For us, financial planning starts with getting to know our client. We desire lasting relationships built on trust.
We use risk tolerance surveys to understand how much risk our clients would be comfortable taking. In addition, we speak with our clients about past experiences that have shaped their perspectives on risk. We believe this combination of systematic surveys and personal attention allows us to best understand our clients’ risk tolerance.
For us, risk management is a wholistic process that goes beyond the ups and downs of your investment portfolio. We evaluate the joint influence of incomes, expenses, gifts, and investments on the probability our clients will achieve their future goals. As an example, many of our clients give generously to charities and to their children. We help these clients give efficiently and understand how the gifts influence retirement projections.
Rather than focus on the average, or expected outcome, of following a financial plan, we aim to inform our clients of the range of possible outcomes. To achieve this, we use simulation. Simulation allows us to estimate, given a set of assumptions, the likelihood goals will be reached. By testing a wide range of assumptions, we evaluate the robustness of our results. As examples, it can be useful understand the potential impact of a change in tax rates or a change in average investment returns.
In addition to helping our clients plan for expected events such as retirement and education, we serve as a resource to help our clients evaluate their preparedness for the unexpected. In addition to reviewing insurance products, we advocate that our clients maintain an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. We are also a trusted resource for our clients when unexpected life changes occur. Because of our deep relationships with our clients, we are ready to quickly respond when financial plans need to be updated.
Finally, we have relationships with several local estate attorneys and accountants. We are ready to work with our clients’ team of experts or refer them to professionals we trust when information is needed beyond our areas of expertise.