A few months ago we put together a simple two-sided page that outlines our four primary components of value. Taken together, these four factors comprise the functional and strategic ways that we create value for our clients. Financial planning involves much more than just investment returns. We strongly believe that the more clients, prospective clients and allied referring professionals understand what we do and exactly how we add value, the better. The overlay, of course, is that as a fiduciary advisor, compensated only by our clients, we render objective and client-centered advice, counsel and coaching. We will profile one of these categories today and the other three value components will follow over the coming weeks.
“Quantifying Actionable Goals” is where we not only review portfolio expectations but also, (and even more important), set out priorities and a plausible plan for achieving long-term financial goals. How investments perform on any given day is mostly out of our control; how much you save towards your primary goal is within your control. We try to help clients maintain a focus on controllable inputs and not become distracted by good or bad market noise. We think 25% or more of the value clients receive in exchange for their financial planning and investment management fees traces directly to this category.
Since we will write about the other three components of value in the coming weeks, let’s skip to the bottom the summary to “What We Don’t Do and What Doesn’t Add Value”. Attempting to interpret short-term economic trends is of little value. Timing the market is worse, as that tends to be detrimental to wealth formation. Endlessly searching for the “perfect” or “best” investment is like “fools gold”. Instead, we follow the time-tested approach based on financial market science known as Evidence Based Investing. This overall philosophy of investing is applied universally in our firm, but the particular strategy is entirely personal, always tied to your specific goals. Ready for a real conversation?