"What's the point of making a killing in the market if Uncle Sam is going to be the ultimate beneficiary?"
When most people think about the phrase “Financial Planning” they think of investments. And that is, to an extent, correct. A sound investment strategy is definitely a portion of your financial success. Yet many people focus almost all of their efforts on investments, ignoring the remainder of their financial situation.
For example, if you had a great return on your portfolio - say 15% per year, but paid the average taxes on that return, you'd probably only keep less than 10%. Or if your net worth is over $5 million dollars, up to 75% of any gains could be eventually eaten up by death taxes. What's the point of making a killing in the market if Uncle Sam is going to be the ultimate beneficiary?
That is why we believe Financial Planning is so crucial. Don't get us wrong; investing is important and we spend considerable time monitoring your investments on a daily basis. But we have seen too many cases of another advisors costing clients thousands of dollars because they focused solely on the investments.
The Financial Planning Process
Practically every client of ours goes through the financial planning process. That means looking at your financial life as a whole and making changes where necessary. It doesn’t mean just looking at your investments. We look at the following areas of your financial life.
Our objective is to see if there's anything wrong with what you are doing in those 5 areas below. If there is, we tell you and let you know how to fix it. We don't give you a computer generated, cookie-cutter plan with vague recommendations. We custom write every single plan to keep it simple and focused on your situation. In as little as one or two meetings, you know what's wrong, what that means to you, and how to fix it. It's that simple.
- Income Taxes
- Retirement Income
- Protection/Long Term Care
- Estate Planning
The Extra Mile
Now comes the important part: executing the plan. You can know what's wrong with your situation. You can even know how to fix it. But if you never lift a finger to follow through, you'll still wind up with big problems.
That’s what we mean by a “process.” It isn’t about “just” a written plan. By entering into our Financial Planning Process, we stick with you to help you get back on the right financial track. That means working with you during subsequent meetings to help you make sure all those things we discussed get taken care of.
That could mean meeting with you and your attorney to ensure your estate plan is drafted correctly. Or sitting with you on the computer to make changes to your 401(k) plan. Or talking with your CPA in order to maximize your deductions and minimize your taxes. That is what The Financial Planning Process is about.