Investment management without comprehensive financial planning is a bit like trying to build a home without any blueprints. While some may be able to construct a house without plans, the overwhelming majority of people find that planning first, allows them to envision their dream, conduct cost analysis on their prospective new home, and ultimately, save money through efficiency. You might be able to put up four walls and a roof but without solid plans, your dream may not come true.
At Heritage Investors, we believe that the investment management process begins only after a comprehensive financial plan has been constructed. We will review all of your financial information from cash flow and risk management, to investment holdings, ensuring that you’re ready to build on a solid foundation. Only after clearly identifying goals and developing a written plan to make them a reality, do we begin implementation of the techniques needed to garner success, including investment management.
After the initial phone meeting, if we decide that working together is in both of our best interests, we will begin the process. Our Wealth Management consists of two aspects: pre-management and the actual management. Pre-management is used to determine what your goals are, set expectations, and start building your accounts. Management is what takes place after we take control. Our team works tirelessly, building and managing your accounts in accordance with the goals you established in the pre-management process.
The Pre-Management Process
The Pre-Management Process is a series of preliminary steps that must take place before we can begin managing your wealth. During this time, we will get to know each other, identify your goals, set expectations, gather data, and start building your accounts. Only after all that is accomplished, can the management process begin.
In order to better serve you, we have put together a brief illustration of what the Pre-Management Process looks like.
Introductory Phone Meeting
We begin our relationship with an introductory phone meeting that determines what goals you are looking to accomplish and to set expectations. If everyone feels comfortable with the new relationship and we all agree to move forward, the process can officially begin.
The Organizational Process
After the introductory phone meeting, we will have you fill out our profile questionnaire and will request select financial information. We will send you a list of the items we will need which may include investments, tax returns, insurance, budget, etc. Having this information as soon as possible will allow us more time to be able to review and possibly ask you to bring any additional information that might be needed in our goal-identification meeting.
If you have not already filled it out, you might be sent a link to the Riskalyze Risk Assessment website. By performing a risk assessment, we can ensure that your current investments align with your investment goals and expectations, both before beginning work and in the future.
Goal identification is at the heart of financial planning. During this meeting, you will share with us your specific financial goals, we will discuss their feasibility, and quantify how to reach these goals.
Identifying goals is more than just saying, "I want to retire at 65." Our goal-identification meeting is aimed at building clear and defined goals such as, "I want to retire, debt-free, at 65 with an after-tax income of $150,000 a year, the ability to take a major trip twice a year, and buy a car every five years." We want your goals to be specific and intentional so that we can have the clearest target to aim for.
Due to the strategic nature of these and other planning meetings, we do require that all decision-makers attend.
If both parties feel the client/advisor relationship is profitable and worth engagement, we will proceed. Paperwork will be required for us to begin the management process. In order to gain access to your existing accounts, you will need to fill out an Engagement Agreement (fiduciary agreement). This paperwork is required for us to begin the process of opening your new accounts and transferring the funds to them.
The Financial Planning Process
During our plan analysis meeting, we will review and confirm the programing of the planning software, aligning your current position with your future goals and dreams. Only after confirming the correct data with you, will our planning team begin to generate an analysis to determine the precise actions needed to drive your future success.
From here, we open your client portal so you can securely access your accounts and follow along with the entire process from the comfort of your home.
This meeting is your first glimpse at your financial future. We start by showing your outcome if we did not make any adjustments staying on your current path. Often, this trajectory provides an outcome that is less than desirable and adjustments are needed.
The review meeting is where we will generate multiple scenarios, examining their outcomes until we find the approach that achieves your desired results. Your personal planner will have a strong understanding of the direction that you want to go in, from your previous discussions and will make additional adjustments as needed. This process will repeat until we have created a scenario that is perfect for you.
Once everyone has reviewed the direction and identified any opportunities to improve, we will issue written and quantified recommendations.
Heritage Investors can begin implementation now that all parties are in agreement that the recommendations are in the best interest of the client. During the implementation phase, we will often open investment accounts, adjust contributions, refinance debt, begin legal reviews of counsel, and assess risk management topics. Because every individual and business is different, implementation is unique in each case. Implementing the plan could be done in as little as just a few weeks, or it could be a year long process of tactical changes. Regardless, your personal planning team will be with you every step of the way.
After we have completed the implementation phase, we will adjust the data in the financial planning software packages, confirming that you are on course to meet your specific goals. There are instances where we need to repeat the financial planning process. If this is the case, we repeat the cycle at a lower cost point.
Monitor and Review
Often times, life can turn on a dime. What might have been a steady and secure course yesterday, might seem volatile and uncertain today. When this happens, we want to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to accomplish your goals. We want to ensure that you are staying on the path toward your desired goals. That’s why we regularly monitor and review the plans we have agreed upon, measuring them against your current status and projecting them into the future. By planning and staying proactive, you have a better chance of succeeding at reaching those goals than someone who is reactive.
We could hold up to four meetings per year, depending on your specific needs and service. However, it has been our experience that after the initial planning, adjustments, and implementation is complete, there comes a time in our relationship where our clients prefer to meet with us about twice per year. We also have clients who request phone meetings as possible strategy-changing issues arise. Whatever your needs, the CFPs at Heritage Investors are here to continue helping you along the way to your financial goals.
As with other reporting meetings, we request that all decision-makers attend.
Just one of the many ways we feel your trust is gained is by being 100% transparent about the fee structures. Click to learn about the Heritage Investors' Financial Planning fee structure.