What is Financial Planning?

Brian Cotroneo

Looking back at last week’s post, I received several reactions to the key takeaway of “craft a plan of action that you are comfortable with and gives you confidence to arrive at your financial milestones prepared, ready, and excited.”  The most interesting was an inquiry from a friend of mine – could I explain what a comprehensive plan looked like and the steps involved in creating it?

Answer – of course I can!  Financial Planning can take on several different forms, but it always boils down to a few key elements: a collaborative process between Advisor and Client that enhances the ability to accomplish financial goals.  The process, goals, and actions towards accomplishment are unique to each Advisor and Client relationship – as they should be for any personalized plan.

At ACP we use the Aviance Wealthplan™ – a trademarked process based on industry best practices and decades of shared experience.  The full details of the Aviance Wealthplan™ can be found on our website (www.aviancecapitalpartners.com ), with a summary of the major steps below.

  1. Establish the Client/Planner Relationship: Every relationship begins with a conversation, and our planning relationships are no different. We spend time getting to know you and your family.  We’ll also share what makes us special as a firm and our shared responsibilities in working together.
  2. Gather Data & Set Goals: To know where you are going and how to get there, we need to understand where you are. We’ll share relevant financial information, talk about goals, describe aspirations, and lay out commitments.
  3. Analyze & Evaluate: This is where we crunch the numbers.  Our Planning and Investment teams will use sophisticated financial technology to understand your goals in relation to your current circumstances by identifying opportunities and risks.
  4. Planning Recommendations & Alternatives: Our Planners will present a recommended course of action as well as possible alternatives.  We’ll discuss potential investments, probabilities of success, revisions of goals, and any additional analysis that may be required.  Clients will complete this step with a comprehensive financial plan they are comfortable with and excited about.
  5. Implementation: We’ll have final conversations about recommendations & compensation, then put the plan into action.  Depending on the level of support desired, you can implement your own recommendations, or the planner can implement them on your behalf.
  6. Monitoring: We will monitor the effects of the plan and provide clients with frequent updates.  As circumstances change, so will the plan – evaluating performance together multiple times a year and determining if modifications need to be made.  We’ll stay in touch, so you always feel supported and any questions are answered promptly.

 If you have questions the most important thing you can do is talk with someone to help you answer them.  The first step to any relationship is a conversation, and we’d love to have one with you.