Who We Are
Michael Ciaciuch is the founder and principal of Act Two Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial planning and investment advisory firm in Bay City, Michigan. Michael has been helping people prepare for retirement for over fifteen years.
Act Two offers professional, objective financial planning and investment advice to individuals, couples, and small business owners. We believe we do our best work when we are able to build long-term relationships that include financial planning and ongoing investment management.
We often hear the questions, “When can I retire?” or “When will I run out of money?” We provide as much or as little help as needed. When it comes to financial advice, one size does not fit all. Some people find value in a comprehensive financial plan. Others are looking for a simple financial check-up or a second opinion, provided on an hourly consultation basis.
Many of our clients are retirees or pre-retirees 10 years or less from retirement. We help develop a plan that addresses lifestyle and financial issues as they transition toward the next phase of life.
We believe all Americans should have access to objective, professional financial advice. Act Two Financial Advisors offers financial planning and advice on an hourly basis with no minimum income or net worth requirements.
We believe all investors deserve a fiduciary standard of care when paying for professional financial advice.
Act Two Financial Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisor regulated by the State of Michigan. Registered Investment Advisors are bound to a fiduciary standard that was established as part of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. The fiduciary standard includes a standard of care and a duty of loyalty. The advisor must place the client's interest ahead of his/her own interests and disclose any potential conflicts.
Brokers are held to a lower standard, the suitability rule. Instead of having to place the client's interest ahead of his/her own interests, the suitability standard only requires that the broker has to reasonably believe that any recommendations made are suitable for clients. The broker's duty is to the broker-dealer he or she works for, not necessarily the client served.
Under the fiduciary standard, an investment advisor would be strictly prohibited from buying an investment because it would pay him/her a higher fee or commission. Under the suitability requirement, this isn't necessarily the case, because as long as the investment is suitable for the client, it can be purchased for the client.
We believe all investors should ask the following questions before paying for professional financial advice:
- Will you put my best interests above all others?
- Will you act with prudence; that is, with the skill, care, diligence and good judgment of a professional?
- Will you provide conspicuous, full and fair disclosure of all important facts?
- Will you avoid conflicts of interest whenever possible?
- Will you fully disclose and fairly manage, in my favor, unavoidable conflicts?
A financial advisor should be able to provide clear and concise answers to all of those questions and be willing to disclose that information in writing.
The Accredited Investment Fiduciary ® (AIF) Designation certified that the recipient has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standard of care and their application to the investment management process. To receive the AIF Designation, the individual must meet prerequisite criteria based on a combination of education, relevant industry experience, and/or ongoing professional development, complete a training program, successfully pass a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor and agree to abide by the Code of Ethic and Conduct Standards.
Michael Ciaciuch is a member of the Garrett Planning Network, an international affiliation of Fee-Only financial planners dedicated to serving people from all walks of life. Michael and his fellow Garrett network members believe that professional, objective financial advice is something all Americans need, at least periodically, to build the brightest financial futures. Holding to this philosophy, Michael is proud to offer the same quality, professional advice to all clients, not just the affluent. Learn more at www.garrettplanningnetwork.com
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is a professional regulatory organization, which promotes ethics, integrity and professional standards in personal financial planning. Individuals who meet rigorous certification requirements are certified by the CFP Board to use its certification trademark. Michael Ciaciuch has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional since 2003. Learn more at https://www.cfp.net/
The NSSA® (National social Security Advisors) Certificate is a nationally recognized standard of competent and ethical Social Security planning. NSSA® Certified Advisors help individuals and couple improve their financial security during retirement years through maximization of Social Security benefits.
Michael Ciaciuch is member of the Financial Planning Association™ (FPA), a membership organization for the financial planning community. FPA is the largest association of professionals dedicated to championing the financial planning process. FPA members are committed to supporting the financial planning process and to helping people make smarter decisions to achieve their goals and dreams. FPA believes that everyone needs professional, objective advice to make smart financial decisions. Learn more at www.fpanet.org.
We don’t sell any products and we don’t accept money from any third parties. We always place your interest above ours.
Michael has been helping people prepare for retirement for over 15 years and has earned the Certified Financial Planner TM, Accredited Investment Fiduciary TM and National Social Security Association designations. He also holds an MBA degree from Northwood University and is a member of the Garrett Planning Network and the Financial Planning Association.
We say what we will do and we do what we say. If we don’t know - we will find the answer. If we can’t find the answer - we will tell you so.
There are always questions to answer, forms to complete, and thinking too! But, Amanda is always helpful and always nice. We try to make the financial planning process as easy as possible.
We understand the whole money thing can create anxiety. We don’t judge – we’re here to help. We also understand the importance of lifestyle issues and emotion in the financial planning process. Relax! We understand.
No one cares about your money more than you do. We are next. We have enjoyed a special relationship with many clients over the past fifteen years. We have plotted a course and been together through good and rocky financial markets, through peak earning years, and in the retirement income distribution phase. We meet with most clients two times a year. Sometimes more – sometimes less, you choose.
No one likes surprises. We discuss your feelings about risk and reward. To insure that we are on the same page, we construct and review an Investment Policy Statement that explains our investment philosophy and how we will manage your money.
Michael Ciaciuch, CFP, AIF®
Michael Ciaciuch is the founder and principal of Act Two Financial Advisors, LLC. He has been helping people prepare for retirement for over fifteen years.
In 2000, Michael co-founded DBS Investment Advisers, where he served as managing partner and lead advisor until 2015. At DBS, Michael and his team managed over $95 million in assets including retirement plans for small business owners and their employees.
Michael is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Garrett Planning Network, an international network of professional fee-only financial planners and advisors.
Michael’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University and MBA from the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood University. He has earned the designations of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) in 2003, Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) in 2004, and National Social Security Advisor (NSSA) in 2013.
Michael is also a member of the Bay City Morning Rotary and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Saginaw Valley State University. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, walking, hiking, and traveling with Jean, his wife of 41 years.
Amanda Engelhardt, RP®
Amanda Engelhardt is the office manager of ActTwoFinancial Advisors and brings to the office a high level of professionalism, reliability and passion for her job.
After earning two associate’s degrees from Lansing Community College, Amanda moved to the Saginaw/Bay City area in 1997. Since then, she has worked in many client service roles and earned her Registered Paraplanner designation in 2015. She is instrumental in helping clients obtain the best experience at Act Two from the initial onboarding process to ongoing client service requests.
Amanda has been married for 20 years, and enjoys spending time with her family which includes her husband, two sons and family furbaby Maggie. In her spare time, she enjoys attending her boys’ athletic events, volunteering at school functions and visiting with family & friends.