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Our Planning Process

While each client's goals and objectives are unique, there is a repeatable process that we utilize in order to insure a thorough analysis in every case. Our process has been influenced by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. It is a six step process.

  • Introduction: In the early stage of the client relationship we disclose details pertaining to the planning process. Here we introduce our firm's services and outline what the client can expect from us. We also make the client's responsibilities clear as well.
  • Data gathering: This "roll up the sleeves" meeting is perhaps the most important initial phase of the process. Here we gather detailed information including client expectations, time horizons, investment risk tolerance, client values, specific financial goals and family information. If possible we also secure relevant client records and documents at this meeting, as well.
  • Team Evaluation: Here we confer with internal partners and professionals as well as external experts. This phase is spent by us analyzing strengths and weaknesses of the client's current financial condition. This analysis focuses on current cash flow, investments retirement, estate planning, risk minimization, employee benefits, and charitable interests. If there are areas of concern, we summarize them in a "Recommendations" document.
  • Client Presentation: After the team has arrived at a consensus regarding the client's financial condition; we schedule this "Steps to be taken" meeting. We stress the aspects of the client's current situation that are consistent with the stated goals. We also feed back areas that can be adjusted and changed to bring the client more in line with their stated objectives. The plan is client specific and provides detailed analysis. Typically, the plan contrasts the "Current Situation" with a proposed "Revised Situation". This is dialogue between us and the client and hopefully reflects their values.
  • Implementation: It is at this stage that we assist the client in actually implementing recommendations. This frequently requires coordinating with external professionals. Attorneys, accountants, investment professionals and others often need to be employed during this important phase. Our role, as stated earlier, is to coordinate all of these efforts on behalf of the client.
  • Ongoing Monitoring: Because there are constant changes in the tax code, as well as changing client circumstances, it is necessary to monitor the plan on an on-going basis. Over time economic conditions also change. Clients often change their own risk tolerance based on changing conditions. It is critical that our relationship with the client be an on-going professional dialogue. Along the way, changes to the plan are often appropriate.

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