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January 18, 2018

One-On-One With Jeff Munjack

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Written by: Jerri Hemsworth
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Jeff Munjack is the founder and president of JDM Financial Group. He has more than sixteen years of experience in working with family-owned businesses, successful professionals and multi-generational families. His unique expertise integrates leading edge fee-only wealth management with long-term financial planning to optimize financial advice and overall results for clients.

Jeff established JDM in 2002 so that he could advise clients outside the sales culture of Wall Street. Prior to launching JDM, Jeff worked as a Financial Consultant and Certified Financial Manager at a leading global investment firm.

He earned his CFP® designation from the College for Financial Planning, a Master of Science in Financial Services from the Institute of Business and Finance, a Professional Designation in Personal Financial Planning from UCLA, and he has completed executive education at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance. Jeff has also served as a Certified Financial Educator with the Heartland Institute of Financial Education, is certified in Long Term Care, and has a California Life Insurance license.

Does JDM Financial Group have an investment philosophy?

We base our approach on the belief that good financial decisions must be good life decisions and, therefore, that financial decision making should begin with an understanding of a client’s values and goals.  In this way, our advice is customized to each client.

What advice do you have for investors looking to a trusted advisor?

You may trust your financial advisor.  But for them to be worthy of this trust, they should be acting only in your best interest.  In other words, they should be acting only in the capacity of a “fiduciary.” A fiduciary is a professional who is required by the regulations that govern him or her to put clients’ interest ahead of their own when providing advice. To know if your financial advisor is a fiduciary (and worthy of the trust you place in him or her) or just a sales professional (caveat emptor), you need to investigate.

How do I know I am not overpaying for my investments?

When it comes to investment expenses, a good financial advisor minimizes your costs and maximizes your benefits. If a mutual fund or money manager is charging, say, 1%, then this manager should be outperforming peers that charge less.  It is not simply a question of cost but of value and optimization.  A good advisor helps you optimize. A client should ask their advisor for this type of analysis.

Why the concern about investment commissions and the importance of only paying “fees?”

Your advisor should work for you and, therefore, be paid only by you. If an advisor can receive payment from a mutual fund company in the form of a commission, then this advisor may not be acting with only your interests in mind. If an ­advisor can accept investment commissions, then his/her decisions may be influenced by a commission structure or other hidden incentives.

What are some of the common mistakes you see investors making today?

For clients who have an advisor, the most common mistake is not being aware of the incentives driving an advisor’s advice.  As a client, it is important to be clear on how certain advice may be influenced by how an advisor is compensated. Ideally, the advisor receives the same compensation regardless of the advice they render.

For clients who don’t have a financial advisor, the mistake is waiting until costly mistakes are made before hiring a trustworthy and capable professional. It can be difficult to find someone that you like and trust but it is important to keep searching until you find an expert who can help you get this right. •

Jeffrey D. Munjack
Financial Planner
Title: President
Firm: JDM Financial Group

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About the Author

Jerri Hemsworth
Jerri Hemsworth
Jerri Hemsworth is Founder/CEO and Creative Director of Newman Grace Inc. Established in 1996, Newman Grace demystifies and simplifies marketing by providing great strategies, great creative materials, and doing so in a friendly way that makes clients feel comfortable and cared for. Jerri is an Editor of Southern California Professional. She is an adjunct faculty member of Woodbury University where she teaches Graphic Design. She also sits on the advisory board of directors for Shane's Inspiration (, a non-profit organization committed to designing inclusive playgrounds and programs that unite children of all abilities.



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