The core of our planning process is a conversation. We want to get to know you, not maneuver you into buying something. (We'll ask about doing business at the end of Step 4.) Here's how our process works:
Step 1: Find your fit
We are not right for everyone, but we could be right for you. To see if there is a fit between your circumstances and our expertise, we'll spend about 10 minutes on the following questions:
What are the most important things you want from a financial advisor?
Financially speaking, what do you most hope will happen over the rest of your life?
Similarly, what do you most fear will happen?
We believe that understanding your goals is the key to good financial planning. As illustrated below, a portfolio that is based on a plan that is, in turn, based on your goals is what we consider good planning. Plans based on portfolios are a dreadful foundation for your goals.
What You Should Get
What You Usually Get
Step 2: Where are you headed?
Working together, we'll develop date and dollar-specific outcomes you want to achieve, and we will clarify your present financial position. This requires some information, but don't be intimidated by that list. We will review it before you start and provide some time-saving hints. When we've finished, you'll have a carefully specified list of financial goals and two key financial planning documents: your net worth and cash flow statements. Whether we move to Step 3 or not, you'll have a clear picture of where you are and where you are going. If you'd like to start entering your financial information right away, you can do so here.
Step 3: Our analysis
A former rocket scientist, a former economics professor, thousands of hours of education, the best technology in the industry, and a quarter-century of experience are put to work to determine:
What does a sustainable retirement look like for you?
How can your tax planning be optimized?
Is your portfolio aligned with both your goals and your values?
How can you manage the risks in your plan?
Step 4: Our report
We provide, in plain English, our answers to the four questions in Step 3. This is where, measured in dollars, you see how our work makes you and your family better off.
At the end of this meeting, we will ask if you would like to become a client or if you would like to think it over.
Step 5a: Think it over
Like other growing businesses, we are always looking for new clients. That said, we aren't right for everyone and know we won't find long term success through pressure, manipulation, or other coercive techniques. We ask you to consider:
Do the benefits of working with us exceed the costs?
Do you understand our approach to financial planning, especially investment planning?
Do the answers from Step 4 make sense, and in particular, do these answers make sense for you?
Is there enough mutual trust and respect to begin a professional relationship?
Step 5b: Decision time
If we are the right advisory team for you and your family, we can start our on-boarding process. If not, no hard feelings. We will say our goodbyes, part amicably, and wish you every success.