Retirement Planning is about more than just Cash-flow and Investment Planning, Tax-Planning, and Social Security Optimization: done properly, it is integrated into Comprehensive Financial Life Planning. We provide oversight, guidance, transparency and coordination. We do not directly manage money, as that would be a serious conflict of interest for a Fee-only, Advice-only, Financial Life Planner.
We provide coordination and oversight for your whole financial life. Employee benefits, taxes, insurance, investments, real estate, legal, education funding, credit, debt, and cash-flow all need to be coordinated by a collaborative, proactive professional.
The last part of that coordination and oversight, is making sure your financial planning process continues to work for you after you die, through proper legacy and estate planning.
What you get: careful advice, less stress, proactive opportunities, security in spending, age appropriate assistance, and more time to spend the way you choose.
We have a conversation with you, and then do the research to find the right answers and advice for questions like:
- What can I do to make sure I don’t run out of money?
- Which accounts and funds should I start using first?
- When should I begin Social Security? Is there a way to maximize my benefits?
- Should I downsize my home, renovate to age in place, or consider renting?
- Can I afford to purchase a house near my grandchildren?
- What are the best assets to leave to our children?
- Can I afford to help my financially struggling children?
- How can I make sure my children become financially literate?
- If I die before my spouse, who can I trust to help them?
- Do I still need to keep all my current insurance policies?
- What do I do, now that I have all this time?
Our Investment Philosophy; one liners.
- Each client has a different tolerance, capacity, and need for risk; and it is different for every goal.
- Asset allocation matters far more than “picking the right” investment.
- Fees and extra cost can easily eat up most of your returns.
- High advisor fees counteract the use of low-cost investments.
- Taxes from day-trading behavior, usually eats up all the profits.
- Chasing yield, like dogs chasing cars, can get you run over.
- Passive investing beats active investing nearly every time.
- One has to have a perspective that is as longer than the cycle.
- We all have cognitive biases and blind-spots, so collaboration is critical.
- Time reduces risk and covers a multitude of “sins”
There is an old saying I love… One must first be concerned with the return of your money, and only then, the return on your money. We are sometimes our own worst enemies, no place is that more true than when it comes to investing. Humans are emotional investors… fear and greed effect us far more that we normally realize.
We believe that the facts and your feelings both matter, both need to be respected. We will create an Statement of Financial Purpose (also know as a Investment Policy Statement); a “why” you are investing.
We mold it with your values, goals, and timelines.
Then we find the right strategies, allocations, and vehicles to invest toward your goals. Only then, do we start looking at the tactics of specific funds and investment vehicles to get you where you need to go.
Wealth Management & Risk Management. There are many types of risk; Perceived Risk, Market Risk, Technical Risk, Real Risk, Liquidity Risk, Operational Risk, Legal Risk, Credit Risk, and so on.
Wait… what does all that mean?
If we can boil it all down, there is the objective risk (that is really there). Then there is perceived risk, what you see and feel might be there. The problem is, it can be hard to clearly see the difference between them. Especially when it is our risk.
Example: Most people are very scared of sharks, but very few people are killed by sharks
Less than 1 a year. Most people are not afraid of deer, and yet they are a hazard that kills 125+ people a year.
There is also a big difference in perceived risk for people when everything is going good, and the perceived risk when everything is going bad. You can think of it as the difference between what someone thinks they can lose and be “ok”, and what actually keeps them up at night when they think they have lost it.
We help you figure out your actual risk tolerance. Then we help you align your goals and perceived risk, with the minimum risk you need (to get where you want to go).
Further Reading, for those interested in behavioral investing and economics:
The Winner’s Curse, Richard H. Thaler
How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life, Thomas Gilovich
Irrational Exuberance, Robert J. Shiller’s
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, Dan Ariely
Art of Contrary Thinking, Humphrey Neill
The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street, Justin Fox
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood, James Gleick
Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, Frank Partnoy
Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds, Andrew Tobias