Financial Advisory Services
USSFCU has partnered with Fellows Financial Group to provide members access to professional financial planning and advisory services.
Located in the Greater Washington Metropolitan area, Fellows Financial Group is an independent financial services firm committed to helping all individuals improve their financial lives and achieve their long-term financial objectives. Fellows Financial Group advisors have all the knowledge and resources of the top firms in the country, but with the warm family feel of the local mom & pop shops.
Fellows Financial Group advisors are available to consult with USSFCU members on a wide-range of financial planning topics, including investment advice, retirement planning, estate planning, personal insurance and more. Whether the need is one quick question or ongoing financial assessment, management, and direction, Fellows advisors are available when you need them.
Phone: 571.205.1515 | Email: [email protected]
Fellows Financial Group Services
Pursuing your ideal future will require more than simply earning money. Fellows advisors will help you add growth and protection protocols that cover all of your assets today and for generations to come. Besides in-house knowledge and proven financial experience, individual financial management services utilize cutting-edge technology and enlist outside experts to provide objective advice for every client need.
Goal-Based Financial Planning
Fellows' goal-based planning services will help you map out a path that replaces daily stress and worries with confidence and achievement. They'll begin by helping you identify what you value the most, then structure your life toward achieving your dreams without sacrificing those values.
Investment Advisory Services
Fellows' investment advisory services will help you apply discipline to your investment options while working toward financial independence. Experienced advisors will work with you to develop a strategy for selecting, monitoring, and managing your investments, ensuring your investment portfolio stays within your desired level of risk.
Fellows advisors can help you build funds for the ultimate long-term goal, retirement. And then, once you’re retired or nearing retirement, they can help ensure you’re able to keep your money safe.
Estate & Legacy Planning
Fellows' estate and legacy planning services can help you transfer your wealth to the next generation, whether that’s family, friends, or charitable causes. By asking questions and listening to your visions and dreams, Fellows will help you put a plan in place that will allow your family to survive without you and your legacy to live on.
Fellows' insurance advisors will take time to understand your unique situation and identify and eliminate gaps in coverage that might leave you exposed. From auto insurance to home insurance and everything in between, they’re in the business of helping people protect what they value the most.
Business Advisory Services
In addition to personal financial advisory services, our partnership with Fellows allows USSFCU business account holders access to various business advisory and planning services.
The Fellows Team
Blake Fellows | President and Advisor
For more than 18 years, Blake has been a trusted advisor, planner, and advocate for entrepreneurs, business owners, and individuals seeking personal service and deep knowledge. Blake has worked very hard to position Fellows to be a full-service planning, investment, and insurance resource to his clients. He believes in taking care of and treating everyone he works with the same way he'd want to be taken care of and treated.
Blake is a Loudoun County native and a graduate of James Madison University. He is blessed to have the opportunity to also serve on the board for Youth for Tomorrow, an organization founded by Joe Gibbs.
Jeff Schalk | Chief Operating Officer
Jeff Schalk is Fellows' Chief Operating Officer and the co-founder of Fellows Insurance Group, the firm’s commercial and personal insurance company. Jeff has been in the industry for over 3 years and enjoys helping people plan for their future and protect their family’s assets from the risks that face every business owner and individual. Helping people into a situation where they should not need to say,” I never planned to be in this situation,” is what drives Jeff every day. A native of Ohio, Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH.
Michael Schimmel | Financial Advisor
Michael studied in Oxford, Ohio at Miami University and graduated with a BA in Political Science and Economics. He has worked for Global and National banks from HSBC Bank to Wachovia in various financial services capacities. Michael’s passion is helping people. He helps clients with financial decisions and implementation, planning for their future, and protecting their family’s assets from the risks that face every individual.
Ken Harvey | Business Development
Ken Harvey, linebacker for the Washington Football Team from 1994-1998, joined the financial industry after working several years as a motivational speaker. Harvey attended the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to an 11-year career in the NFL. His stellar career on the field earned him Four Pro-Bowl selections and is listed among the “80 Greatest Redskins.” . Shortly after receiving that honor, he was chosen and inducted into the “Washington Football Team Ring of Fame at Fed Ex Field.” In 2015, he received his second straight nomination for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ken is an accomplished author, penning 4 children’s books and two novels. Harvey coined the phrase “Every day I…” to motivate others to ensure each day they live to be the best version of themselves. As he lives by that motto, you will be in the hands of an individual who always gives his best.
