Prospective clients often ask, "What is your wealth management process?" The following pages aim to provide the answer. There is a system to our practice, and, when managing our clients' assets, we adhere to it. We believe that following a disciplined and systematic process is essential to our clients' success. Below, you will find a brief overview of our six-step process.
- Establish Client and Financial Consultant Relationships - The Discovery Process
Our goal at the beginning of any client relationship is to get to know you and gain clarity about what's important to you. When we understand who you are and what's important to you, we can begin to forge a partnership that will enable us to empower you to greater financial security.
Many financial professionals focus the majority of the discussion with their clients on what we refer to as the "Who and the How" of the Wealth Management Process; meaning the strategies, techniques, investments, or managers they recommend using. While these issues are ultimately important, we believe that it is essential that we spend considerable time understanding what your needs, goals, visions, or values are. We refer to these issues as the "What and the Why" of the Wealth Management process. What are your needs and concerns? What past experiences have led you to where you are today? What are your visions or dreams for your future? Once we gain clarity over the issues that are important to you, then we can move on to providing solutions to address your needs. Ultimately, our recommendations are always driven by a commitment to help you live the lifestyle of your choice and so see your visions become a reality. Throughout the course of our relationship, we periodically revisit this step in the process.
- Gather Data
So that we can do a comprehensive review of your current financial situation, we will ask you for relevant financial data, including a detailed summary of current financial assets, your various types of insurance protection, your current estate plan, and your current tax returns. We will discuss your plans for the future, including your short-term and long-term goals. We will also review your sources of income and your living expenses. We will discuss the particulars of your retirement plans, including contributions or distributions that you may be making. We will discuss your current investment portfolio and how you make decisions about your investments. We will discuss your investment risk tolerance. We will also discuss your current estate plans, including your plans to distribute your estate, any concerns you may have about distributions to particular family members, your desire to eliminate or minimize estate tax, and charitable legacies that you may wish to leave.
All future recommendations decisions in the Wealth Management process will stem from this information.
- Analyze Existing Positions
We then do a thorough analysis of all the information that we've gathered in order to determine if your present situation is properly aligned with your personal needs and goals. We will analyze your investment portfolio's current asset allocation mix as well as your risk exposure in relation to your needs. In addition, we will analyze the components of your tax liability and your present estate plan. From this analysis, we will identify your current areas of strength as well as any inconsistencies that present opportunities for improvement.
- Present an Action Plan
You will be presented with a detailed analysis and a proposed course of action. Our philosophy is "If it's not broken, don't fix it!". Our goal is not to undo what you may have already done very well. We want to reinforce areas of strength in your current plan and recommend prudent solutions to address any areas of improvement. Depending on your situation, we may draft a financial plan that may include an Investment Policy Statement, a thorough retirement income plan, or a detailed action plan.
- Implement Plan
Once we've honed in on the key steps that you can take to improve your overall "financial health", we're ready to move ahead. We will help you execute your plan, taking each important step, one at a time.
- Ongoing Review and Reporting
By closely monitoring your progress in relation to our established goals, we make sure that you stay right on track. We'll meet with you on a regular basis to review our results and discuss any changes that may be warranted. The review process wraps everything together and brings us back into focus on your "What and Why", the guiding purpose for the work we do.