Client-Centered Financial Planning
What is Client-Centered Financial Planning?
What the heck do we mean by that? We are so glad you asked!
Financial planning has been a recent phenomena in the past 20 years. Everyone, from insurance agents, to stock brokers, to money managers seem to offer financial planning. The problem is, most of them provide a free "plan" with the hopes of selling an insurance or investment product.
We started charging for financial plans in the 1980's. Before it was cool. I guess you could say we are the OGs of financial planning. The minute you pay us a fee for our advice, we become fiduciaries, meaning we can only act in YOUR best interests.
The guy or gal that does your "planning" for free, is under no legal obligation to act in your best interests. The plan is simply a means to an end. The end, generally, is some kind of sale.
We still provide the option to fulfill your insurance or investment needs with us, but that is a secondary offering that is not required for working with us.
Why do you still sell products and investments?
Again, fantastic question! Allow us to explain.
We have trust issues. Not all financial products or investments are created equal. The products and investments we offer we know inside and out.
Additionally, who wants to find an investment person, an insurance person, and a financial planner? Isn't it hard enough to just find one of those that you trust?
We want to make this process as easy and painless as possible. We believe that offering the option to implement your financial plan in the same place that helped build it is just simpler.
What is the difference between financial planning and investment management?
Let's use an illustration of your financial house: Your values and goals are the foundation, your financial plan is the framework, and investment management is one of many rooms within the house. Other rooms would be your estate plan, your risk management (insurance), your education funding strategy, and your retirement game plan.
As we layout the blueprint of the financial plan, we always give options for the size and shape of each room. We educate you on each aspect of your plan and allow you to decide how you would ultimately like to move forward.
If investing is an appropriate part of your plan, then we get to explore the details of your individual investment strategy.
Well, what is your investment philosophy?
You're on a roll with the great questions.
We are firm believers that there is not one single way of investing that is right for everyone. The values and goals of every client are unique. Everyone carries their own biases and tolerances for risk. Shouldn't their investment strategy be customized to fit them individually?
We generally subscribe to Benjamin Graham's philosophy that "The essence of investment management is the management of risks, not the management of returns." The amount of risk someone can stomach determines the level of returns they are capable of attaining.
Because of this, we take a level-headed, disciplined approach to understanding each individual client's appetite for risk and manage their investments accordingly.
Who is Raymond James and why do you work with them?
Raymond James is our broker/dealer. They provide the platform and support we need to serve our clients' needs.
We chose to partner with Raymond James over 20 years ago because they were founded as a financial planning firm that was based on the principles of client first, conservatism, independence, and integrity. Those characteristics have never been more evident than they are today as Raymond James continues to improve and grow its ability to support CFG.