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Your Means And Your Dreams

Fee-Only Financial Planning In Southeast Michigan

Patterson Advisors, LLC is an independent Registered Investment Advisor providing goal-based, comprehensive financial planning throughout Southeast Michigan. As a fee-only financial planning firm, our services are uniquely tailored to each of our client's specific needs.

Helping You Align Your Finances With Your Goals  

Our focus is to help clients find the proper balance between their life goals and their financial means. We are not affiliated with any broker-dealer and sell no products of any kind, allowing us to always put our full focus on what is best for each of our clients. 

Working With You 

We understand that talking about money is personal and can leave you feeling vulnerable. That's why we take the time to build a relationship with each of our clients, which serves as the foundation of all planning. We want to learn about your relationship with money, your habits and attitudes, and your hopes for the future. We not only work for you, but we work with you. 

Our goal is to make you as financially independent as you want to be!

A Boutique Family Firm

About Us

David C. Patterson, CFP® Photo

David C. Patterson, CFP®

As the founder of Patterson Advisors, I have B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from Michigan State University and Purdue University, respectively, and an MBA degree in Finance from Wayne State University. Prior to that, I was a former VP and CIO for two telecom companies. I live in Waterford, Michigan and spend my winters in Florida. My wife and I enjoy travelling to faraway places to experience new people, cultures, vistas and wildlife. I can also be found golfing, fishing, hunting or spending time with my four grandchildren.

Erin E. Preston, CFP® Photo

Erin E. Preston, CFP®

(formerly Patterson)

I have a B.S. degree in Finance from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Patterson Advisors in 2004, I worked for six years with two Detroit area financial services firms. I live in Rochester Hills, Michigan with my family of four. I enjoy traveling south to sunny Florida and "Up North" to the treasured Leelanau Peninsula.  When I’m not busy with my twins and work, I am an avid Michigan State basketball fan and I enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Simplify Your Financial Life While Planning Your Dream Future

At Patterson Advisors, we don’t expect you to be knowledgeable of financial concepts. We take an educational approach and provide you with an easy-to-understand, logical and non-speculative investment strategy tailored to your individual personality and goals.

Transparent In All That We Do

We remain transparent in managing client investments, as we want to help you simplify your financial affairs and take control of them. Patterson Advisors aims to help provide our clients with peace of mind in knowing they have a solid plan for the future. 

A Boutique Family Firm Built On Relationships

As a small company, we are not driven by “big corporation short-term profit goals”.  The relationship we have with each of our clients is at the core of everything we do. We do not sell anything, so our advice is completely free of conflicts of interest. Our fees are clearly visible and easily understood. We provide a money-back guarantee and grow our business via referrals, so your satisfaction is the lifeblood of our business.


We want to help you become as financially independent as you want to be.

Who are your typical clients?
What types of investments do you recommend?
How do your fees compare to your competitors?
What types of analysis techniques do you employ?
Do you believe in trying to time the market?
Why don’t you provide day-to-day ongoing management of client’s assets for a fee (e.g. 1% of assets, like so many other planners are doing)?

Comprehensive Financial Services


Includes Comprehensive Analysis On The Following Topics That Apply:


Our analysis helps ensure that excessive debt can be avoided and that you have the right type of debt. We help clients analyze their mortgage and help determine if refinancing is appropriate. Our recommendations always ensures that the necessary funds are on hand for emergencies and short-term goals. Our savings and spending analysis helps ensure that sufficient funds can be accumulated to meet your goals.


We will review any auto, home, life, disability, umbrella liability, medical and long-term care policies you own. We can provide you with potential dollar savings via elimination of unneeded policies/coverage and/or adjustments to deductibles. We also help identify current risk exposure(s) that could potentially impact achievement of your goals. Our MoneyGuidePro™ software allows us to provide clients with very detailed life insurance needs analysis, as well as long-term care analysis.


