Building wealth is a skill that some people master and others never do. Although a good salary certainly helps, there are many lower income people who have built a good nest egg, while other high income earners have declared bankruptcy. An important element is living within one’s income. Another is minimizing risk. A third is saving and earning a return on those savings.
Wealth Management and Wealth Advice are combinations of financial planning and investment assistance. Having a financial goal, and setting a course to meet it, allows a person to make day-to-day decisions that are consistent with their long-term objectives. Knowing whether a purchase is affordable or should be scaled back or delayed reduces the adverse effect of unnecessary credit interest. Knowing how to measure risk and how much risk is reasonable for a person’s age and financial position helps a person to earn a good return while avoiding investment and other financial debacles.
A planning and investment relationship with LFM&P helps clients keep their financial focus sharp and their investment strategy working in a manner which remains consistent with their long term goals. Wealth Management and Wealth Advice clients are equipped to make good financial decisions, or if they encounter a situation for which they are unprepared, LFM&P will be available to analyze the issues and help them think them through.
During the financial planning process we meet with the client to get to know each client's financial situation and desired direction. We often ask many questions to clarify information that has been provided, and to sometimes stimulate clients to consider issues and details that they have not yet addressed.
We use the information and answers provided to construct a model, which projects what the client's financial future may look like based on the ideas discussed as well as reasonable assumptions about the future. The projection includes expected income and expenses, cash flow, taxes, and wealth, and is projected for every year for the duration of the planning period.
While analyzing the information, discussing questions and building the projection, certain issues will stand out as areas where action is necessary or improvements can be made. These areas will be the subject of specific recommendations. Relevant areas that may be reviewed include:
The planning model is subjected to several different hypothetical expense or income levels to see how sensitive the results are to variations in spending or income. The model uses investment returns based on today’s market values – not generic averages – and is also “stress tested” to see how clients’ objectives are likely to fare in a poor investment environment. The client can use the results of the model and sensitivity analysis to adopt a mental framework to guide their long-term and day-to-day financial decisions. The model and the plan are updated when objectives or conditions change.
LFM&P’s Wealth Advisor and Wealth Management relationships combine financial planning with investment advice or investment management. Making investments productive is often an important part of executing a financial plan. It is easy to fall into the habit of watching the pennies in a budget carefully, but ignoring the dollars in an investment portfolio or retirement plan. Because planning and investment services are closely related, LFM&P provides both, and the lower fee service is provided without additional charge.
We recognize that the market's results cannot be predicted with any more accuracy than any other outcomes that depend on human emotions and decisions. That does not mean though that there is no point in selecting strong investments or managing risk. We have developed and follow non-emotional, rules-based strategies which seek to do both - recognize and manage strength and impending risk.
The foundation of both Wealth Advisor and Wealth Management is our active MarketAwareSM approach, which couples risk-management with identification of investment opportunities that we believe are likely to be stronger than others. Our services and recommendations are based on each client individually. We do not use "model" portfolios, or farm out the management process to others. We typically use Exchange Traded Funds, no-load mutual funds, or work with the selections available in your 401(k).
In a Wealth Management relationship, you give authority for us to make changes on your behalf without case-by-case approval. LFM&P manages your portfolio by reviewing it continuously and makes appropriate adjustments as needed. This approach allows a faster reaction time, and keeps your portfolio always "tuned up", with intention of being ready to take advantage of opportunities or reduce risk when necessary. Your money is held in an account in your name by a broker/custodian, not by LFM&P.
In a Wealth Advisor relationship, LFM&P monitors your portfolio and may recommend changes in your allocation periodically, typically every three to six months, based on measured performance and market conditions. This approach may be customized for your individual 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan. In this arrangement, LFM&P does not make adjustments without your approval. If an employer plan does not allow advisor access, you enter the advised reallocation transactions into the employer system and keep us updated on the changes you have made.