Keri Blake | Financial Advisor
Keri Blake is a partner and financial advisor with Fellows & Blake Financial Group in Indianola, Iowa. Her practice focuses on you, the client, and trust. It’s about your goals, your dreams, your concerns. She partners with clients throughout their lifetime using a goals-based experienced approach to help clients live their best life. Keri has earned the credentials of Accredited Asset Management Specialist, and she enjoys continuing her education to better serve her clients.
Jasmine Lambert | Client Services Associate
Originally from Central Pennsylvania, Jasmine Lambert joined Fellows in October 2018, after completing her bachelor's at Johnson & Wales University. The Johnson & Wales graduate delivers comprehensive service to clients by attending to their account management needs. She excels at finding ways to better serve our clients based on her combined experience of serving in administrative and business development roles within the practice. Working closely with the wealth managers, she prepares reporting materials, executes client requests, and coordinates any additional matters related to their accounts.
Meghan Cotter | Customer Services Associate
Meg, a native Virginian, holds a degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Her professional background includes Information Technology, Banking, and the Financial Services industry, predominantly in Property and Casualty insurance. She has over 10 years of experience. She is always establishing herself as a go-to person; she takes great pride in reviewing her client’s needs and making sure they are covered properly and protected for the events that can occur in life. She enjoys being a teacher and educating on the various ways insurance products can help protect one’s future and daily life.
What is financial planning?
Done right, financial planning is a process that helps you figure out where you are financially today, where you want to be in the future, and then helps you determine a suitable way to get there. With Fellows Financial Group advisors, the process involves an initial in-depth review of a client’s current financial situation and then creating a blueprint on how to manage future goals and objectives.
What is a financial planner or advisor?
A financial planner is someone who uses the financial planning process to help you determine how to pursue your life goals. A financial planner's key function is to help people identify their financial planning needs, their present priorities, and the products that are most suitable to address their needs. They normally possess detailed knowledge of a wide range of financial planning tools and products, but their major role is to help clients choose the appropriate products for each specific need. The planner can take a ‘big picture view of your financial situation and make financial planning recommendations suitable for you. Fellows Financial Group advisors offer a no-obligation “Get Acquainted” meeting via phone or in person.
How can a financial advisor help me?
Anyone looking for financial independence can benefit from working with a good financial advisor either periodically or regularly. Fellows Financial Group serves people at all income levels and from all walks of life—whether the need is one quick question or ongoing financial assessment, management, and direction. Each individual’s situation is unique. Someone just starting may need a detailed, long-term plan of action. In contrast, someone else already on the road to pursuing their goals may need a new strategy, professional insight, fine-tuning, or a second opinion of an existing plan.
Fellows Financial Group advisors work to custom tailor their services to meet each individual’s needs. Goals can be short, intermediate, or long-term. Reducing current income tax liabilities, for example, is a short-term goal, while funding a child’s education an intermediate one and enjoying a secure financial retirement a more long-term goal by focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions, retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities, and other general financial matters.
Do I have to have a lot of money to work with Fellows?
No. Fellows Financial Group advisors have no income or investment account minimums and no minimum income levels or net worth requirements. They value all of their clients and love to help anyone looking to start their path toward financial independence. No matter what you have now, it is always a good time to start planning for your future.
Do Fellows Financial Group advisors provide more than comprehensive financial planning?
Yes. Although a comprehensive financial plan yields the greatest benefits, Fellows Financial Group also tailors their services to individual, specific needs like cash management and budgeting, investment analysis, or college education funding—whatever is critical to you right now.
Why is there an evaluation of my insurance needs?
Evaluating your insurance needs is part of personal financial planning. Insurance takes care of the what-ifs that happen at any time. Insurance is extremely important. Investments take care of your predictable needs and ideally should follow after your unpredictable needs are first addressed.
If I use Fellows Financial Group to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?
Absolutely not! Fellows Financial Group advisors offer recommendations to address your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase anything.
How do Fellows Financial Group advisors select investments for a client?
Before recommending any investment, a Fellows Financial Group advisor considers current economic conditions, the outlook for a particular asset class or type of security, and how the investment fits within a client’s portfolio given their goals and objectives and risk tolerance. They hold themselves to a fiduciary standard for their clients; they strive to obtain the most appropriate investment vehicles to meet a client’s objectives while being very conscious of total expenses and risk exposure.
How does Fellows Financial Group charge for financial advice?
If you are simply in the market for a specific financial product, they’ll gladly help educate you on a suitable fit for your needs and facilitate your purchase. In these cases, they do not charge a fee and receive a commission from the company the product is from. If you are looking for an all-encompassing financial plan, they will do an initial discovery meeting, then come back to you with a proposal. Depending on the effort required, they will quote you a fee for their services.
