Financial Planning Process

Financial planning consists of the following six distinct steps. When it's comprehensive financial planning guidance you want, these are the steps that we use. Be familiar with them. They'll help you get the most out of the process. And remember, it's this big-picture approach that sets financial planners apart from all other financial advisors who may have been trained to focus only on one aspect of your finances.

Initiate the relationship
In the initial stages of the process: 

  • Explain issues and concepts related to the overall financial planning process that are appropriate to you. 
  • Explain the services he or she will provide and the process of planning and documentation. 
  • Clarify your responsibilities as a client. 
  • Clarify our responsibilities as your planner. This will include a discussion about how, and by whom, we will be compensated for the work that we do. 
  • Discuss the scope of the client/planner engagement. 
  • Agree on how decisions will be made.

Gather client data and determine your goals and expectations
In this stage we: 

  • Obtain information about your financial resources and obligations through interviews or questionnaires. 
  • Gather all the necessary documents before giving you the advice you need. 
  • Define your personal and financial goals, needs and priorities.
  • Investigate your values, preferences, financial outlook and desired results as they relate to your financial goals, needs and priorities.

Clarify your present financial status and identify any problem areas and opportunities
In this step we work to get a solid understanding of your: 

  • Current situation (cash flow, net worth, tax projections, etc.).
  • Identify any problem areas or opportunities with respect to your: 
  • Capital needs 
  • Risk management needs and coverage 
  • Investments 
  • Taxation 
  • Retirement planning 
  • Employee benefits 
  • Estate planning 
  • Special needs (i.e. adult dependent needs, education needs, etc.)

Develop and present the financial plan
Assisted by state of the art computer software we develop and prepare a financial plan tailored to meet your goals and objectives, values, and risk tolerance. This presentation will include projections and specific recommendations designed to help you achieve your goals. Present the plan to you and establish an appropriate review cycle. Through consultation with you we make sure that the plan and recommendations are on target in helping you to achieve your objectives.

Implement your financial plan
At this stage in the plan we:
• Assist you in implementing the recommendations that we have presented. This will often include coordinating plans with your other advisors such as your accountant and lawyer to make sure that everyone is "on the same page"

Monitor the financial plan
The final phase in the planning cycle is an ongoing one. It involves future monitoring and evaluation to make sure that your financial plan continues to meet your needs on a "go forward" basis. At this stage we map out the timeframes for review and adjustment of the plan. Of course in the event of the occurrence of a major life event such as a birth, illness, death, retirement, or marriage it may be necessary to immediately adjust some element of the plan.