Financial Planning Process

Here is our Financial Planning Process:

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.


    During the discovery interview, we will collect your documents and ask you any number of detailed questions.  In order to do a professional job, we want to know absolutely everything about your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.  We need to review your income tax return, W2, paystubs, social security and pension plan benefit estimates, retirement plans, current investment statements,  insurance policies, and estate documents.

    It is also vital for us to understand your cherished values,  important goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.

    Together, we create a “big picture” view of your finances by fitting together the many pieces to your financial puzzle.

  • step two: STRATEGY SESSION

    We analyze the information you have given us.  At our Strategy Session, we discuss 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 adjust 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
    • – IRA 72t and Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)
    • – 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 exchanges of real estate, insurance, and annuity contracts


    Investment Considerations
    We design a portfolio that is:

    • – Appropriate for your objectives.
    • – With equity exposure that is appropriate for your risk tolerance and time horizon.
    • – Diversified by asset class and a well thought-out asset allocation.
    • – Diversified by region: domestic, international, and emerging.
    • – Diversified by sector, with no large sector bets.
    • – Diversified by company size (both large and small) and relative price (both growth and value).
    • – Diversified by large number of holdings, with no concentrations in any one security.
    • – Low in expense ratios, transaction costs due to turnover, and low in cash drag.
    • – Weighted toward equities with low price relative to earnings, book value, and dividends.
    • – Weighted toward equities with higher free cash flow.
    • – Invested in bonds and bond funds with short maturities and highly creditworthy issuers.


    At our Mutual Commitment Meeting, 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.


    At our Advanced Solutions Conference, we address the areas of risk management and estate planning, and connect you to professionals who implement solutions and to our online sources for ongoing data.

    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, auto, umbrella, and other insurance.
    • – We analyze 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.
    • – We recommend various insurance agents who can write or alter coverage.

    We advise regarding a new or updated estate plan; to determine what you will do with the wealth you will not spend during your lifetime.

    • We identify the people whom you trust to act on your behalf
    • We identify beneficiaries such as children, grandchildren, and charitable 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 and advise regarding techniques to reduce the tax
    • We advise regarding tax-effective capital transfer techniques
    • We recommend estate planning attorneys or work with your existing attorney to draft and file the estate plan documents.

    Finally, we set up various online views that allow you to see your changing financial plan and important documents, your account statements, and ongoing performance data.

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