A detailed planning process is the best way to establish financial security. Once we get to know you we can begin to develop a dynamic plan that will meet your immediate needs and goals while adjusting for changes in your professional and social life down the road. We are in it together for the long haul.

So what are the steps?

1) FIT Meeting

Arguably, this is the most important interaction. We insist you don’t bring anything to the meeting except yourself! Lasting less than an hour, this initial meeting is meant for us to get to know each other. We may talk a little about goals and specific problem areas that need addressing, but the intention is to establish a rapport with each other. It is crucial that both planner and client feel there is a good “fit.”

2) Discovery Meeting

After everyone has gotten to know each other and mutually decided to move forward, this is the meeting that takes some preparation. With guidance from our office, clients have diligently gathered everything from statements and policies, to tax returns and more. Clients should expect this meeting to last longer than the previous meeting, as we talk through everything they’ve brought. Typically, all documents are left behind with us to begin analysis.

3) Gameplan Meeting

This meeting usually takes place at least a couple of weeks later, after we’ve had time to analyze the items left behind in the Discovery meeting. Clients should expect this meeting to go a little long as well, as we must present our findings and discuss our plans to implement going forward. Many times, this also serves as an opportunity to double-check our understanding of certain information, and confirm mutual alignment with the client.

4) Strategy Review Meeting

Just like routine doctor check-ups, coming back in for periodic, consistent updates is the key to keeping things on track! Clients should be hearing from their advisor routinely, and they should absolutely be in the office for review meetings on at least an annual basis. It is in these meetings where the clients can discuss with the planner any life or situational changes, portfolio performance, as well as any tax or legal updates that might pertain to their situation. A recurring theme through the planner-client relationship is communication and engagement, and this regular meeting is the perfect vehicle to get that done.

5) Ongoing Collaboration As Life Unfolds

An extension of the annual Strategy Review Meetings, the planner and client should plan to meet on an ad hoc basis as situations warrant. We can plan on and schedule for many things in the financial planning world, but it is impossible to plan for everything. As life unfolds, whether that be marriage, death, divorce, birth of a child, job loss or promotion, or making a big purchase, keeping the planner in the loop through quick, focused meetings ensures clients make the most informed decision possible.