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Changing lives: Where’s your financial compass pointed?

You would never build a house without a blueprint. Just the process of putting a blueprint together from scratch, going back and forth over details, site use, and wall placement gets you closer to the dream home you want. With the blueprint in hand, the ordering can begin – boards, bricks, and faucets, everything according to the blueprint. Tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, drywallers) can get busy building and using the details of the blueprint to raise your house and make it a home.

The same process happens in building a financial plan. You’ll go back and forth with an advisor you’ve hand-selected until you’ve built a comprehensive financial plan, one filled with recommendations built around your vision, values, goals, observations and a blueprint for achieving financial goals.

Once designed, this blueprint becomes a guide for yourself and the advisors you trust to manage your wealth. The blueprint lays out all your chess pieces so that moving forward, you’ll be able to make better financial decisions based on where you are and where you are going. You’ll know the answers to critical questions like how much money you’ll need to save for retirement and be able to track progress to your goals.

What’s more, your blueprint is portable. When you hand it out CPAs and attorneys, insurance companies and investment advisors, they can similarly rely on the plan to know how much insurance you’ll need to buy, the optimal stock mix for growing your wealth, and how best to structure your estate.

Setting course

Everyone should have a financial plan, yet one in three Americans haven’t taken any steps to secure one. According to a 2015 Harris Poll, two in five Americans have not “spoken to anyone,” friends and family included, about retirement planning; one in five Americans aren’t confident they’ll be able to reach their financial goals.

Among those that have taken steps to set their financial course, a financial plan gives them confidence and clarity about where they are and where they are going. We see it every day at Wambolt & Associates; as soon as clients get their custom financial plan in their hands, it changes the trajectory of their lives. We see it in their faces, they know where they’re going and how to get there. They know they can turn to their blueprint to help them make better financial decisions.

A financial plan is as important to the advisor as it is to the client. Your financial advisor must see what you look like financially to know how to guide you forward. Your goals and objectives, what you own, a balance sheet, social security benefits, expected pension and more are the chess pieces of your financial profile that your advisor needs to factor in to help guide your hand in the best move forward. A financial advisor shouldn’t be giving you advice until they know what you look like from a financial perspective.

It begins with you

We don’t build your financial plan around investment vehicles; we build your plan around you. As a Registered Independent Advisor, we consider your entire financial picture, including all assets and liabilities that exist. Because all financial decisions have tax and legal implications, we’ll take those aspects into account as well as we build out your financial plan.

The financial plan itself isn’t the end-goal. It’s the beginning of a wealth management journey that changes the trajectory of peoples’ lives in positive ways.

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Begin the journey

It takes a personal commitment and willingness to start the process of financial planning. The questions we ask you, the client, and the questions you ask yourself will take you on a personal journey of what you have, what you need and how to get there. This may entail a hard look at personal habits and discipline, whether in the daily financial choices we make or the bigger decision to sit tight during periods of market volatility.

Your financial plan will incorporate projections to keep you on track to reaching the lifestyle and financial goals you have for yourself and your family. We analyze how much you have today and what you can expect at retirement, taking into account inflation, growth and life events. We’ll take a deep dive into relevant areas that might include:

  • Asset allocations
  • Retirement income, distributions, forecasts and timing
  • Children’s education
  • Insurance and savings concepts
  • Survivor income
  • Long-term care
  • Disability income
  • Estate planning and liquidity

We’ll wrap up your plan with initial recommendations and options to get you started strong and continue to partner with you as your wealth grows.

Build and protect

Once your comprehensive financial plan is prepared, we switch gears to wealth management, applying a holistic approach to executing and managing the financial, tax and legal aspects of your blueprint.

It is our fiduciary responsibility to monitor your portfolio and always do what’s right for you. We leverage technology to monitor your portfolio and rebalance portfolios, keeping an eye on performance and forecasts to anticipate changes that could impact the trajectory of your financial life.

Ongoing check-ups with you will provide us the opportunity to review current accounts across your wealth portfolio, whether held at Wambolt or elsewhere, and assess investment performance and risk, life events and goals, and cash flow needs, making necessary adjustments as we go.

Every step of the way, we’ll be there helping to keep your finances on track and wealth protected. And it all begins with a financial plan.

Contact us to get started now.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash