Financial Planning Process

Here is our Financial Planning Process:

  • step one: ASSESSMENT

    Our financial advice begins right away when we first meet,  as we help you determine whether it is in your best interest to retain our services, or whether it would be more appropriate for us to make an introduction to a different firm that is more compatible with your unique circumstances.

    We are seeking clients who have sufficient financial means to gain outstanding value from our advice.  We work only with those who value professional financial management and have a desire to enhance their financial situation and a motivation to achieve their goals in the most financially advantageous way possible.

  • step two: DISCOVERY

    We create a view of your finances by fitting together the many pieces to your financial puzzle, including many of these:

    – Goals such as creating a retirement income, higher education, purchases, and gifting.

    – Risk tolerance, time horizon,  and resulting desired equity exposure.

    – Personal values and any resulting effect upon investment choices.

    – Future changes to to assets and income such as social security and inheritance.

    – Future changes to expenses such as travel, medical insurance, and cost of living.

    – Bank accounts, investment accounts, stocks & bonds, mutual funds, annuities.

    – 401k, pension, traditional and Roth IRAs,  and other employer retirement plans.

    – Residence, rentals, other real property and business interests.

    – Tax cost basis of securities, real property, and businesses.

    – Cars, boats, and other personal property.

    – Mortgages and other loans.

    – Earned, investment, rental, business, social security and pension income.

    – Income taxes, insurance premiums, investment contributions, and living expenses.

    – Life, disability, long term care, medical, home, auto, umbrella and other insurance.

    – Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate plans.

  • step three: STRATEGY

    We build strategies to most effectively accomplish your goals.

    If still working

    • – We illustrate the date at which a successful retirement is likely.
    • – We advise changes to the investment approach, increased savings rate or delayed retirement date.
    • – We advise regarding the choice of accounts according to income tax characteristics.
    • – We advise the optimal social security claiming strategy.

    If already retired

    • – We advise if your capital is likely to be depleted during your lifetime.
    • – We change the investment approach and reduce the withdrawal rate if appropriate.

    If higher education is a goal

    • – We estimate the future cost and advise the amount to be contributed.
    • – We advise the optimal type of account.

    Asset Goals

    • – We evaluate the feasibility of large asset goals such as buying personal-use real estate or expensive personal assets.
    • – We structure the buying or selling of real assets and business interests optimally.

    Balance Sheet Issues

    • – We set a cash reserve target and adjust cash reserve levels.
    • – If there are debts, we develop the most effective strategy to eliminate them.

    Income Tax Considerations

    We advise as to the efficacy, timing, and quantity when utilizing various strategies, such as:

    • – Roth IRA and backdoor Roth IRA contributions
    • – Roth IRA Conversions and Re-characterizations
    • – IRA 72t and Required Minimum Distributions
    • – Income Tax withholding percentages
    • – Harvesting capital losses and realizing capital gains
    • – Rollovers from 401ks to IRAs, and reverse rollovers from IRAs to 401ks
    • – Tax free 1031 and 1035 exchanges

    Investment Considerations

    We design a portfolio that is:

    • – Appropriate to your risk tolerance and time horizon.
    • – Massively diversified by number of holdings, asset classes, sectors, and world regions.
    • – Without loads.
    • – Without significant overlap.
    • – Low in expense ratios, turnover, and cash drag.
    • – Structured using factor investing to increase risk-adjusted returns.

  • step four: COMMITMENT

    We make a mutual commitment to work together:

    • – We agree on the investment philosophy and the portfolio disciplines.
    • – We prioritize goals and focus on successfully achieving them.
    • – We choose which strategies will be utilized.
    • – We adjust accounts per the plan and implement the investment strategies.

  • step five: PROTECTION

    We identify and solve the various scenarios that threaten to derail your success.

    We advise regarding the need for and desired characteristics in the areas of:

    • – Life and disability insurance.
    • – Medical, dental, vision, and long term care insurance.
    • – Homeowner’s and auto insurance.
    • – Rental and other property insurance.
    • – Umbrella insurance.
    • – We write a gap analysis to determine any shortfalls or excessive insurance coverage.
    • – We explore various ownership arrangements that may provide asset protection.
    • – We earmark contingency funds for catastrophic events that will be self-funded.

  • step six: LEGACY

    You decide what you want to do with the wealth that you will not spend in your lifetime.

    We seek to determine how you would like to impact your heirs after your death:

    • – We identify the people whom you trust to act on your behalf.
    • – We identify beneficiaries such as children, grandchildren, charities, and organizations.
    • – We quantify your ability to make lifetime gifts without risking your own solvency.
    • – We estimate current and future state and federal estate tax liability.
    • – We advise regarding techniques to reduce estate tax and income tax at death.
    • – We compare the efficacy of lifetime gifts versus testamentary gifts.
    • – We advise regarding tax-effective capital transfer and trust techniques.

  • step seven: CONNECTION

    We connect you to specialists to implement advanced strategies, and to your financial information online.

    Depending upon your needs, and if you do not have existing relationships in these areas, we make introductions to:

    • – A CPA for accounting work, such as tax returns, business valuations, etc.
    • – Insurance Agents for an evaluation and adjustments to home, auto, business,  life, disability, and long term care insurance if appropriate.
    • – An Estate Planning Attorney for the drafting of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc.
    • – Lenders for mortgages, HELOCs, reverse mortgages, and other loans

    We connect your accounts and documents together to be viewable in online portals which contain views of:

    • – Family relationships,  Goals, and Financial Statements
    • – All assets, liabilities, income, and expenses
    • – Views of all transactions in bank accounts and investment accounts
    • – Projections of cash flows and future value of portfolio
    • – Stress tests that show the probability of various outcomes
    • – Rates of return and balance history
    • – Asset allocation by asset class and global region
    • – Key investment data for each holding such as expense ratios, turnover rates, current  yields, returns,duration, valuation ratios and other data.
    • – Important documents such as insurance policies and estate documents

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