Financial Planning

Financial Planning - A Fiduciary Standard

Hi there…

So you’re interested in financial planning…?

It is probably safe to say you wouldn’t have clicked on the page if you weren’t a little curious about what “type” of planning we provide…

Now if you are like many of our other clients then you either have no plan, or completed one a few years ago…

In fact, it is probably fair to say the output, or results, of the plan aren’t really top of mind…

And that’s okay… 

See we believe it isn’t your responsibility to manage the ongoing project work associated with running the financial planning process…

No, at Horizon Ridge Wealth Management, we feel the ongoing management of the financial planning process rests solely on our shoulders…

Think of us as the CFO to your personal, or business, planning needs…

Now that doesn’t mean you aren’t an integral component in the entire process…

Rather, we know how busy you are and how managing “the mundane” multiple moving pieces of the planning process can be exhausting…

This is where one of our strengths begins to shine…

We have refined our systems so much that managing “the mundane” becomes quite easy for us…

Though it helps that we like to geek out over the numbers…

And for those wondering, “No that doesn’t mean we have the personality of a piece of wood”…

We strive to be quite personable and yet bury our heads in the details so we can produce outstanding outcomes through the planning process…

 

Horizon Ridge Wealth Management Financial Planning Application

 

While that is all well and good…

You are probably wondering what makes us so different as compared to all the other planning firms…?

What would convince a prospective client that we can do a better job than those who have blazed this very trail before us…

Well many of those answers lie in the details of our process…

See much of the planning we perform for our clients cannot be summarized in a retirement analysis…

Much of the planning we do is not captured in an asset allocation or investment report…

That is simply because…

We DO NOT believe financial planning is retirement planning…

We DO NOT believe financial planning is investment planning…

We DO NOT believe financial planning is budgeting, insurance, or estate planning…

In fact, much of the planning work we perform for clients is so detailed that we integrate, at a minimum, five core areas of financial planning into a very detailed financial analysis…

But that is only the start…

To ensure we truly provide the highest calibre of advice, we conduct extensive interviews with our clients…

Wait…Interviews…?

Yes…

In order to best understand what is most important in our client’s lives we conduct a series of interviews that, depending of the nature of the planning engagement, can span different generations…

Though for most people the interviews tend to be confined, in the beginning, to you and anyone you may be jointly planning with…

Throughout these interviews we learn the most pertinent details about the highest priority concerns before we begin constructing our financial models…

Then we create models that are designed to assess, improve, and manage external threats that may derail our client from reaching their destination…

Once the models are complete we begin to comb through the numbers to construct a S.W.O.T analysis…

Wait… a S.W.O.T. analysis on your personal life…?

Yes…

See it is only after understanding what you have excelled at, and what your weaknesses have been, to this point can we best understand the opportunities or threats that lay ahead…

At this stage of the process we begin to present some of our findings to which we then continuously refine our findings until we create a solid, move forward, action plan…

This is usually where many of our competitors would hand over a document, of varying thickness, to outline the “final” results…

Once the plan is delivered the client and advisor usually part ways, or move on to a different topic, to only have the plan become a dusty book on the bookshelf…

Or worse…

Food for the shredder…

 

Horizon Ridge Wealth Management Financial Advisor Checklist

 

This is where we continue to differentiate ourselves…

At Horizon Ridge Wealth Management once we have a move forward, holistic, plan in place we begin to break the plan up into multiple action oriented plans…

What happens from there is where the real planning happens…

This is part of where our experience and knowledge comes into the picture…

We treat that process much like Coke treats their secret formula…

Under lock and key in a vault, probably somewhere where the Area 51 files are stored…

The point is…

We take the financial planning process very seriously…

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This is why we spend so much time with our clients, their trusted advisors, and sometimes their family…

 

See we see ourselves as the “Team Captain” of the team…

At times there is a lot that needs to be coordinated with the accountant, attorney, the realtor, the mortgage broker, or even with their banker…

We try to stay fully integrated in everything our client’s advisors are working on…

This way there is a central point of communication on all of the moving pieces that affects our client’s daily life…

Now that might sound like a lot…

You might even be thinking that you don’t need that level of sophistication or complexity…

But we would challenge you to think about all of those successful projects you managed throughout your career…

How many of them were solo acts and how many were achieved with the help of others…?

Were you deeply invested in every step of the process or did you have a central point of communication that allowed you to delegate what needed to be done to key stakeholders in the project…?

Would you have received the same high praise and accolades for the output your team accomplished on your behalf..,?

How many more sleepless nights would there have been knowing you were responsible for the daily minutia…?

