As a CFP® and Fiduciary our process is a little different than what you may be used to or what you may find elsewhere. We take our job as your Financial Advisor very seriously. As such we take a few additional steps to add to the already detailed financial planning process most CFP® professionals abide by.
Only 20% of Financial advisors are CFP®’s. We take education very seriously which is why we hold ourselves accountable and make sure we are up to date on recent market data, tax laws, and innovative strategies. We never want to risk our ideas growing stale so we are always striving to learn anything and everything that may help our clients. Which is why, before we even start the conversation, we ensure that we are properly equipped with the knowledge to put the best plan together for you.
This is often the most labor-intensive part of the process. At this point we would like to see statements on ALL investment accounts, if it has a dollar sign on it we need to know about it. WE WILL NOT make any recommendations without this information. Our recommendations can sometimes get complicated. For example if I find a way for you to contribute to a Roth account using the back-door method, and you have failed to tell me about a simple or traditional IRA you have elsewhere, you may find yourself owing taxes or penalties. This is easily avoided with simply knowing of these accounts’ existence.
We can’t plan for the future if we don’t know what you want out of it. Many of my clients have not thought this far ahead. So, we typically will spend some time creating goals. Understanding your current budget, what activities you enjoy now, and what you would like to do in retirement are important steps in the process. It may sound strange that I need to know if you enjoy cruises or golfing but behind the scenes, I am analyzing the expected cost of each and the frequency we would like to do these activities. By placing a cost on them we can than budget for them 10, 20, 40+ years from now.
Once we know what your goals are, we need to know what you have done so far to achieve them. Looking at your current savings, your current savings rate, and how you have invested these so far will shed some light on whether we are on track or need to make some changes.
An additional step we take is when we bring in other professionals. We focus on what we do best and consult with those that do the same. We have developed a network of trusted professionals that we rely on for recommendations and advice. If we believe we have found significant tax savings for a client, we will consult one of our CPA partners to discuss what we have found and get their input on how best to implement. When applicable we will even bring in these professional’s full time at no additional cost. Going back to our fortune 500 example as the CEO of your finances I want to hire you a CFO, (Chief financial officer) and CLO (Chief Legal Officer) to optimize any legal, tax, or estate gaps in your plan.
Using our technology we will run 1-4 different scenarios to see where our current path will take us, what changes need to be made to achieve all of your goals, and if a lot of changes are necessary we will create 1 or 2 other potential plans to try and find what is practical. Here is where we will optimize investment and tax strategies, identify any potential risks to your wealth, and explore creative solutions.
During our second meeting we will go through all the different scenarios to see which best suits you. Once we understand what we need to do you will be the decision maker as to which of these strategies you want to follow through with.
As a Fiduciary we have full trading discretion on our client’s accounts. We will never take excessive or unnecessary risk with our client’s money, but we do actively manage every clients account. To do so effectively we assume the risk of that discretion. Unlike a broker who must contact the client before every purchase or sale so that the client assumes the responsibility for the trade.
Operating our relationship like this has increased client satisfaction because we know all appropriate action items are taking place. While our clients continue with their work, family, and general day to day life we are putting plans into action.
Typically, Financial Advisors hold annual reviews and some only make changes to the account during these reviews. We however are constantly monitoring our client’s portfolios. We also monitor outside assets. Through our technology clients receive up to date planning and performance information whenever they log on to our site. We not only hold in person or virtual meetings, but we send out monthly statements along with quarterly reports that cover your current net worth break down, performance and benchmarking, and updates on whether our current strategies are on track to reach your goals.