Developing a clear picture of your current financial health and well being followed by a plan to maintain/achieve financial goals are important steps in managing financial assets. Some clients have a clear picture of their current financial standing and planning goals for the future, while others do not. Financial planning is important to achieve financial goals, and we recommend the use of a specialist trained in these processes (Certified Financial Planner™) for those who don’t.
At GAM, we are not financial planners. We are portfolio managers and analysts (Chartered Financial Analysts®). Most people do not realize/understand the difference, but it is significant. To boil it down, a CFP® will create a plan and a CFA® will implement it. We are investment advisory who works together with a financial adviser to reach financial goals you want.
Where We Are Different
All too often financial planners will hold themselves out as a one-stop-shop where they do both the planning and implementation. Our investors do not believe in this approach and instead realize the importance of utilizing the special training, knowledge and experience of both a CFP® and CFA®. For clients needing the services of a CFP®, we can work with your existing planner or we use the services of Holly Donaldson Financial Planning, LLC.
Holly Donaldson Financial Planning, LLC subscribes to the separation of skill sets and provides fee-only financial planning. They do not manage money but help clients develop strategies for their business and personal finances.
Their planning process includes
- Determining “Where are you now” by pulling together all the financial pieces of an individual’s life, family or small business – as they exist today (insurance, pension, savings, investments, home, business, etc.)
- Developing a clear picture of “Where do you want to be” with identifiable goals/objectives.
- Creating a plan after “where you are and where you want to be” has been determined. The plan is created with specific steps to get you to your goal/objectives. Each includes milestones and measurable performance indicators to track your progress. Every plan is unique to your needs, risk tolerance, tax issues and numerous other factors. Some of these factors might include:
- Pension and 401(k) election decisions
- Life and Long-Term Care insurance analysis and recommendations
- Retirement readiness analysis
- Specific planning concerns for corporate executives and business owners
- Advising employee benefit plan participants
- Buying a home (purchase, financing, mortgage payoff, refinancing, etc.)
- Questions to ask your Estate Planning attorney
- Keeping you and your plan updated with regular reporting and meetings. This ensures that your plan is current and that you are making progress toward your goal(s). This includes updating any changes in your life, your risk tolerance, your job, your marital status or other important changes.