While we have faith in you and your abilities to build a roadmap forward, there always comes a point when your time is better spent on other tasks or on higher priority items like your family or health…

 

Horizon Ridge Wealth Management Application

 

So you are probably thinking, “Fine, I concede to wanting help… but there are plenty of other planning firms out there”…

We agree…

Don’t believe us….?

Consider some of the big box discount investment firms for a moment…

You know which ones we are referring to…

Companies like T. Rowe Price, Vanguard and Fidelity will give you basic fund guidance for free, or close to it…

Picture this…

You walk into a local branch, or maybe call the big box firm on the phone, and talk to one of their “advisors”…

The representative seems fairly knowledgable…

They proceed to ask you a number of questions that seems trivial at the time…

It may even seem scripted, though the pauses and inflection changes in their voice would tend to say otherwise…

Once the interview is over they provide you with their diagnosis of your situation and how they would remedy it…

Now normally this wouldn’t be a bad approach…

In fact, anyone you interview should want to get to know you, your life, your struggles, your goals, and a whole lot more…

But, that isn’t always what happens…

A planner should ask about all aspects of your life (health, relationships, liabilities) – not just ask “how much money do you have?” and then immediately offer a solution that is product-driven (e.g. annuities)

Now that is not to say every person at every big box firm operates that way…

But we would challenge you to ask one of those advisors about something obscure and listen to their response…

Something like… “Explain how increasing the value of my company’s intangible assets will impact the financial plan we designed when I eventually sell my business?”

A basic retirement plan wouldn’t be able to handle this type of analysis which means it would require the advisor to theorize…

We believe theories and experiments are better left in the classroom…

It should go without saying, but we will say it anyway, a piece of paper or a set of calculations does not determine your financial plan’s success…

If it did then financial planning companies would struggle to compete with each other…

All anyone would have to do is punch a bunch of numbers into a calculator to only then have the answer to some of your life’s most complicated financial questions pop out the other side…

We liken this concept to being a “WebMD-er”…

Sure you can research your symptoms but if you aren’t careful you might come back with some extreme results…

And if those results are acted upon negative long term affects could rear their ugly head much later in life…

This is why building a comprehensive financial plan starts with understanding all of the complexities in your life and then designing a logical, data driven, approach…

Only then can a QUALIFIED financial planning professional calculate and assign the required rate of return(s), and corresponding risk level(s), for your portfolio(s) to match each set of goals…

 

Horizon Ridge Wealth Management Financial Planning eBook

 

Okay… “but what about the ‘Wire House’ or ‘Independent’ investment firms..? Don’t they offer more personalized and tailored services…?”

Those are great questions!!!

The answer is pretty straightforward and simple…

It depends…

Tired of hearing that yet…?

Many advisors are taught to “sell the enterprise”…

And forget specializing in fee-only wealth management & financial planning…

Unless they are an established advisor with over $1 million dollars in annual fee-based production…

And yet they still only receive between a 32%-42% payout…

Not to mention potential conflicts of interest or a lack of a client friendly business model..

Think about it…

If you were paid to sell umbrellas, how much time would you spend recommending ponchos… especially if you were not paid to do so…?

Now we are not saying individuals at these firms do not have access to extensive planning resources…

But how many of them actually focus on comprehensive financial planning, instead of merely retirement planning?…

And for those that might conduct planning with each client, how much time is spent reviewing the entire plan throughout each and every year?…

How much time would you invest in a task that you were not going to materially, and directly, benefit from?…

Look we all want to believe everyone does everything out of the kindness of their hearts but the fact of the matter is…

Unless your planner owns, and manages their own company, there is usually going to be someone they answer too…

It is in those moments when someone else’s goal can affect the actions of their employees…

Simply stated…

The depth of financial advice offered has a direct correlation to the fees charged…

As stated by the famous economist, Milton Friedman, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”…

At this point your inner monologue is all over the place and it sounds something like this…

“If free advice is basic and the advice from full service firms is tied to how they are paid, then I’ll just plan for my future on my own…”

We call this the “I Can Do Anything” mentality…

It is fair to say that you have gotten to this point in your life on your own…

And so far you have turned out smashingly!

But, as life continues to progress the moving pieces will continue to become more complicated…

The obstacles that lay ahead could cause significant damage to you, your family, your business, or worse….

Your financial security…

Can you build, manage, and tweak your financial plan on your own?…

Sure..!

But it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to also tell you that it will consume a lot of time…

How much time…?

