In our field, a financial plan is the game plan

Planning is something that should be done with a long-term focus. It's not just a plan to win today's game on the field or in the market, but a long-term strategy for the important things in your life such as retiring comfortably or funding college for your children or grandchildren. A customized financial plan serves as the game plan for pursuing your goals. This four-step process is how we go about it.


In sports and as with financial planning, it is essential to start by defining your goals and objectives. It does not matter if your goal is to be a better hitter or to reduce the risk of a portfolio, you still must start by identifying the objective. We'll build an understanding of your goals, financial situation, investment experience and risk tolerance. We'll also make you aware of our capabilities and explain the services we offer that can help you meet your objectives.


The second step is to create a plan designed to help achieve those goals and put it in writing. Think of batting instruction and practice as the sports equivalent to investment analysis and portfolio construction. This step may include collaborating with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and lawyer. We present our recommendations to you, answer your questions, consider alternatives and outline the steps we need to take to implement your plan.


The third step is to implement the plan once all parties agree on its parameters. As a baseball analogy, think of it as hitting in real game situations. With your approval, we will execute your customized strategy using the extensive research and resources available to us through Raymond James. This involves the selection of specific account types, investment products and optional services, and the handling of all necessary paperwork.


The last step is one that is often overlooked in sports and in financial planning – monitoring the ongoing progress and identifying areas for improvement. This is critical to long-term success. Anyone can hit a ball once or make money in a bull market, but the real value is in monitoring return and the risk taken to achieve it. It is truly about having a plan that works for you today and adjusting it as things change over time. It is important to tell us of any significant changes in your life.

There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.


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