Let’s Define “Planning”

August 22, 2018

In working with clients for almost 11 years and creating financial plans for almost 100 clients, I’ve learned throughout the years that it’s not the amount of money that one accumulates but what one does with the money to fulfill the life they desire for themselves and those that they love.

My goal is not to make clients rich but rather wealthy. What’s the difference?

I define “rich” as an absolute, quantifiable number. The number itself may be arbitrary, but it’s still just a number, and I firmly believe that any client relationship that is absolutely tied only with the goal of ascending one’s portfolio based on a comparative analysis to the market or getting to a specific dollar amount is neither a financial goal nor the value that we strive to deliver to clients.

That’s not to say that the rate of return and growth of capital isn’t important—it is absolutely a core service that we provide and is something that could stand on its own. I’m proud of the investment philosophy that we use here at the firm and the approach we take to grow our clients’ portfolios. The data that drives the structure of our portfolios is some of the most in-depth, complete, and rigorously tested academic research that has ever been done on capital markets—with regards to both equity (stock) and fixed income (bond) and the performance of our firm’s model portfolios speak for themselves.

On the other hand, I define wealth as living a life filled with joy and happiness that is supported by the financial pillars of your plan: cash flow, investments, tax strategy, and risk management. The intersection between the two worlds of your financial circumstances and your desires in life (both now AND later) is squarely where I strive to serve clients as it relates to true wealth planning.

A quote that I came across recently from entrepreneur and speaker Jim Rohn that really resonated with me stated “If you don’t design your own life’s plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Plan your life. Live your plan. A financial plan is extinct the moment you print the PDF and walk out of the office. The combined art and science of financial plannING (and life planning), though, is a living, dynamic, proactive, and engaging process.

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