How do I set financial goals?
Start by asking what is important to you. If money was no concern, how would you live – and most importantly, how would you occupy your time? Financial goals are ways to fulfill your values and plans for your life. This can translate down to where you want to live in retirement, buying a house for your family, financial independence, starting your own business, funding your children’s college tuition, retiring at a specific age to give back to the community, becoming a consultant, and the list can go on.
“Financial Planning” makes me think of boring meetings and binders, is that what you do?
NO! We believe simple plans followed with consistency over time yield the best results. Our one-page financial plan is developed through a simple and interactive process. The plan takes shape as each conversation highlights a new facet of your full financial profile. Targets are listed with red light, yellow light, or green light to indicate progress, followed by a one-sentence explanation and list of next action steps.
A one-page financial plan, you can’t be serious.
We are. But the plan is more than the one-page. Supporting that one-page plan is your balance sheet, budget, summary of our conversations / observations, and goals projections report created by our LPL Financial Client Goals planning software.
You said “cash-flow based,” does that mean you’re going to push me into a budget?
No. Only you can make you follow a budget. We’ve discovered through years of working with couples and individuals that a cash-flow focus reduces stress, relational conflict, and effectively aligns dollars to goals. A budget is meant to free your lifestyle, not restrict your lifestyle.
How long does the financial planning process take?
Usually two or three meetings with some follow up conversations depending on implementation responsibilities. Meetings are generally spaced a couple weeks apart. We want to take the time to get to know you, understand your current financial position, your values, and your goals. Synthesizing those conversations and data points into planning recommendations requires dialogue.
What is a fiduciary, and are you held to a fiduciary standard of care?
Yes, we are both held to the fiduciary standard of care and highly value the fiduciary focused responsibility to our clients. A fiduciary focused financial professional is someone who has made a commitment and taken legal responsibility to act in the best interest of their client. That means our advice is based on the best fit and fee structure for you, not our profits or commissions. Part of being held to the fiduciary standard of care is full transparency on costs, fees, and commissions so you can make informed decisions.
What are your fees?
All advisory accounts are charged a fee of 1% of the account value. Some retirement accounts also pay a $40 annual fee. Discounts begin for households with over $1,000,000 in total assets under management. Some accounts (for example created for a certain purpose or buy and hold strategy) are charged transaction fees that vary between types and sizes of investments purchased in the account.
What is a person paying for in a financial professional?
You should get more than a financial plan and someone to manage your assets. When you have a financial professional, you have someone in your corner who will help you stay on track when you experience doubt or fear. You have someone to call when you’re worried or just need a sounding board to help you make a financial decision.
How do I prepare for my children’s future?
This conversation usually focuses on funding college education but also can include helping your children get a strong start into adulthood, how to pass on financial wisdom, and ultimately, how to pass wealth on to children as part of estate planning. We’ve worked with many parents to address those questions and develop financial goals for their children’s future.
How do you invest?
We practice a diversification methodology called Dynamic Asset Allocation and utilize The Bucket System for accounts taking regular distributions. See the last page for our full Investment Philosophy Statement.
How much is enough to retire?
Your number will be entirely unique to you. The answer isn’t just about the number of dollars in a retirement account. It really is a combination of your goals and dreams for your retirement, the projected cost of those goals and dreams, the assets you have now, and what you can and will do with those assets in the future. That’s why we think planning should be relational and iterative. Arriving at answer for how much is enough requires a multifaceted conversation.
How do I know if I have the right amount of insurance?
This is a common question, and what might be surprising to you is that it is not uncommon for clients to come to our office with too much insurance. The right amount of all insurance is based on covering what truly is at risk. For life insurance it requires adding up the answer to one simple question: if you were not here, what would the financial needs of your family be to maintain their current standard of living?
How can I express my values through my investing?
This is an exciting and growing area of investing. Many funds exist that seek to invest only in areas of conviction for their investors. This includes everything from Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) convictions to spiritual and moral convictions. We are well-versed in investments that both screen out what you don’t want but also intentionally pursue areas in you’d like to invest in.
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) / Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria excludes securities of certain issuers for non- financial reasons and, therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe ofinvestments available will be smaller.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.
Investment Policy Statement