Over the past decade you've seen a lot of firms add the phrase "Wealth Management" to their brochures and websites. When you look to define the term financial planning, a lot of thoughts come to mind. But the definition that fits best for our firm is "the management of resources, both financial and personal, through changing environments and situations in order to guide a person, family or entity toward accomplishing their life goals and objectives."
To us, advertising "Wealth Management" services should not be some marketing gimmick to get clients in the door. Our team at Complete Financial Services strongly believes in developing meaningful relationships with our clients so that we are viewed as Trusted Advisors, rather than just accountants. This is why we have a separate division of our firm, called Armor Wealth Group- completely devoted to resolving any and all financial advising needs- from Insurance services to complete Investment Management and Retirement Planning services, our partners have you covered!
Our team will provide comprehensive financial planning according to our six-step process outlined below:
- Establish and define the client-planner relationship. The financial planner should clearly explain and document the services that they will provide to their client, defining both their responsibilities and the client's during the financial planning engagement. The financial planner should explain fully how they will be paid and by whom. The client and the planner should agree on how long the professional relationship should last and on how decisions will be made.
- Gather client data, including goals. The financial planner should ask for information about the client's financial situation. The client and the planner should mutually define the client's personal and financial goals, understand the client's time frame for results and discuss, if relevant, how the client feels about risk. The financial planner should gather all the necessary documents before giving the client the advice they need.
- Analyze and evaluate the client's financial status. The financial planner should analyze the client's information to assess their current situation and determine what the client must do to pursue their goals. Depending on what services the client has asked for, this could include analyzing assets, liabilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments, or tax strategies.
- Develop and present financial planning recommendations and/or alternatives. The financial planner should offer financial planning recommendations that address the client's goals, based on the information they provide. The planner should go over the recommendations with the client to help them understand them so that they can make informed decisions. The planner should also listen to the client's concerns and revise the recommendations as appropriate.
- Implement the financial planning recommendations. The client and the financial planner should agree on how the recommendations will be carried out. The planner may carry out the recommendations or serve as a coach, coordinating the process with the client and other professionals such as attorneys, accountants or stockbrokers.
- Monitor the financial planning recommendations. The client and the financial planner should agree on who will monitor progress towards the client's goals. If the planner is in charge of the process, they should report to the client periodically to review their situation and adjust the recommendations, if needed, as the client's life changes.
The distinction between financial planning services and wealth management, in my opinion, happens in Step Six. Step Six is the monitoring of the recommendations and the overall financial situation to see that everything still makes sense. I've noticed many financial planners seem to relax a bit here; we do not! Both our Accounting division and our Financial Advising division operates with the intent of always being viewed as Trusted Advisors. With this in mind, it is always our goal to make sure that we are monitoring your fiscal situation on a continuous basis to the best of our ability to ensure that you feel secure!
Contact us today to find out why Complete Financial Services is the right partnership for you!