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Every clients unique goals and objectives require a unique solution and a unique process. Investment planning should be carefully calculated to meet the preferences of each investor. We have several standard processes and planning techniques that could be applicable to your family’s unique goals, but every plan we build is carefully selected and uniquely built. Generally speaking our practice utilizes several planning processes that we are about to explain further.
Goals Based Planning
The real world is often unpredictable, but as we start the financial planning process we have found that an accurate and simple written budget accompanied by a list of ideas can shape a plan more than anything else. To help our clients realize where their money goes and to help build their financial plan we partner with E-money and Money Guide Pro. This allows our clients to keep track of every expense digitally, integrate all their investments, and finally to build a unique and stress tested financial plan. We believe it is necessary to use hard data as the backbone of our financial planning process as dreams in this case need to meet with reality.
When markets are up many investors take more risk and invest more money in riskier asset classes and when markets are down many investors try to reduce riskier assets. History has shown that investment behavior often leads to lower returns than many investors should experience based on the asset classes they own. We use Monte Carlo analysis and several other tools to determine what classes and how much of each asset class is appropriate for our portfolios. Through the financial planning process we attempt to help build the ideal portfolio for each family we get the opportunity to work with based on these sophisticated financial tools.
Rebalancing back to the Plan
As investments change and markets rise or fall the risk plan put into place originally can move away from the desired goal and allocations can drift far away from the original plan. As part of our ongoing active investment approach we will move our investments back to their original target regularly based on each investor’s unique financial plan. For example, if you had a 50% stock and 50% bond portfolio and a market rise led to a 60% stock and 40% bond portfolio we would then move back to a 50% stock 50% bond portfolio to keep our plan in balance. Rebalancing investments may sound simple and boring, but it is steps like these that can serve investors well over the long-term.
Adjust and Adapt
Unfortunately, past performance does not guarantee future returns. Experience teaches us that although history does not exactly repeat itself oftentimes; outcomes to significant decisions can be improved by using lessons of the past to make future decisions. Investment planning is vital in our experience but adapting to a changing environment is necessary for every investor and frankly is a required life skill. We believe that you must consistently re-evaluate your financial plan based on what changes life brings, and we meet with our clients regularly to adjust and to adapt to our ever changing world.