We operate on simplicity. Your financial plan can usually fit on one page. Execution on action steps is what matters most. Not having a big binder of material that gets reviewed once and sits on a shelf.
As the saying goes, "we stand on the shoulders of giants". There's no need to try and reinvent. What we want to do is provide you with a efficient and effective way to better manage your financial life.
We share a money philosophy with Morgan Housel's "The Psychology Of Money", and it has found its way into the ethos of our firm and the way we advise others.
When it comes to the financial action steps, we've put together what we think are 12 sound principles, in chronological order of importance.
12 Steps To Financial Mission Success
1. Live on less than you earn. This is rule #1. Full stop. Nothing can happen beyond this until it’s upheld through lifestyle and budgeting.
2. Make sure you have enough insurance coverage for all needs.
3. Make sure you can cover basic deductibles.
4. Set aside the first 1 month of emergency cash reserves, while making minimum payments to high-interest debt.
5. Max out your employer match. You won’t get the opportunity again for this “free” money.
6. Continue setting aside cash reserves until you reach 3-6 months, depending on the career you’re in and how long you would anticipate needing to find a replacement position.
7. Increase the amount you are paying toward your high-interest debt, and accelerate payoff.
8. Max out your Roth IRA and HSA contributions.
9. Shift focus to hyper-accumulation of wealth - this can be done through maxing your 401k to create a mega-backdoor Roth scenario, and can also include using life insurance for wealth building and intergenerational wealth transfer.
10. Focus on prepaid future expenses, such as college planning.
11. Focus on paying off low-interest debt, such as your student loans and primary mortgage.
12. Diversify into other “real” assets, or fund a future business.
How much of your money do you want going toward the categories of life spending, taxes, and legacy?
Services We Provide
This may involve developing an asset allocation strategy to meet Clients’ financial goals and risk tolerance, providing information on investment vehicles and strategies, reviewing employee stock options, as well as assisting you in establishing your own investment account at a selected broker/dealer or custodian. The strategies and types of investments we may recommend are further discussed in Item 8 of this brochure.
Tax Planning Strategies
Advice may include ways to minimize current and future income taxes as a part of your overall financial planning picture. For example, we may make recommendations on which type of account(s) or specific investments should be owned based in part on their “tax efficiency,” with the consideration that there is always a possibility of future changes to federal, state or local tax laws and rates that may impact your situation.
We provide consulting services for Clients who currently operate their own business, are considering starting a business, or are planning for an exit from their current business. Under this type of engagement, we work with you to assess your current situation, identify your objectives, and develop a plan aimed at achieving your goals.
We will help Clients identify financial goals and develop a plan to reach them. We will identify what you plan to accomplish, what resources you will need to make it happen, how much time you will need to reach the goal, and how much you should budget for your goal.
Employee Benefits Optimization
We will provide review and analysis as to whether you, as an employee, are taking the maximum advantage possible of your employee benefits. If you are a business owner, we will consider and/or recommend the various benefit programs that can be structured to meet both business and personal retirement goals.
A risk management review includes an analysis of your exposure to major risks that could have a significant adverse impact on your financial picture, such as premature death, disability, property and casualty losses, or the need for long‐term care planning. Advice may be provided on ways to minimize such risks and about weighing the costs of purchasing insurance versus the benefits of doing so and, likewise, the potential cost of not purchasing insurance (“self‐insuring”).
Review of existing policies to ensure proper coverage for life, health, disability, long-term care, liability, home, and automobile. Construction of financial plans that may include advanced insurance planning including life, annuity, life for retirement planning, intergenerational wealth planning, etc.
Includes projecting the amount that will be needed to achieve college or other post-secondary education funding goals, along with advice on ways for you to save the desired amount. Recommendations as to savings strategies are included, and, if needed, we will review your financial picture as it relates to eligibility for financial aid or the best way to contribute to grandchildren (if appropriate).
Our retirement planning services typically include projections of your likelihood of achieving your financial goals, typically focusing on financial independence as the primary objective. For situations where projections show less than the desired results, we may make recommendations, including those that may impact the original projections by adjusting certain variables (e.g., working longer, saving more, spending less, taking more risk with investments). If you are near retirement or already retired, advice may be given on appropriate distribution strategies to minimize the likelihood of running out of money or having to adversely alter spending during your retirement years.
Cash Flow and Debt Management
We will conduct a review of your income and expenses to determine your current surplus or deficit along with advice on prioritizing how any surplus should be used or how to reduce expenses if they exceed your income. Advice may also be provided on which debts to pay off first based on factors such as the interest rate of the debt and any income tax ramifications. We may also recommend what we believe to be an appropriate cash reserve that should be considered for emergencies and other financial goals, along with a review of accounts (such as money market funds) for such reserves, plus strategies to save desired amounts.
This usually includes an analysis of your exposure to estate taxes and your current estate plan, which may include whether you have a will, powers of attorney, trusts, and other related documents. Our advice also typically includes ways for you to minimize or avoid future estate taxes by implementing appropriate estate planning strategies such as the use of applicable trusts. We always recommend that you consult with a qualified attorney when you initiate, update, or complete estate planning activities. We may provide you with contact information for attorneys who specialize in estate planning when you wish to hire an attorney for such purposes. From time-to-time, we will participate in meetings or phone calls between you and your attorney with your approval or request
Intergenerational Wealth Planning
A comprehensive analysis of assets, tax strategies, advanced insurance planning, legacy planning, and your vision for what you want to leave to future generations.