Simple, Understandable Fee

I provide tax/investment/retirement planning for a fee of $300/hour. (More details here.) The idea of using an hourly fee is to minimize conflicts of interest — I will not be trying to “upsell” you any services that come with ongoing fees. Here, you pay for what you need and no more.

My goal is not only to guide you with your current decisions, but to help you understand the factors involved, so that you can make informed decisions on your own going forward.

Mike Piper, CPA

I am a CPA in the St. Louis area. I have written several books dealing with various tax and retirement planning concepts and have been quoted about such topics in numerous publications, from The Wall Street Journal, to AARP, to Morningstar.

I publish articles regularly (about tax planning, retirement planning, Social Security, and various other financial planning topics) on my blog at ObliviousInvestor.com. I am also the creator of the Open Social Security calculator.

Areas of Expertise

Portfolio simplification

Social Security planning

Charitable planning (Questions such as: How much can I afford to donate to charity? And what are the most tax-efficient ways of doing so?)

Retirement account distribution planning (i.e., which dollars to spend each year)

Roth conversions

Areas of Non-expertise

To use a healthcare analogy, I am more akin to a specialist than a general practitioner. I can provide advice on certain topics, including retirement planning, investment planning, tax planning, and charitable planning. But I am not, for example, the best person to perform an insurance review or to do estate planning. The following are some other topics where my expertise is not very strong.

  • Education planning (e.g., FAFSA or Public Service Loan Forgiveness)
  • Equity-based compensation, such as incentive stock options (ISOs)
  • Establishing or maintaining defined benefit (i.e., traditional pension) plans
  • International taxation/Social Security topics for dual citizens, expats, etc.
  • Anything Bitcoin/crypto related

Other Reasons You May Not Want to Work With Me

  • I do not provide tax preparation.
  • I do not provide investment management. That is, I provide investment advice, but I will not actually execute transactions on your behalf. It is up to you to do that for yourself (or hire somebody else to do it).
  • I am a sole practioner. And sometimes I get sick, I go on vacation, or my schedule gets completely booked. (Point being, I cannot promise that I will always reply to emails in a particularly speedy manner, nor that I will always be available for further consultation. If you are looking for such assurances, a larger firm would be a better fit, and I can provide at least one such recommendation upon request.)
  • I do not usually work on evenings or weekends.
  • I am a vegetarian-atheist-treehugger-liberal-snowflake. It’s not mandatory to me that you share my views, but I don’t want to mislead you as to what they are — in case, for example, it’s critical to you that you work with somebody who shares your faith.