Our financial planning process consists of the following six distinct steps. When it’s comprehensive financial planning guidance you want, these are the steps that we use to guide us through the process together. When we take on new clients, we refer to a “homework” list that outlines the documentation required for our initial meeting together. This approach sets financial planners apart from other financial advisors who may have been trained to focus only on one aspect of your finances.
1. Establish the client—planner engagement
- Explain issues and concepts related to the overall financial planning process that are appropriate to you.
- Explain the services Hatch & Muir will provide and our process of planning and documentation.
- Clarify your responsibilities as a client.
- Clarify our responsibilities as your planner. This will include a discussion about how and by whom we will be compensated.
- Discuss the scope of the client/firm engagement.
- Agree on how decisions will be made.
- Sign a letter of engagement
- Obtain information about your financial resources and obligations through interviews and/or questionnaires.
- Gather all the necessary documents before giving you the advice you need.
2. Gather client data and determine your goals and expectations
- Define your personal and financial goals, needs, and priorities.
- Investigate your values, preferences, financial outlook, and desired results as they relate to your financial goals, needs, and priorities.
3. Clarify your present financial status and identify any problem areas and opportunities
- Analyze the information you provide to assess your current situation (cash flow, net worth, tax projections, etc.).
- Identify any problem areas or opportunities with respect to your:
- Capital needs
- Risk management needs and coverage
- Retirement planning
- Employee benefits
- Estate planning
- Severance issues
- Special needs (ie. adult dependent needs, education needs, etc.)
- Develop and prepare a financial plan tailored to meet your goals and objectives, values, temperment, and risk tolerance, while providing projections and recommendations.
- Present the plan to you and establish an appropriate review cycle.
4. Develop and present the financial plan
- Work together to ensure that the plan meets your goals and objectives.
5. Implement your financial plan
- Assist you in implementing the recommendations discussed. This may involve coordinating contacts with other professionals such as accountants, bankers, lawyers, mortgage brokers, trust officers, and realtors.
6. Monitor the financial plan
- Contact you to review the progress of the plan periodically and make adjustments to the recommendations required to help you achieve your goals.
- Discuss any changes in your personal circumstances and how they might affect your goals.
- Review and evaluate the impact of changing tax laws and economic circumstances.
- Review of your life circumstances and adjust the recommendations if needed as those circumstances change through life events such as birth, illness, marriage, divorce, retirement, job loss, etc.