Our Process

Helping People Talk About

Our Three Step Process

Introductions

In our first meeting which we call the Strategy Session, we'll get to know each other. We will talk about what you value as important, your financial objectives, and what it is that you'd like to accomplish with your financial plan. We will also share a little bit about our financial planning strategies and what we can do to help you achieve your goals.

Finding the financial balance for your financial future is about making trade-offs. It’s largely a question of dealing with the constant tension between living for today and saving for tomorrow. What seems like a complicated process (so much so you’re often tempted to give up before you start) is really just a balancing act. We’ve found that it helps to put a framework around this process which we can do by asking a few questions.

As we said before, planning for your financial future is a balancing act rather than a single-minded pursuit of the highest return. Real planning requires thought, frequent course corrections, and above all, an effort to keep things in balance. Finding that balance is a different process for everyone.

BUILDING YOUR PLAN

Financial decisions are almost always life decisions. Before you decide your financial goals, you need to decide your life goals. Your plan should reflect your values and your passions. So in building your plan, we must be careful to avoid the distractions from the real task.
  1. Getting to know yourselves, your values, and your goals.
  2. Making choices aligned with those goals and values.
  3. Finally, adapting to the surprises that are bound to come along.
When you link financial decisions to life decisions you encounter a whole different set of challenges. Each person’s financial situation is unique because your goals are unique. It moves from abstractions like a secure retirement of a college education… to being about YOUR vision of YOUR retirement and YOUR child’s education. What brings you happiness may not bring your neighbor happiness, and a canned plan won’t work for either one of you.

Personal finance is more personal than finance.

Proactive Management

As life changes, so should your plan. We will meet with you on a regular basis to look at your recent financial behavior, re-evaluate your financial plan and make adjustments as necessary, working hard to stay on track with your goals and values.

A common misconception that we have is that to make good money decisions we need to have a plan for every situation. All of our assumptions about the future need to be refined to perfection, so that we never will be surprised. Let’s think about that.

What role does money play in your life? What needs to happen in the next few years for you to feel like you are making good progress? What money mistakes have you made in the past that you want to avoid? Too many of our financial conversations are about finding the best investment or the best life insurance.

The process of financial planning is vital. Most plans assume that we know what’s going to happen, even though we don’t. By contrast, planning in it’s truest sense is a reality-based process that allows for life’s unpredictability. It requires us to make decisions based on what’s actually happening, rather than making decisions based on what we hope or expect or fear will happen. We only have so much time and energy. Use it wisely.
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