A financial plan is a document that details a person’s current financial circumstances and their short- and long-term monetary goals. It includes strategies to work toward achieving those goals and can improve your understanding of your financial circumstances. It clarifies the actions required of you to work toward achieving your various financial goals and can help you to establish and plan for fundamental needs, such as managing life's risks (e.g., those involving health or disability), income and spending, and debt reduction. The plan should be comprehensive and highly customized. Having one enhances the probability that you'll work toward your financial milestones and overall financial success and can help keep you out of financial trouble and help to reduce the stress and worry you may have experienced in the past. A solid financial plan provides guidance over time and serves as a way to track progress toward your goals.
In many respects, the financial planning component of professional advice is the leading source of advisor alpha—it establishes the framework for each subsequent fiduciary decision, in advisory relationships, made by the advisor and client. A strong bond with the client, based on confidence and transparency, is the cornerstone of working toward achieving client objectives. A relationship founded on collaboration makes the client more willing to share extensive personal information about finances, attitudes toward money and investing, financial objectives, and life goals. The client depends on the advisor to deliver a holistic financial plan.
We can subdivide further the financial planning portion of the wealth management process into the following distinct areas of the advisory relationship: risk tolerance assessment; tax advice; insurance; retirement; and estate planning. Each of these plays integral roles in the process, and can help to maximize generational wealth transfer.
When it comes to financial planning, everyone's life and needs are unique. However, we have found that most people fall under one of four planning models based on the complexity of their financial situation.
$50K - $500K Net Worth or less than $250K Household Income
$500K - $2M Net Worth or greater than $250K Household Income
High Net Worth
$2M - $10M Net Worth or greater than $400K Household Income
Ultra High Net Worth
Greater than $10M Net Worth