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NAPFA Nation Episode #09: “Time Machine: How the Billable-Hours Business Model Works for Advisors and Clients” with Mark Berg
Date: September 12, 2023

In Episode #09 of NAPFA Nation, Mark Berg, Founding Principal of Timothy Financial Counsel, Inc., talks with podcast host Marie Swift about a new type of firm-and a new potential audience for financial advice that is awaiting the financial planning profession. Berg, the Founding Principal of Timothy Financial Counsel, Inc., has proven how this business model can work for both financial advisors and clients – and says that it’s only a matter of time before we see much faster adoption.

Berg shares key concepts from his book, A Matter of Time: Principles, Myths and Methods for the Hourly Financial Advisor, co-authored with Matthew Jackson, CFA®, including how financial advisors  can:

  • Price, position, and deliver hourly advice
  • Segment their client base and prospect for an entirely new clientele
  • Develop a relationship-based approach and avoid a “transactional” mindset
  • Harness the potential of time-tracking to create a stable foundation for growth

Key points: Berg explains why he chose the hourly model for his firm after receiving calls from clients who didn’t fit the traditional models. He discusses the myths surrounding hourly financial planning and how his firm serves clients at different complexity levels. Berg shares the challenges he faced in building trust and convincing clients about his commitment to the hourly model. The firm has grown from Berg, as a sole practitioner, to a larger firm with multiple advisors. Understanding how they built their team, their hiring process, and the role of partners can provide insights into their success and scalability.

Timothy Financial is a financial advisory firm that charges clients hourly for their services. They provide planning, advising, and second opinions to clients across different stages of life. Their value proposition includes validation, ideation, being a trusted thought partner, and serving as a family resource. The firm has experienced significant growth and now has 18 advisors on the team. The firm provides transparency in pricing and offers comprehensive financial planning rather than investment management alone. They assist clients with developing target asset allocations using low-cost ETFs and provide support during implementation.

They have built their reputation through networking, referrals from other advisors in the industry, and involvement with organizations like NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors). Being part of a professional community like NAPFA has been instrumental in their success and they highly value the support and collaboration it provides.

Podcast Guest
Mark Berg, CFP®

Timothy Financial Counsel, Inc. (  

Since 2000, Mark Berg, CFP®, has served as the Lead Adviser and Founder of Timothy Financial Counsel, Inc. Mark oversees the mission, vision and values of the firm.

Prior to starting Timothy Financial, Mark served as a client manager at a high-end, fee-only financial planning firm, and has provided fee-only counsel since 1995. He holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Wheaton College and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor where he served on the National Board of Directors for NAPFA (2008-2011).

He has been quoted by a variety of publications, such as Crain's Chicago Business, Dow Jones Newswire, The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's, The Chicago Tribune, Reader's Digest and Consumer Reports. He has also been interviewed by ABC 7 News and NBC television and wrote a regular column for the Wheaton Sun newspaper.

Availability: On-Demand
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
No Credit Offered
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