Building A Long-Term Strategy To Achieve Your Dreams
Financial Planning is the foundation of wealth-building. It is so important, in fact, that every Strait & Sound client receives their own unique financial plan, customized to their long-term goals. At Strait & Sound, we believe Financial Planning is an essential strategy for achieving complete financial independence – a top goal for nearly all of our clients. Given their importance, we’d like to take a few moments to explain how we develop and use financial plans.
Financial planners often build a plan, hand it to a client and recommend that they implement it. Building a plan is an important first step to financial planning, but it’s really not the complete picture. A financial plan represents the most accurate information and the best set of assumptions and projections that can be made at a moment in time. But as the old saying holds, time changes everything.
The unique financial plans we build for each client serve as a roadmap to understand where they want to go and how they’ll get there. In this sense, Financial Planning is never really done. A plan that sits on a shelf collecting dust is about as valuable as a roadmap that never gets used. It won’t take you anywhere.
This is why our approach to Financial Planning is to use it much the way a navigator guides a journey. We use the plan all the time, in every way possible. This greatly increases the odds that the plan will actually help our clients achieve their goals. How do we use financial plans?
- Some clients meet with us quarterly or at some other interval (depending on their needs). With every client, we hold a comprehensive annual review to track progress. The financial plan serves as the framework for these meetings to ensure our focus remains on your long-term goals. During these check-in sessions, we review your progress against the plan to see if you are on-track or need to make some adjustments.
- When a client tells us that they’ve been thinking about making a big financial decision, we ask them – “how will this impact your plan?” If they don’t know, we help them analyze a range of possible outcomes so they understand the full impact of the decision.
- When something significant changes in a client’s life, we seek to understand how this will impact their plan and adjust accordingly. Major events can include the birth of a child or grandchild, the passing of a loved one, the inheritance of wealth, losing a job or starting a business, a child graduating from college, divorce or marriage. All of these events can impact a financial plan significantly.
- A financial plan serves as something of a social compact between us and our clients. The plans we develop are based on an in-depth review of what clients tell us they really want to achieve. We use the plans to ask our clients to commit to achieving those goals. We also use the plans to hold our clients accountable to do the things that only they can do – like living within their means, saving, investing and making smart decisions.