The 6 Steps of Your Financial Planning Process

 There are six stages to the process of doing a financial plan. The beginning step is determining your objectives for the plan. You do this by:1. Quantifying specific dollar goals within definite time frames and clarify any financial goals within those parameters; 2. You will rank your objectives according to your priorities; 3. Together, we will examine these objectives in respect to a client’s available resources and other limitations. Our key role at this stage is to assist our clients in the establishment of their financial objectives .

 

 The second step of the financial planning process is gathering data. With our help, our clients will complete a data survey form or questionnaire. We hope your confidence will grow as we do these initial interviews with a conversational approach with basic data and planning questions. Before the next meeting the information will be reviewed to insure accurate figures have been used. This interview or questionnaire will provide both quantitative and qualitative information for our client

-    Qualitative provides general information concerning a family’s goals and  objectives, lifestyle, health, and investment-risk tolerance level.

-    Quantitative provide basic but specific identifying information concerning details of family’s financial status. Examples include info about investments, cash flow, insurance coverage's, and present liabilities or other obligations.

 

Our third step is processing and analyzing the information gathered. We will undertake a review of the  following: Our client’s financial position and current cash flow statement; a review of existing insurance policies and other legal papers such as wills, trust agreements, and buy-sell agreements; analyze the information to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the client’s finances; evaluate our client’s objectives in view of available resources, and economic conditions as they relate to future resources and cash flow for the client. It is our planning role to examine the viable options for achieving the determined objectives. We begin here to look at the products and strategies that may be selected for implementing the final plan. The end result will be a fully developed set of recommendations to meet the goals.

 

The fourth step is the actual recommendation of a comprehensive financial plan for our client. This is a time for our clients to speak up and ask questions about each strategy or product as it relates to solutions for achieving their goals and dreams. Recommendations can change during this process, or at the least, be reviewed and altered based on client input.

 

A fifth step in the financial planning process is implementing the plan. Our client may need help in obtaining products and in pursuing strategies identified in step four. Use of products and services through our office is separate from the design fees and those costs and commissions will be disclosed appropriately. Also, if need be, we will work closely with other professionals to carry out the financial plan designed for the client. Often clients have competent accountants and legal advisors with whom we coordinate the the use of strategies and products. 

 Our final step is monitoring the plan. Periodically we should review your plan to evaluate the significance of any changes in federal tax*, economic conditions, and available investment techniques. If you choose to use our investment advisory services you will be encouraged to have quarterly meetings related to your assets under management. Beyond this we, will schedule times on a bi-annual basis to examine our mutual progress toward achieving objectives. Changes can be made in the financial plan as may be determined by personal, business or family circumstances.

 

*The financial analysis and recommendations are not intended to replace the need for independent tax, accounting, or legal review. Individuals are advised to seek the counsel of such licensed professionals.