Once my financial plan or project is finished, will our relationship end?
No! You’ll be kept up to date on your financial plan as much or as little as you’d like. Each person is unique, and Fellows Financial Group advisors respect that. They also offer technology that will allow you to check up on your portfolio. Just as someone thinks of an eye doctor as an ongoing provider and has regular checkups to maintain good vision, good fiscal health requires periodic reviews of your finances by a qualified financial advisor. Because financial planning is a process, not an event, Fellows Financial Group advisors offer ongoing services, periodic reviews, and day-to-day consultation as requested and/or needed.
What is the Fellows Financial Group investment philosophy?
The purpose of a client’s investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives. The portfolio's design must take into account the client’s financial objectives, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as income and estate taxes. The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio. Fellows Financial Group advisors believe that a diversified, well-balanced portfolio, combined with long-term buy-and-hold strategies, affordability, and patience, increases the likelihood that one will achieve his or her long-term financial objectives.
Why should I make a financial plan?
Financial planning provides direction and meaning to your financial decisions. It allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances. For example, buying a particular investment product might help you save adequately to finance your child’s higher education, or it may provide enough for a comfortable retirement. You can also adapt more easily to life changes and feel more confident that your goals are on track and within your comfort zone.
What should I look for in a financial planner?
A financial planner works for you. His or her loyalty should be to the client, not the product(s) they are trying to sell. Fellows advisors believe that being truly independent is the best way to give clients objective advice. As independent advisors, they do not have limitations or requirements to use any specific investment product or solution; this allows them to create customized financial plans that seek to provide income and growth for their clients.
What is fiduciary responsibility, and why is it important?
A fiduciary means to hold confidence or trust. A financial services industry professional who has a fiduciary responsibility to his or her clients must put a client’s needs and interests ahead of their own. Certified Financial Planners have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. While stockbrokers and insurance agents are regulated and licensed, they do not have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. The recommendations they make must only meet the “suitability standard.” The risk level of the product must be suitable for the client based on income, assets, risk tolerance, or another standard specified in the prospectus.
Not only do Fellows advisors offer a depth of experience and industry knowledge, but they appreciate the value of building a relationship and genuinely care about their client's needs and successes.
It is their mission to provide sound customized financial advice in the best interest of the client. As fiduciaries, Fellows’ advisors uphold a duty of loyalty, fairness and good faith towards each client and seek to mitigate potential conflicts of interest.
For more detailed information on Fellows Financial Group, visit their website at www.fellowsfg.com. You may also review their Client Relationship Summary Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC (CRD# 171976). Additionally, information on Fellows Financial Group services, fees, and credentials is available for review on the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You can also find certification, license, and employment history for Fellows Financial Group advisors using FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
If you’re just beginning your search for a financial adviser, you may need some help forming a clear understanding of what a financial advisor is and what they can do for you. This article may offer some insight:
|As an independent firm, Fellows Financial Group advisors are not confined in the reach of their abilities and can explore all options to make sure clients get the best treatment available.|
Part of their adherence to offering clients comprehensive services and products sometimes involves engagement with outside service providers. These relationships are constantly monitored and evaluated to ensure their value-adds to the client experience. While they partner with many corporations, a few stand out as primary providers and are listed below.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice is offered through Wealthcare Advisory Partners, a registered investment advisor. Wealthcare Advisory Partners and Fellows Financial Group, LLC are separate entities from LPL Financial. The LPL Financial Registered Representatives associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: CA, CO, DC, GA, FL, HI, IA, MD, MT, NC, OH, PA, VA, TX, WV. Personal and Commercial insurance services are offered through Fellows Insurance Group LLC. Fellows Insurance Group LLC is a separate entity from Fellows Financial Group LLC, LPL Financial, and Wealthcare Advisory Partners.
The Fellows Financial Group investment products are not insured United States Senate Federal Credit Union deposits and are not NCUA insured. These products are not obligations of the United States Senate Federal Credit Union and are not endorsed, recommended, or guaranteed by United States Senate Federal Credit Union or any government agency. The investment value may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible. United States Senate Federal Credit Union is not a registered broker. All investing involves risk, including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
Fellows Financial Group LLC, LPL Financial, and Wealthcare Advisory Partners are third-party partnerships and are not affiliated with United States Senate Federal Credit Union and USSFCU Best Life. LPL Financial, Fellows Financial Group LLC, Fellows Insurance Group LLC, and Wealthcare Advisory Partners do not offer tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.