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Your Decision Partner 

On Your Financial Journey


Helping clients make smart financial decisions throughout their life journey in order to get the most benefit from their financial resources.

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About Us


We Work For You, and With You

Here at Financial Decisions, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to obtain honest, unbiased financial advice.  FDI was created in 1999 for that specific purpose --- to provide objective, fee-only financial advice for the “everyday investor”. Our founders wanted to open the door to high quality financial services, which was previously closed to everyone but high net worth clients.

We work with our clients to make smart financial decisions throughout their life journey, with the goal of helping them get the most benefit from their financial resources.  We don’t just give people directions on how to reach their financial goals. The plan is the map, but the road is walked together.

Check the background of this firm on FINRA's BrokerCheck

Honest and Approachable

At FDI, we believe that being honest and approachable are the fundamental qualities that we must offer each client.  First, clients must know that we are always giving honest answers and honest advice, without fear of any hidden sales agendas.  Next, clients must feel comfortable asking questions about the sometimes complex and intimidating world of investing.  Our role is to be the bridge that connects you to the world of finance.

Unbiased, Fee-Only Advice

As a Fee-Only firm, you will know that our advice is not biased by a sales commission we might earn.  We never SELL any investments or insurance products, and we never accept commissions of any kind.  For our investment management clients we use only “no-load mutual funds” and exchange traded funds, which do not have a sales commission.

Credentials AND Expertise

We recognize CFP® as the most widely respected professional credential for financial planners.  At FDI, all financial planners and investment advisors are required to be Certified Financial Planner licensees. 

Our founders have been leaders in the financial planning industry since the mid-80s.  Their experience provides the foundation of our firm, its principles, and its operations.  You will have the benefit of prominent investment professionals with over 110 years of combined experience. 

Reasonable Fees and No Account Minimums

We purposefully set our financial planning fees and investment management fees below the industry norms.  Our intention is to be accessible and affordable to clients of all income levels and asset levels.  In conjunction with lower than average service fees, we also provide investment management services to accounts of all sizes.  We don’t impose any minimum account size in order to use our services.

We Are Committed to Providing Excellent,
On-Going, Financial Service to Lead
You in Life’s Journeys

Our Services


Your Road Map to Your Financial Goals

Your Financial Plan is your road map or game plan to your financial goals. We work with our clients to help them establish and define realistic and achievable financial goals. We do so by analyzing your current situation, learning about your specific goals, and finding ways to reach these desired goals.  In summary, your financial plan defines where you are now, where you want to be, and how you plan to get there.

Not only do we help develop your financial road map, we also stay on the path with you.  We periodically check up on your progress toward goals, and recommend changes in direction when needed.

Depending on your specific situation and needs, your Comprehensive Financial Plan will include answers to questions like,

            “How much should I be saving for retirement?”

            “When can I retire?”

            “How much can I safely withdraw for retirement income?””

            “How much should I save for college funding?”

            “What kind of life insurance do I need, and how much?”

            “How should my savings be invested?”

            “What types of accounts will give me the most tax benefits?”

            “What legal / estate planning documents do we need?”

 

As your life changes, your goals and situation may also change. When this happens, and it does sometimes abruptly and unexpectedly, we recommend a full Financial Plan Update. During this process we re-evaluate your situation, adjust your goals, and make changes to your financial road map.

Optimized Investment Portfolios Based On Your Chosen Risk Level

Our six model portfolios are “Optimized” to maximize investment earnings available at each level of risk.  Portfolio Optimization is based on the principles of Modern Portfolio Theory, which emphasizes diversification across a broad spectrum of investment classes, in order to maximize return and minimize risk.

Before helping you decide which of the six portfolio choices to use, we clarify the purpose or goal for each of your accounts.  We also try to determine your true tolerance for risk, which is basically how much you worry when investment values make big swings up or down.  We then guide and advise on which portfolio option to choose, but the final decision is always yours.

After helping you choose the right portfolio for you, we implement your portfolio by:

  • Opening new accounts
  • Transferring or rolling over existing accounts
  • Investing your funds according to the chosen portfolio
  • Investing new deposits
  • Making sure cash is available for planned withdrawals
  • Rebalancing as needed to make sure your accounts stay in the right allocation

o   Rebalancing is the disciplined way to take gains on assets that have grown and reinvest in assets that are low. This forces the process of buying low and selling high.

  • Delivering quarterly portfolio reports so that you can monitor your progress
  • Delivering end of year tax information on taxable gains or losses
  • Meeting with you at least once a year to review your portfolio and make any needed changes

Our Fees Are Simple, Direct, and Transparent.

Financial planning and consultation services are billed to clients at $90 an hour. In practice though, we rarely bill for all the hours that are actually spent developing a client’s financial plan. A typical financial plan at FDI would cost in the range of $600 to $900.  Financial plan updates generally take less time than the original financial plan, and therefore, the total fee is less.  Financial plans at typical financial advisory firms cost in the range of $1,500 - $3,000.  Many middle-income investors feel they can't afford fees of $1,500, or more, for financial advice.  That’s why we have purposefully set our financial planning fees below the industry norms.   We want to make objective, fee-only financial advice available to everyone.

