Six Steps to a Financial Plan

CFP BoardOur financial planning process follows the CFP® Board Model.

1. First Complimentary Meeting

During our first complimentary meeting, we will discuss your needs and expectations to determine if we are in a position to help you. We explain the scope of our services and the methods of compensation that are most appropriate for your needs, along with an estimate of the preparation fee for your plan. If you decide to move forward, together we will define the scope of our work and identify your responsibilities and ours.

2. Second Meeting: Gathering Data, Determining Goals and Expectations

During our second meeting, we will help you identify your personal and financial goals and your time horizon for each goal. We will learn about your risk tolerance, your knowledge about financial matters, and your predisposition towards certain financial products. You will provide the hard data we need to begin the planning process, such as questionnaires, tax information, and various financial statements.

3. Analysis and Evaluation

After the second meeting, we analyze and evaluate your current financial situation and prepare projections by considering the following:

  • personal balance sheet
  • cash flow statement
  • debt situation
  • estate planning situation
  • education funding,
  • retirement plans
  • employee benefits
  • current investments
  • income tax considerations
  • current asset allocation
  • asset protection strategies

4. Third Meeting: Recommendations and Alternatives

After analyzing your situation, we prepare and document our recommendations. Then we meet to confirm the assumptions we’ve used and present our recommendations and alternatives. During this and any subsequent meetings, we:

  • thoroughly examine the plan
  • listen to your input
  • revise our recommendations, if necessary
  • prioritize the action items
  • get your agreement on the plan

5. Implement the Plan

Now it’s time to create an implementation plan with a timeline and begin to implement the recommendations we’ve agreed upon. We coordinate with you and any other professionals we need to consult with.

6. Monitor the Plan

Once the plan is in place, we monitor how it’s performing as time goes by, and we check the progress made towards your goals. We will discuss with you any changes in your personal situation, and evaluate the effects of any external changes in the legal, tax, and economic environments. This information is used to make adjustments to your plan if necessary.