Successful individuals have high expectations. We find that managing their finances and portfolios rarely follows standard or software-generated models.
Because every client is unique, each financial plan is tailored to his or her unique circumstances. Portfolios are custom built for each client, with the focus on long-term performance and meeting personal objectives that include making investments as efficient as possible. Although this approach may be more time-consuming for us, experience shows there is no substitute.
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1 Discovery Process
Once we have agreed to work together, we hold additional meetings to develop specific objectives. Through interviews and meetings, we finalize the client’s written Financial Objectives Statement, reviewing and challenging it together to ensure it is both correct and complete.
We review the client’s financial data in order to understand the current situation. This includes any brokerage or bank statements, insurance policies, and existing estate plans.
To help with portfolio design, we will ask many questions regarding risk and engage in a thorough discussion to address two separate components of risk – risk tolerance, or how one feels about risk, and risk capacity, which is one’s financial ability to handle losses without adversely affecting future goals and living standards. We strongly believe that a complete, two-way conversation – not a standard multiple-choice-questionnaire approach – helps us understand how to serve our clients best.
Time frame: One or two meetings over three weeks
Client Provided Information: Bank and brokerage statements, insurance policies, estate planning documents
Outcome: Financial Objectives Statement that will drive the portfolio design
2 Strategy Development
After completion of the Discovery Process, our professionals draft an Investment Strategy and Policy Statement. This document captures:
- The client’s financial objectives,
- A summary of his or her current financial situation,
- An overall strategy that states in broad terms our recommendations for meeting the client’s objectives,
- Specific strategies that give detailed guidance on how objectives should be achieved,
- A prioritized list of financial planning needs, and
- An asset allocation for investments, based on the client’s objectives, risk tolerance and risk capacity.
The document will be reviewed together, and any changes will be incorporated before it is finalized.
An Investment Strategy and Policy Statement is a living document that will change as the client’s situation and goals change. However, this is a process that is accomplished slowly and deliberately. Any significant deviation from the Investment Strategy and Policy Statement should be discussed, and addressed if necessary.
Time frame: Two weeks
Outcome: Investment Strategy and Policy Statement
3 Portfolio Design & Implementation
Once we agree on the Investment Strategy and Policy Statement, we will develop a proposal for an investment portfolio designed to meet the client’s objectives. This process typically takes two weeks.
We can manage assets at virtually any institution. We typically manage all of our clients assets as a unified portfolio, and our focus is on total return, regardless of where assets are held.
Time frame: Two to four weeks
Outcome: Portfolio plan designed to meet your objectives
4 Wealth Management Implementation
Financial plans should not be so voluminous that they are never implemented.
We believe implementation is crucial. During the Investment Strategy and Policy Statement drafting, we prioritize each client’s financial planning needs based on his or her situation. We work with each client to complete each financial planning objective. We also work closely with our clients’ other professional advisors as needed – legal or accounting professionals, for example. We stay actively involved to help make sure every part of the client’s financial plan is executed completely and appropriately.
5 Ongoing Management
We believe in consistent and comprehensive communication with our clients. We meet with them regularly for reviews. We call our clients when urgent matters require prompt attention. Our high staff-to-client ratio enables us to provide our clients with the highest level of personal contact.
Interested in learning more?
Read our article on becoming a client
Happiness is not in the mere possession of money;
it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt