WHAT TO EXPECT
First Step: Introductory Meeting
This initial meeting, which may be in person or over the phone, is designed to address any questions or concerns you may have in regards to the services we provide, how we deliver our services, our core values, compensation, etc. Typically this meeting is with the lead advisor. During this meeting we want to determine three things:
1) Can we truly help and add value to your situation? If we are unable to help you or add value to your situation, we do not want the business. News travels fast if we are earning a commission or fee and not adding value.
2) Can we establish a mutually beneficial relationship? In other words, if we are able to add value, are we able to be fairly compensated for our services? To not be fairly compensated would create a win/lose relationship. The new client wins, but our existing clients, staff and families lose. We have learned that a win/win situation is the healthiest and most gratifying relationship that will stand the test of tumultuous markets and time.
3) Can we work with you? At this point in our careers, we are not interested in working with unhappy, difficult people even if we satisfy the first two questions above. We are interested in building good, solid partnerships that are based upon honesty, integrity and respect. There will be no fee charged for this initial consultation and, outside of general observations, no specific recommendations will be made at this time. If we both determine that we may be able to establish a mutually beneficial relationship, a second appointment will be set.
Second Step: Data Gathering
During this meeting, our primary goal is to simply gather information on your specific situation. Our Director of Financial Planning will be in contact with you to schedule this appointment and will send to you a summary of what items are helpful to have available such as bank statements, brokerage statements, 401(k)/retirement statements, tax returns and any other important financial information. The more information that you provide, the more accurate and thorough your proposal will be. It is also very important to clarify your dreams and goals. We make it our priority to understand what is important to you so that we can help you accomplish what you value most in life.
Third Step: Organize and Formalize
Behind the scenes, a lot goes on to organize and formalize a comprehensive financial plan that could help you meet your needs, goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. We compile the information that you have provided to us and construct a financial road map that will hopefully help you accomplish what you value most in life. In the initial plan, we will address your current assets and recommend an asset allocation strategy that addresses your goals and risk tolerance. We will also review your estate planning, tax strategizing, retirement planning, insurance, college funding, debt financing and cash flow analysis needs.
Fourth Step: Questions and/or Document Signing
At this meeting, we will answer any other questions or concerns that you might have including any additional compensation questions. We will also review the transfer process and any fees or expenses that you may incur.
Once you have made the decision to work with us, our Director of Operations will contact you to complete any new account and transfer documents either in person or via electronic signature. All accounts will be opened as you currently have them at your bank and/or brokerage firm. For the most part, all publicly traded securities (outside of proprietary investments and annuities) are easily transferable from one firm to another. We will handle the entire transfer and try to make it as seamless as possible for you. The process typically takes about 10 business days.
LPL Financial does not charge any fees to transfer your accounts, however, your existing firm may charge an account closing fee, typically between $50 to $150 per account.
Step Five: Implementation Plan
After your account transfers are complete, we will research each investment that you currently own and formulate an implementation plan.
We analyze available research through LPL Financial’s robust, objective research department as well as Standard & Poor’s, Thompson Financial, Credit Suisse, Morningstar and Moody’s to assist us with determining whether each investment still makes sense for you to own. We take into consideration any capital gains and losses as well as any costs to liquidate the holdings. Then, we sort each investment into the appropriate asset class—holding what we believe are sound investments and selling what we believe are no longer appropriate. Our goal is to create an asset allocation strategy and a comprehensive financial plan that is specifically designed for your needs, goals, and risk tolerances.
During this step, we also address and implement any other needs you may have such as estate planning, tax strategizing, retirement planning, insurance, college funding, debt financing and cash flow analysis. Although we are not attorneys or CPAs, we will work closely with your other advisors to make sure all of your needs are met. If you do not have an established relationship, we can help you find one that meets your needs in our outside network of professionals.
Sixth Step: Confirmations and Statements
After all the trades have been placed, you will receive confirmations of each buy and sell order in the mail within seven to 10 mailing days. You will also receive a call from us to make sure you received the confirmations and that they are as expected. There should not be any surprises. We also recommend reviewing your first statement with us either via phone or in our office to make sure you clearly understand everything.
Seventh Step: Ongoing Monitoring and Periodic Review
It is important for you to understand that we will continue to monitor the economy, markets, investment climate and your portfolio on an ongoing basis. You are not alone. Our goal is to proactively anticipate your needs before you even know you have one. Although not mandatory, we encourage a quarterly check-up of your portfolio and financial condition. This is a good opportunity for us to discuss the current economic and market environment and how they may be affecting your portfolio. We also recommend periodic comprehensive reviews of your total wealth situation. At this time, we will discuss your objectives and accounts in detail. The goal of the reviews is to accomplish four things:
1) Examine the progress of your overall plan.
2) Ensure that the services we provide not only meet your expectations, but also exceed them.
3) Obtain any updated personal and/or financial information from you.
4) Determine if your goals, objectives, and risk tolerances have changed.
It is important for you to let us know if your situation has changed so that we may make any changes, if necessary.