Substantial savings often result from better tax planning. We help ensure you are getting the maximum amount of deductions available to you. Our paycheck withholding analysis can put more money in your pocket throughout the year, instead of Uncle Sam’s, without incurring penalties. Our investment recommendations always consider ways to invest more tax-efficiently within your existing accounts, “harvest” investment losses to save on taxes and recommend the most tax-efficient savings vehicles for your personal situation.


Our educational approach provides you with peace of mind that your portfolio risk level is in tune with your personality and expectations. Our recommendation of a broad diversified portfolio of low-cost, no-load mutual funds and ETFs allows for the potential to have significantly better returns with less risk, at a significantly lower cost. We recommend a simpler, consolidated account portfolio. Our disciplined approach results in you buying low and selling high instead of reacting emotionally. We also include specific investment advice for employer sponsored retirement plans and incorporate these plans into your overall portfolio.


We help to establish current and retirement spending plans (not budgets). Our detailed goals-based analysis using MoneyGuidePro™ software shows if current spending and savings will allow you to achieve your future goals. We create flexible “What-If” scenarios to determine the feasibility of buying a vacation home, changing jobs, giving a large gift, travelling, retiring sooner, etc.

We can also illustrate what changes you are willing to make to help ensure the probability of a more successful retirement either by reducing spending, changing the timing of goals, saving more and/or retiring later. Sound retirement planning will provide you with peace of mind that your assets will be sufficient. We also provide guidance on withdrawal strategies to minimize taxes, maximize earning potential and ensure that your funds will last your lifetime.


We provide a review of your existing estate planning documents or recommend that you obtain the appropriate estate plan documents for your current situation from an attorney. We ensure significant savings to survivors, in time and money, by minimizing estate taxes (if applicable) and avoiding the costly probate process. Other benefits include: maintaining privacy by avoiding the public probate process, maximizing tax-free growth of retirement plan benefits, and assuring that your survivors are taken care of in the manner you desire. Ultimately we provide you with peace of mind that “your plan” is established and that your heirs are not left with difficult decisions to be made.


We show you with how much is needed to be saved on a monthly/annual/lump sum basis to fund your child or grandchild’s private, secondary and/or post-secondary education. We also assist you in choosing the appropriate tax-efficient investment vehicle to use to save for their education.


1. Review the Information You Need

It begins when you receive and review our brochure, our Privacy Policy, Ethics Disclosure and SEC Form ADV, Part 2a. We encourage you to obtain and review any information necessary to be confident in your hiring decision.


2. First Appointment      

The next step is to set up a preliminary appointment. The goal of this appointment is to get to know you and what is important to you -- your dreams, goals and the overall future you envision. At the same time, it is very important that you feel comfortable with us, and that we both determine that we would be a good fit to work together.

3. Data Gathering    

Following the initial appointment, we will ask that you provide us with more detailed information via our personally tailored comprehensive financial questionnaire and our “life planning” questionnaire. Your candid input helps us better serve you by giving us a more in-depth understanding of what's really important to you.

4. Proposal

After a thorough review of your detailed data, we will prepare a written proposal detailing the scope and cost of your Comprehensive Financial Services annual contract. Should you accept our proposal; the quoted price for services in the contract will be set. Should our services become more involved than we had quoted; you will generally still be charged the quoted fee in your contract. However, should you subsequently decide to significantly increase the scope of the engagement, a contract amendment approved by both parties will be required. This contract for services will be valid for a 12-month period from the date of the contract.

5. Analysis

Upon signing the contract, we will begin your analysis. We will utilize our unique, detailed, and thoroughly established processes to ensure superior quality recommendations tailored to your personal situation. Open communication is used to ensure all questions are answered and information is complete and accurate. Upon completion, you will be given our written recommendations to review.

6. Plan Review Meeting

After you review your written plan and note any questions, we will meet to review our recommendations. The primary objective of this appointment is to ensure that you fully understand our analyses and recommendations.

7. Follow-up and Plan Implementation

Your Comprehensive Financial Services contract is a 12-month (annual) contract. We are your "financial coach" for the year. Should you have any questions after your review meeting, feel free to contact us at any time.  During that time, we will also be available to answer any additional financial related questions you have.  You will also receive our semi-annual client newsletters and any other client communications we provide.


