Partners often trust the judgment of a neutral 3rd-party (such as us) over each other
  3. Allowing us to speak to both of you directly saves time, reduces miscommunication, and builds trust

We do not serve minors directly, but may discuss privacy and security matters with them per your approval, supervision, and acceptance of our agreements.

 

We make an attempt to keep our content and communications civil and non-offensive because we recognize the challenges minors face in our connected world. However, the nature of our privacy and security services may justify the discussion of adult matters (e.g. bullying, stalking, etc.), which may be upsetting to some.

Technology

No. We provide consulting via education and insights, but not direct IT services.

We do not serve minors directly, but may discuss technological matters with them per your approval, supervision, and acceptance of our agreements.

 

This is an important consideration because a firm grasp on technology is now essentially a requirement for success. Unfortunately, however, many homes and schools are inadequately prepared to provide our children with the education they need to take advantage of technology, rather than be taken advantage of by it.

Still Have Questions?

We would be happy to address any remaining questions or reservations through one of our secure communications channels. Contact us today.

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