You would never ask a doctor “What’s a good drug to take?” Yet people routinely ask advisors “What should I invest in?”
Just as a doctor would not prescribe a treatment without a thorough exam, we need to understand your circumstances before we can even begin to create a portfolio. Our wealth management process consists of the following six phases.
In our first meeting we’ll get to know each other. We need to understand what you want from an advisor and what your personal goals are. We will also explain how we work, what we can - and can’t - do for you, and how we charge. We’ll both decide if we want to work together.
Over the next few weeks we will gather data about you to understand your financial circumstances, and both your willingness and ability to assume financial risk. This might be in one meeting or in several.
Next, we do our homework and prepare a plan. We’ll analyze your data and create a proposal.
We will meet again to deliver our proposal and explain it to you. If adjustments are needed, we’ll make them. Once you agree with the plan, there will be papers to sign so we can move forward.
We will orchestrate a team at Charles Schwab and Loring Ward who will open the necessary accounts, ensure the paperwork is in order, move your funds and securities as directed, and put your new portfolio in place. We will rebalance when necessary, rarely more than twice a year, and send you quarterly performance reports. You will also receive statements from your custodian at least quarterly.
This is where behavioral investment advising comes in. You’ll have a plan in place to meet your goals, but will you stick to it? Many individual investors fall prey to panic when the market drops or exuberance when the latest bubble is building. Both can derail your plan.
Our role as trusted advisors is to help you manage your behavior as well as your money. We’ll meet at least once a year to discuss your progress toward your life goals and determine if portfolio adjustments are needed. However, our real value is as a sounding board and thought partner to help you stay focused on your goals and plan – not the latest fad or scare.