8. Maintaining Our Relationship

It is important to update your plan going forward as well as rebalance your investment portfolio at least annually. After your Comprehensive Financial Services contract term is over, we recommend you renew with us for our Annual Investment Services Contract. We will offer this contract at a 20% one-time discount off the annual fee we calculate for you. This will ensure you have no delay in receiving subsequent investment recommendations and provides you with ongoing financial coaching on all aspects of your financial affairs.

Fees for comprehensive financial services vary greatly depending on the complexity of your financial situation as well as your portfolio size. All fees will be discussed and determined up-front as we review the scope of your needs. A client will always be given an estimate and know the total fee to be charged in advance. The first $500 will be due upon the signing of the contract and the remaining fee will be due when your comprehensive plan is delivered.  


Your Best Interest:
The Heart Of What We Do And How We Run Our Business

Annual Investment Services


We provide investment services through a unique annually renewable agreement. You have the ability to contact us at any time throughout the year with financial planning related questions. You will also meet with us to review an annual questionnaire to help us stay abreast of any financial changes or areas that need review. 


When we first being our engagement, we will meet to explain investing terms, risks, and asset allocation. This is where we will work together to determine the risk level that best fits both your personality and your needs.


We will provide an independent, comprehensive analysis of your investment portfolio. We will provide specific buy/sell recommendations for your investments, including consolidation of your portfolio, if needed.


You maintain control of your accounts and will complete the trades we recommend. We are available to support you when doing your trades. Or, for a small fee, we can do your trades for you utilizing a Limited Trading Authority agreement with your brokerage firm (subject to availability).


One mini-analysis is offered each contract year on any financial related topic that you choose. Typically 3-4 hours of analysis on topics such as insurance review, “quick” retirement projection, estate planning, college funding, etc.


You will receive semi-annual newsletters written exclusively by your team at Patterson Advisors. You will also receive other email communications regarding timely planning topics and investment changes that we may make throughout the year.


Contact us at any time throughout the contract year with any financial related questions. “We are your financial coach.”


 Benefits of Patterson Advisors' Annual Investment Services

  • Potential for better returns with less risk, at a lower cost.
  • A consolidated portfolio that you maintain control over. We do not carry discretional authority to make changes to your portfolio.
  • Establishment of a disciplined approach that forces you to buying-low and selling-high instead of reacting emotionally.
  • Our approach allows us to charge fees that are typically much lower than the competition.
  • Peace of mind that your risk level is in tune with your personality and expectations. 


Our Annual Investment Services are priced as a fixed fee. By “fixed” we mean that our fees do not change on an annual basis.  They may be adjusted periodically due to changes in the scope of our services or to maintain parity between clients with similar portfolio size and complexity.  Fees range anywhere from .30% to .55% fo your total portfolio size.  Fees for smaller portfolios are a higher percentage due to the standard fixed portion of our fees.  The first year you engage in this service we also charge an additional $500 start-up fee. Contact us for more information and an estimate of what fees you would pay.  

How Our Unique Fee Structure Works For You 

We receive no commission on any investments we recommend, and we strategically choose investments that have low management fees and are highly-rated. 


COMPARED TO OTHER FEE-BASED ADVISORS: Other fee-based advisors typically charge 1.0% or more of the assets managed annually. Substantial savings are typical as a result of our comparatively lower fees.


COMPARED TO OTHER COMMISSION- BASED ADVISORS: Other commission-based advisors typically charge either front-end loads of 4%-5% or back-end surrender charges if funds are redeemed before some number of years (usually 5 or more) with higher annual management fees (typically 0.5% or more).

Develop A Solid Plan For Your Future Today 

So You Can Own Your Tomorrow

Let’s Work Together


David C. Patterson, CFP®


Waterford, Michigan
(248) 766-9577

Erin E. Preston, CFP®


Rochester Hills, Michigan
(248) 732-7712


We'd love to hear from you today.