Financial Planning FAQ
Financial Planning Frequently Asked Questions
Our wealth management philosophy is based on the idea of designing and building a house. The initial planning stage is the most important. All of the decisions that happen before ground is broken, or before any financial transactions, will determine how satisfied you are with the result. If the house has been carefully and patiently designed the actual construction and subsequent result should deliver few surprises and should wholly contribute to the achievement of your objectives.
All financial plans follow the financial planning process outlined below.
- Preliminary meeting to establish general goals, objectives, investment knowledge & experience and to discuss data gathering process.
- Once all required information has been received we perform an analysis of your total financial situation, noting areas of weakness and ways to work toward your stated goals.
- Meeting to review and confirm information and preliminary findings.
- Development of Efficient Frontier. This begins the portfolio review and design segment. An asset allocation will be derived with particular consideration given to your risk tolerance, time horizon, and required return. This allocation will produce the highest rate of return with the least risk. Retirement assets are included with regular taxable assets when developing your asset allocation.
- Meeting on Asset Allocation to review alternatives and come to agreement on asset allocation strategy. Discuss other issues and revise information if needed.
- Development of Proposed Portfolio with specific investment recommendations corresponding to the asset allocation agreed upon. Proposed portfolio includes Morningstar Risk and Return Ratings if available, dividend yield, dividend frequency, long-term historical performance, projected five-year value assuming reinvestment of capital gains and dividends. Comparison with current portfolio to highlight improved performance; display change in yield, income received, growth as a percent and in dollars, and total return expressed as a percent and in dollars.
- Meeting to review and discuss Proposed Portfolio.
- Preparation of final plan for delivery. May include: current and projected income/expenditures, Statement of Net Worth, Life Insurance Needs Analysis, Retirement Funding Analysis, Retirement Income Analysis, and Estate Planning showing estimated estate tax before and after use of exemption equivalent trusts. The final plan can be as long as 150 pages depending on the level of complexity and detail.
Here is a document that shows the financial plan creation process.
The amount of time depends on how simple or complex your financial situation is, how long it takes you to deliver the required information accurately and completely to our satisfaction, and the number of changes and/or modifications introduced during the planning. A minimum of three months is required generally.
We specialize in securities analysis, portfolio development, and performance monitoring. Georgia Bruggeman has been investing for over 20 years and, in addition to being a CFP, her credentials include an MBA in Finance from Babson College. Georgia has also passed Levels I and II of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. This is a rigorous 3-level program concentrating on investment analysis and portfolio management. Each exam is given once a year and is 6 hours in length. Areas of study include Ethics, Economics, Quantitative Analysis, Derivatives, Equity Valuation, Fixed Income Analysis, Venture Capital, International Investments, and Real Estate.
We are fee-only financial planners. We do not earn any compensation from any of our recommendations. Our financial plan creation fees range from $3,500-$5,000 depending on the complexity of your situation. Ongoing planning starts at 1% for up to $1,000,000 in investment assets and declines above that level. This includes ongoing comprehensive financial planning.
In order to provide the best possible service to each of our clients, we require a minimum investment of $500K. If you can’t meet that minimum, please feel free to contact us and we’ll refer you to another reliable advisor who can help.
Investment recommendations are based on your risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals first and foremost. For mutual funds, we review semi-annual reports showing the schedule of investments and their asset allocation; we also incorporate the Morningstar risk and return rankings. Manager tenure, expense ratios, and turnover are also considered. We generally recommend no-load funds and ETFs.
For individual equities, we use proprietary valuation models. Risk, time horizon, and goals are again considered along with the size of the portfolio when recommending individual stocks. Fundamental and technical research is performed when analyzing stocks.