About us

We are dedicated to providing investment management and strategic wealth planning to our clients. As a financial advisory firm, our primary focus is to provide unbiased opinions that are designed to achieve long term investment results.

A commitment to professionalism and the cooperative development of unique, personal goals forms the foundation of any strong financial plan.

A financial plan must reflect the stage of life its owner is in: whether purchasing a first home, financing a child’s college education or planning for retirement. A plan must reflect its owner’s personal or business situation, and highlight those financial products that best fit it. A custom-tailored financial plan must also be continually reviewed to measure its achievements against stated aims, and ensure the owner is comfortable everything is moving forward according to plan.

If you ever have questions about your plan or about specific financial products, contact us. We will set up a time to meet to review your needs and address any questions you may have. Contact us today.


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Who We Are

Financial Strategies & Solutions is an investment and advisory service based in Bellingham, Washington and working with clients in several states from Washington to New York. Richard Gale has over 35 years of experience in financial services. He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow (LUTCF), and is a member and past president of the Northwest Washington Estate Planning Council.

Financial Strategies & Solutions is not restrained by a single company's products or compelled to use proprietary funds, in other words as a fiduciary, we work for you, not our venders. Securities and advisory services are offered through KMS Financial Services, Inc., based out of Seattle, Washington. KMS is a broker dealer and registered investment advisor modeled to cater to clients rather than shareholders.

Strategies & Solutions

There are wrong ways to invest and manage money, but there is no one right way.  Our job is to use our knowledge, experience and expertise to help you do what you want done. We provide financial planning services (strategies) as well as the tools you need to implement your plans (solutions).  In order to do that, we operate under a few simple rules….

It is best to do those things first which would make the biggest difference were they to remain undone.

Not enough is better than nothing at all.

Too much is better than not enough.

Because you and your situation are unique, we do not have a turnkey solution we try to sell to everybody.  Instead we offer a wide variety of investment and insurance products and services. 

Thank you for taking the time to use our website.  Feel free to give our office a call or send us an email if you have any questions or would like to discuss your goals and needs.




Asset Management


Financial Planning


  • I am retiring soon. Shouldn't I be investing more conservatively?

    Perhaps, but keep in mind that your ultimate time horizon on your investments isn’t the day before you retire, but the day after you die.  If you retire at 65 and die at 85, your portfolio needs to last 20 years while keeping up with inflation.  So a somewhat more conservative approach may be appropriate but shifting to a super conservative strategy, may cause you to run out of money before you run out of life, providing you with a less secure retirement.

  • What is Beta?

    Beta measures an investment’s volatility against the market as a whole.  A Beta of 1 means that if the market gains or loses 10% the investment is also expected to gain or lose 10%.  A beta of 1.5 would mean that a movement of 10% in the market would be expected to result in a movement of 15% in the investment.  A Beta of .8 would mean that for that same 10% in market movement you would expect an 8% movement in the investment. 

  • Where is the best place to save for retirement?

    There is no answer to this question.  It depends a lot on your circumstances, but Income and Capital Gain Taxes play a significant role in the effectiveness of your investments.  All other things being equal, and they never are, an order of priority to consider is…

    If your company offers matching in a 401k or similar retirement plan, contribute to that plan to the extent of the employer’s maximum match.

    A Roth IRA, which provides for tax-free growth and access to your retirement funds.

    Some Life Insurance policies have investment characteristics and allow for tax-free growth and, under some circumstances, tax-free access to the cash value.  If you have a need for Life Insurance, consider one of these policies.

    Now, go back & fill up your 401k.  Your contributions will be made before deduction of income taxes and your growth will be tax deferred until you begin taking money out. 

    Annuities provide for tax-deferred growth of after-tax contributions.

    Mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and real estate, can all be good investments and often have some tax advantages associated with them.  No investment decision is without a price.  This applies to tax-favored investment vehicles.  Some of the investment vehicles mentioned above may have a limited number of investment alternatives available.  That limitation may, but won’t necessarily, offset some of their tax advantages.  Consider what you may be giving up to obtain those tax advantages. 

  • Should I pay extra on my mortgage to shorten its term and save interest?

    Understand that each month you pay only one month’s worth of interest.  The reason there is so much interest paid on a mortgage is because you are paying on it for so many years.  If you have higher interest loans you are actually money ahead to make minimum payments on your mortgage and pay off your more costly loans.  You can also invest the extra money with the possibility of earning more than you are paying on your mortgage.  This would enable you to pay your mortgage off even faster than making extra payments on the mortgage.