As Financial Planners, our goal is to provide clients with trusted advice. We take on an approach which is ‘holistic’ in nature, meaning that we don't just stop at investment management, but rather, assist our clients in addressing any planning concerns they may have. Asset management is surely a large function that we provide daily, but the scope of our approach does not end there. Our process may begin with a statement of cash flow and a balance sheet which leads to an analysis that uses certain ratios to help our clients make informed decisions. From there, we could set goals and projections to help determine how much money an investor will need “in the jar” at retirement. We can then perform capital needs requirement tests to determine if an investor is on track and make adjustments as necessary. This is the process that helps to determine overall strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (the ‘SWOT’ analysis). We use this process to provide solutions in addressing the threats and weaknesses to ensure that strengths and opportunities remain intact.
Let’s say you’re the bread winner providing for a family of five and have very little life insurance. Is that concern? Most likely the answer is yes, but how much coverage is enough? We use math to answer that question, not an arbitrary figure that, perhaps, you may receive from an insurance company, such as: “you need 10 times your income” or “you need a million dollars of coverage”. Either amount could be too much or maybe even too little.
Or let’s say you’re a self-employed entrepreneur getting ready to buy or lease that new car for which the primary use is business-related. Which route do you take? Would you feel better making a calculated decision?
We form our client relationships maintaining the precedent that they can come to us with virtually any question. Heck, a few months ago, a client called and asked for help with selling her time-share in Florida…It was some doing, but we got it done! (If you’ve ever tried, you might know that it’s a daunting task!)
At the end of each day, we try to remove the grey areas that lurk within a person’s financial plan and when we cannot provide an answer, we bring on an expert who can. Part of our value proposition as financial planners is that we realize that we can’t do it all. Our objective is to be the clients' quarterback drawing up the financial plays and handing the ball off when necessary…Working with our clients’ other advisors, such as lawyers and CPAs, helps us obtain a better understanding of our clients’ needs and gives us the satisfaction of knowing that those needs are fully taken care of.
In addition to our approach, we believe we stand the best chance to deliver success by being our clients’ primary financial advisor. A primary financial advisor is one, trusted source of advice. For instance, most individuals have one doctor that they rely on for primary care whom they literally trust with their lives. We often meet with prospective clients that rely on multiple advisors for their financial planning needs…The reasoning behind this decision is often investors wanting to “try out” different advisors to see which one will provide the “best returns” in a given period of time. Or soemtimes when we speak with new clients, we hear that their investments are “all over the place.” You know, the three old 401(k) accounts from the former employers, or that bank IRA you had to put money in a few years ago for tax purposes, or, worse yet, you lost your advisor to a “call center” and that investment is now subject to algorithmic management.
If you have a primary care physician that you trust, you probably rely on his or her opinion no matter what you’re being told…Even after a highly regarded specialist, like a nephrologist for example, has provided you with details of treatment, it’s likely that you would run that by your primary physician before making any decisions – which makes lots of sense!
So why not have a single, trusted source for your money?!? Well, we believe you should.
There are many reasons that having multiple accounts in different places can be harmful…For instance, differences of investment strategies can often times be preventative of proper diversity within a portfolio and conflicting advice could put your money at more risk than you think. So whether it’s just ‘housekeeping’ that needs to be done, or you need to find that trusted source, you should be seeking a “primary care financial planner” to make sure that you’re on track!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.