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Our Process

The Six Step Process is designed to guide individuals, families and businesses through the planning and implementation stages one step at a time.

The goal of protecting family wealth and wellbeing is not only considering the distribution of your assets but even more importantly to identify what mark you want to leave on your family, community and the world during your life time as well as when you are gone. Family financial planning is a purposeful, on-going process that identifies personal, financial, legal and philanthropic goals.

Step 1: Engage

The first step is getting to know each other. The personal attention we provide is one of the primary reasons why many of our clients and their families become partners for life. If it is important to you it is important to us. We want to understand:

  • What you are looking for in an advisor
  • Your objectives and what could prevent you from achieving them
  • The planning that you have completed at various times in your life
  • Your current advisory relationships
  • What keeps you up at night

This is your opportunity to get to know us as well. Ask us:

  • How we are different from other firms in the industry
  • Power of Working Together
  • To explain our personalized planning process
  • To describe our customer service model
  • What experience and resources we have to offer

Step 2: Collect Data

The initial focus of our work is to seek to understand your:

  • Values
  • Circumstances
  • Priorities
  • Personal objectives
  • Financial objectives

Next we evaluate your current planning, with all its various components, in the context of those objectives. During this process we will develop a personal financial condition model, allowing us to project estate values, cash flows, income and estate taxes. We'll review your wills, trusts, business agreements, insurance policies, employment benefits, investments and tax returns.

This becomes the basis for the creation of your personalized financial models. These models are used to help evaluate your current situation so that you can make educated decisions about what adjustments or changes are necessary. Your models will show the following:

  • Cash flow now and in the future
  • Assets and liabilities and how they change over time
  • Income and estate tax liabilities
  • Asset allocation
  • If you are on track to meet your goals

Step 3: Analyze

The goal of this process is assist you in making informed decisions regarding your plan. In Step 3 through our holistic and values based process:

  • Identify gaps, conflicts and inconsistencies in your current planning
  • How likely your current arrangements will meet your short and long term goals
  • Explore with you the available planning techniques to eliminate these problems and allow you to achieve your objectives
  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages of each strategy
  • Utilize the personal financial condition model to help evaluate their impact

Step 4: Design

The end result of this process will be a completely updated and coordinated plan, consistent with and supportive of your objectives. Step Four consists of:

  • Development of personalized recommendations for your family and, where relevant, your business
  • Specific strategies and tactics are reviewed that will help you meet your objectives
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each strategy along with economic models to determine their impact
  • Empower you with the information that you need to make informed decisions
  • A "blueprint" for working with your other advisors in the implementation of the plan

Step 5: Implement

Step Five begins the implementation phase. At this juncture we are able to help ensure that your strategic family financial plan is put into action and that each component is professionally coordinated and fully integrated.

Armed with a written implementation checklist, you now have a game plan consisting of specific steps to begin making progress toward your goals. Of course, we will be with you every step of the way, helping to make sure that each action is completed in the proper order. When appropriate, we will also coordinate with your attorneys and accounting advisors.

Step 6: Review and Adjust

Step Six involves ongoing reviews and, when necessary, correction. Often, after completing financial planning, families and business owners become sidetracked due to their busy lives, the increasingly fast paced nature of our world and things that cannot be controlled: the economy, financial markets, global events, competition, health issues, etc.

We understand this and have solutions to help you maneuver around life's complexities and stay on course toward your goals.

We review, update and explain any adjustments to your financial plan each year to account for any changes in your personal situation, goals, the economy, your investments and tax law. This process helps you understand the course corrections necessary for your family to remain on track.

Possible actions included in an Annual Plan Update are as follows:

  • Assess changes in vision, family situation, short and long term objectives, tax and estate laws, financial market and economic conditions
  • Update Financial Condition Model (present and future income, expenses, debt, taxes, net worth and estate taxes/settlement costs)
  • Evaluate progress made towards your specific goals, whether they be Retirement Income, Business Transition, Charitable Giving, Financial Parenting, Education Funding, Investments, Risk Management or Estate Planning
  • Assess appropriateness of investment strategy
  • Assess appropriateness of insurance products and insurance company strength
  • Make recommendations and set goals for the next 12 months
  • Create an implementation checklist

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