Financial Planning Process
We follow the Financial Planning Process as defined by the CFP® Board. The process:
- Establishing and defining the relationship with a client. In other words, defining the “scope of the engagement” or the service(s) to be provided. We define what we will provide to the client and also what we expect of and need from the client. This is discussed and agreed upon and then an agreement is signed.
- Gathering client data. We need a complete set of financial information with all details. This includes determining the client’s goals and objectives and their priority. We need a complete set of current information to begin with.
- Analyzing and evaluating the client’s financial status. We take the set of information and organize, summarize and work to understand it all – the entire financial picture. We also present the financial picture to the client so they have an understanding of “where they are.”
- Developing and presenting financial planning recommendations. Once the goals, priorities and financial situation are understood – the strategies and overall plan are developed and presented to the client. The plan is presented over the course of numerous meetings. The plan is “custom.” As we say, there is no one-size-fits-all plan.
- Implementing the financial planning recommendations. Discussing the recommendations and if agreed to, determining who will put those in place. This is normally shared by the client and The Monitor Group, Inc. We certainly are involved in this step, but without any additional compensation.
- Monitoring. Setting and defining monitoring responsibilities.
We ask for a year to complete the process, initially. For those who wish to retain us on an ongoing basis each of the steps, except for number one, is completed in subsequent years.
The Process in Subsequent Years
Keeping the client information and data up to date - we always want up to date information on which to base our advice and recommendations.
Analyzing and evaluating the client's financial status. Also, tracking overall progress in the goals and financial situation.
Developing and presenting financial planning recommendations as goals change and as the situation evolves over time - making recommendations to keep the client moving forward financially.
Implementing the recommendations and monitoring the plan closely. We believe ongoing monitoring of the plan is essential - as our name would indicate!
Understand the situation | Develop and set a plan | Implement | Monitor and track the plan | Adjust as necessary | Continue moving forward financially