For our investment management services, we bill our management fees quarterly, directly to the investment accounts that we are managing.  Our investment management fee is .75% of the account value per year.  That's equal to $75 per $10,000 managed.  Typical investment advisory firms charge fees of 1% to 2% of assets managed, and impose a minimum account size of $500,000.  FDI doesn’t impose any minimum account size requirements.

Meet Our Team of Advisors

Our Team

FDI was founded by Rick Adkins, Cindy Conger, Barry Corkern, and Larry Waschka in 1999.  Rick Adkins, Cindy Conger, and Karron Wages are our current shareholder/owners.  They also serve on our Executive Board and Investment Committee. Rick Adkins and Cindy Conger also manage their own separate investment advisory firms, have over 30 years experience each in the financial planning industry, and are nationally recognized for their pioneering work in the financial services industry and service to promote fee-only financial planning. The Executive Board sets the general operating policies and investment policies for FDI.  Each Board Member participates in the Investment Committee, which selects our investment vehicles and portfolio allocations. 

Karron E. Wages, CFP® Photo

Karron E. Wages, CFP®

President
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Karron E. Wages, CFP®

President

Karron E. Wages, CFP®, is the President of FDI.  She is a 1988 Cum Laude graduate of the University of Montevallo, where she earned her B.S. in Business Administration & Finance.  She completed the Financial Planning Program at the College for Financial Planning in 1996, and earned her CFP® license from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in the same year.

Karron began her career as a Bank Examiner for the FDIC in 1988.  She served as Financial Administrator for GE Government Services from 1990-1992, and then worked in payroll and retirement benefits for the Air Force Civil Service from 1992-1996.  She began her financial planning career in 1996, when she joined The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. as a Financial Paraplanner.  From there, she progressed to Financial Planner, Vice-president, and Chief Compliance Officer.  Since the original two partners of The Arkansas Financial Group (Cindy Conger and Rick Adkins) were also founders of Financial Decisions, Inc., Karron transitioned over to FDI in 2005 as the Managing Planner.  In 2007, Karron was promoted to the position of President at FDI.

Karron is a member of the Financial Planning Association.  She served on the Board of the Financial Planning Association of Arkansas from 1998-2001. She was featured in the April 1997 Women’s Wire article, “Careers for Women in Financial Planning”. In 2006 – 2007, she co-authored a series of financial planning articles in Active Years Magazine with Barry Corkern, CFP®.  In 2007, Karron and FDI were featured as the cover story of Financial Advisor Magazine.

My work isn’t about numbers.  It’s about people

“If you ask my six year old daughter what her mommy does, she will say ‘She helps people with money’.”  And she has it exactly right.  Plain as that.  I like helping. My personality is a perfect match for this position.  I am a natural organizer, planner, fixer, and helper.  When I hear a financial problem, I am compelled to start fixing and helping with it. What motivates me in my role at FDI, are the rewards I get when helping people solve a financial problem, answer a financial question, or reach a long-term goal.  Helping a single female reach her goal of an early retirement is a WIN for me.  Helping a retired couple stretch their investment income over decades is the feeling of SUCCESS. Those rewards --- they give me purpose. That’s why I’m here.”

Mary Rose Sparks Photo Mary Rose Sparks Hover Photo

Mary Rose Sparks

Client Services Manager
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Mary Rose Sparks

Client Services Manager

Mary Rose Sparks is our Client Services Manager. She earned her bachelor of business administration (B.B.A.)in 2014 from the University of Central Arkansas. She began her career as a financial analyst with Windstream, and then joined the FDI team in 2017. 

Mary Rose is your main point of contact for all account services, including opening new accounts, making changes to accounts, making additions to, or withdrawals from accounts, problem resolution, and other account service requests.

Rick Adkins, CFP®, CHFC, CLU Photo

Rick Adkins, CFP®, CHFC, CLU

Founding Shareholder & Executive Board Member
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Rick Adkins, CFP®, CHFC, CLU

Founding Shareholder & Executive Board Member

Rick earned his B.S. degree in 1975 from Harding College, and his M.B.A. in 1976 from the University of Mississippi.  He co-founded The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. in 1985 as a fee-only financial advisory firm.  Since 2000, he served on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and served as Chair of the Board in 2003.  He created The Risk Capacity Index software program, and co-authored two books on financial advisory services.  He is currently the CEO of The Arkansas Financial Group.

Cindy Conger, CPA/PFS, CFP® Photo

Cindy Conger, CPA/PFS, CFP®

Founding Shareholder & Executive Board Member
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Cindy Conger, CPA/PFS, CFP®

Founding Shareholder & Executive Board Member

Cindy earned her B.S. degree in accounting in 1981, and her M.B.A. in 1983, both from the University of Arkansas Little Rock.  She co-founded The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. in 1985 as a fee-only financial advisory firm.  She has served on the boards of the Int'l Association for Financial Planning, Arkansas League of Women Voters, and Advisory Council to Retired and Senior Volunteers.  She is currently the Chief Planner at the fee-only financial advisory firm she founded, Conger Wealth Management.

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Client Center


Contact Us

Contact


Address:

Two Financial Centre
10825 Financial Centre Parkway
Suite 320
Little Rock, AR 72211

Phone:

501-975-2445

E-mail:

kwages@fdiinc.cc

Call FDI on 501-975-2445