The Financial Planning Process Consists of the Following 6 Steps:

  • Step 1

    Establish and Define Our Client-Advisor Relationship

    The strength of the Financial Advisory Process lies in its structure and flexibility which allow us to help you meet your individual needs. To be successful however this process must be a collaborative effort between us. The goal in this first step is to establish and define our client-advisor relationship by:

    • Explaining the overall investment process and discussing any issues of concern with you
    • Explaining and documenting the services we will provide
    • Defining responsibilities - ours and yours
    • Discussing compensation in detail
    • Agreeing on how decisions will be made

    Benefits to You

    By covering the structure, details of our relationship and compensation in this first step, we are laying the foundation for a good working relationship. That way we avoid surprises.

  • Step 2

    Gather Your Financial Data and Define Your Goals

    The more we understand about your financial situation, the better prepared we will be to provide the value added advice and service you deserve. Our goal in this second step is to pull that relevant information together by:

    • Discussing your financial situation with you - clearly defining both your resources and your obligations
    • Working with you to define your personal and financial needs, priorities and goals
    • Determining your time frame for financial results and going over the implications with you
    • Listening carefully to better understand your values, expectations and feelings about financial risk

    Benefits to You

    Good decision making is the key to financial success and good decisions come from having the right information. Values, needs, priorities, goals and expectations, these are all part of the equation when it comes to making good financial decisions.

  • Step 3

    Analyze and Evaluate Your Financial Status

    With the information from Step two, we are ready to conduct an in-depth analysis of your financial status. Our goal in this step is to identify problem areas to address and opportunities to pursue by:

    • Analyzing the records and documents you provide and organizing the information according to our eight Financial Advisory Categories (see below)
    • Looking at possible solutions to problem areas and identifying possible strategies that may help enable you to capitalize on potential opportunities
    • Determining what you can do to meet your goals, then formulating recommendations for each of our eight Financial Advisory Categories

    Financial Advisory Categories

    1. Cash Flow Management and Determining Net Worth
    2. Insurance Planning
    3. Investment Administration (asset management)
    4. Education Planning
    5. Tax Planning
    6. Retirement Planning
    7. Estate Planning
    8. Charitable Giving

    Benefits to You

    The analysis done in this step is especially valuable for two reasons. First it tells us the quality of the information gathered in Step 2. Second it indicates the care we have taken to understand your values, needs, priorities, goals and expectations in Step 1.

  • Step 4

    Develop and Present Our Recommendations

    We recognize the importance of organizing and developing financial recommendations in language that you can understand. Our goal in this fourth step is to prepare a plan that is useful to you by:

    • Preparing recommendations based on our analysis in Step 3
    • Meeting with you to go over those recommendations so you can make informed decisions
    • Hearing your concerns and making revisions to your plan as needed
    • Completing a formal plan and presenting it to you

    Benefits to You

    This process together with the previous steps ensures that the plan is organized, in language that is clear to you and that it is what you expected. Again the goal is to avoid surprises.

  • Step 5

    Implement Your Plan Decisions

    Plans tend to sit on shelves and be ignored. To us, completing the plan is only part of our responsibility to you. The goal in this fifth step is to set the process in motion by:

    • Developing a working agreement with you detailing how we will implement your plan
    • Determining specifically what you will do and how we will coach you and keep you fully advised

    Benefits to You

    By completing this step you have the confidence of knowing that your plan is in motion and that we have begun to help you achieve your goals.

  • Step 6

    Establish Milestones and Monitor Your Plan Decisions

    Rather than simply meeting with you periodically we use 2 guidelines to determine when we need to sit down together. The first set of milestones includes those times when we should review the impact of your decisions. The second set of milestones includes unpredictable changes that need attention. The goal in this sixth step will be to establish a pattern for monitoring those issues by:

    • Establishing milestone indicators (when we should review progress-to-date in person)
    • Meeting with you at each milestone or at any point where changes in the tax laws economic conditions, your personal or financial status, etc., require new decisions
    • Providing you with a written report on each meeting

    Benefits to You

    Step 6 is a starting point, but it is open-ended. We believe this transforms your plan into a living document and ensures that it will never become outdated.

*Raymond James is not a legal or tax advisor. Insurance products are available through an insurance subsidiary of Raymond James & Associates and underwritten by non-affiliated Insurance Companies. Not available in all states.