The key to reaching your financial goals is to start with a comprehensive financial plan. A financial plan helps determine how you are positioned today and what you may need to do to help reach your goals. It also provides a foundation from which to make financial decisions and serves as a useful tool to help measure progress towards your goals in the future.
We use a 5-step financial planning process with all new clients.
Step 1 — Introductory Meeting
The first step in the financial planning process is to determine if there is a good fit between the advisor and client. This involves a high-level review of your current financial situation, a review of the financial planning products and services that may be appropriate for your situation, and a mutual determination as to whether a long-term financial planning relationship would be in your best interest.
Step 2 — Data Gathering
The second step is to determine your financial goals, assess your risk tolerance, and collect the information needed to complete your financial plan. The information gathered ranges from hard, factual data to softer, more personal information regarding your goals, dreams and past experiences. We will also discuss your client service expectations, review investment fees and expenses, and collect the fee to complete your financial plan at this time.
Step 3 — Financial Plan Presentation
After your financial plan is completed we will meet to deliver the plan, and discuss the findings and recommendations. You will be presented with a comprehensive financial plan based on your personal situation that will include a summary of specific recommendations and action items to help you reach your financial goals. This is also your chance to provide feedback on the plan and discuss any adjustments to the recommendations before moving forward.
Step 4 — Implementation
A plan without action is not an effective plan. The purpose of this step is to take action to implement the recommendations outlined in your financial plan. We will discuss any action items that need to be completed and complete any paperwork that may be necessary to begin this process.
Step 5 — Monitor and Review
A long-term financial planning relationship with each client is important to the financial planning process. Your financial situation, economic conditions and tax laws will change over time. The most effective financial plans are those that are reviewed, updated and monitored with the client on a regular basis.
Typically, we will meet annually to review your financial plan, assess progress towards your goals, and provide an update of your accounts and financial situation. We will also contact you throughout the year as needed and are available as questions come up or changes in your financial picture arise.