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Our Approach

Financial Planning Process

We use a six-step process in working with our clients:

Learning About You
The first thing we do is personally get to know you. We start the process with something called the "values conversation." This helps us determine what is really important to you. Once we have a good understanding of who you are, what matters most in your life, and how we might be able to help, we can then move on to the other steps that will reveal the best possible solution from the many available choices.

Evaluating Your Needs and Objectives
Here we will focus on the things you would like to accomplish financially with your available resources, and over what period of time. We look at your present situation and take an inventory all of your current investments. By comparing their performance with the corresponding benchmark, we can evaluate what may or may not be working and the possible reasons why. 

Identifying Your Tolerance for Risk
Every investment carries risk along with the potential for reward. Determining the amount of risk that you can tolerate is sometimes trickier than it may seem at first. Often, an investor may perceive him or herself to be more risk tolerant, until a downturn causes a lot more concern than they had expected. Through careful questioning, we will determine whether you are more conservative, moderate, or aggressive. From this information we can design a more personalized course of action.

Determining Your Asset Allocation
Once we have identified your time horizon and risk profile, we then select the best mix of assets (cash or cash equivalents, equities, and fixed income investments) designed to help you achieve your investment objectives. A landmark study published in 2001* confirmed that more than 90% of the variation in portfolio return is explained by asset allocation decisions. It is the asset allocation that makes the difference in the long-term, not the selection of individual stocks or bonds that drives portfolio performance.
*Asset allocation does not guarantee against profit or loss

Implementing Your Portfolio
We will design and implement your investment portfolio based on your model asset allocation. Your portfolio may include individual securities, exchange traded funds, mutual funds, and other investments that are appropriate given your specific situation.

Monitoring, Reporting, and Rebalancing
Our services includes monitoring your investment portfolio, providing you with quarterly performance reports, and periodic review meetings. Because all of your investments will not perform exactly the same, we will rebalance your portfolio from time to time. This involves reallocating investments that have outperformed the market to other investments in the portfolio that have underperformed the market. This ongoing rebalancing process helps the portfolio to stay aligned with your model asset allocation.

* Roger G. Ibbotson and Paul D. Kaplan, Does Asset Allocation Policy Explain 40%, 90%, or 100% of Performance?, The Financial Analysts Journal, January/February 2000