Well that simply depends on you…

For our average comprehensive planning engagement we spend approximately 50 hours per year interviewing, researching, constructing, tweaking, and executing our analysis…

And it averages 50 hours because of the well oiled process we take our clients through…

I wouldn’t want to guess how much time you would need to spend to perform the same research, tasks, and ongoing monitoring year after year…

This is when prospective clients apply to work with our team…

What we have found, up to this point, is they were so overwhelmed with the process that they became paralyzed with where to start…

Too often when someone is overwhelmed, they don’t know who to trust, or they just can’t see “the light at the end of the tunnel” they tend to throw their hands up or kick the can down the road…

In fact, one of the biggest roadblocks to being successful in life is the inability to take the first step…

Taking the first step is hard…

So hard that people elect not to change eating habits, go to the gym, or course correct their financial future…

The lack of inertia kills so many dreams…

But this doesn’t describe you…right?

You have taken so many first steps in your life that while inertia is difficult, it doesn’t hold you back…

What holds you back is time…

Therefore, you look for those trusted advisors you can add to your team who will maximize your most valuable resource…

What is that resource…?

Time…

When you can trust someone to take the responsibility of a major project off your plate so you can focus your attention on other things then they become indispensable…

But to trust them you need to know they are qualified…

You need to know they have experience…

You need to know they have worked with people just like you…

You even want to know that they have weathered good and bad situations, and can be nimble enough to think ahead and pivot when needed…

 

Horizon Ridge Wealth Management Social Security Truths

 

This is where Horizon Ridge Wealth Management comes back into the picture…

See we have been down this road with thousands of clients over the last decade…

We understand what it takes to build a comprehensive financial plan that manages your investment horizon, your risk profile, your goals, the market’s projected volatility, and your family’s financial future…

We work with thought leaders, titans of industry, community activists and leaders, and executives that are deeply integrated in the day to day operations of what made them so successful…

In fact, we operate with the highest level of transparency, always putting our client’s interests above our own, and use research that comes from a plethora of independent sources…

In other words, we make it a priority to provide the highest level of service, research, advice, and feedback that is readily available to us…

We aren’t afraid of other companies copying our process, approach, or strategy…

If we can force our competitors to raise the bar and elevate the value they provide to their clients then we have indirectly helped more people…

 

Our Financial Planning Process

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It should be noted that due to our high attention to detail, full transparency, and dedication to every one of our clients…

We limit all of our Wealth Managers to 75 ongoing household relationships…

Furthermore, at Horizon Ridge Wealth Management we feel our Wealth Managers, and financial planning team, need to have the highest level of education and experience when working with you…

This is why many of our Wealth Managers hold multiple designations, like…

  • The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification…
  • The Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® certification…
  • The Chartered Special Needs Consultant™ designation…
  • The Certified Exit Planner Advisor® designation…

While these certifications and designations do not fully encompass all of our knowledge, they provide a peek into the scope of experience we provide…

Together, with our team and affiliates, we provide holistic financial planning for individuals, families, and business owners needing help with:

  • Trying to save for the future while balancing their everyday financial life.
  • How their investment portfolios are performing in relation to their financial goals.
  • Wanting to learn better ways to manage their finances.
  • Looking for ways to optimize income during their retirement years.
  • Protecting their family, and/or wealth, from events that may threaten their future.
  • Evaluating whether their estate documents match their financial goals.
  • Determining if they will run out of money.
  • Assessing their complete insurance portfolio to find potential gaps.
  • Finding opportunities to manage ordinary income, capital gains, and net investment income tax exposure.

At this point we usually hear clients asking…

“How much does it cost to construct a financial plan…?”

Well this is one the best parts to our approach!!!

Since your strategy is tailored to you

Since your plan is built to maximize the outcome for your financial future…

Since your goals are the focal point to our entire planning process…

We can’t give it away for free…

Nor would you want us to…

Have you ever heard the adage… “You get what you pay for..?”

Well cookie cutter outputs do not require much time to construct and tend to be handed out to everyone…

Your situation isn’t necessarily like everyone else’s….right?

But we also do not charge ungodly amounts either!

There are a number of companies that charge a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars every time they create or update your financial plan…

Depending on the calibre of the planner, these plans can range from very well-constructed plans to down right embarrassments…

On the other hand, if these planners intend to be compensated in other ways they may severely discount their planning fees… which of course begs the question…

Is there a conflict of interest they haven’t disclosed…?

Happily, we can say we are completely transparent in everything we do!

In fact, we have been told by some competitors we are too transparent…

That is perfectly fine by us…

 

Horizon Ridge Wealth Management Top Six Retirement Risks

 

So what do we charge…?

Well to fully understand all that goes into our planning process at a 30,000 foot view, by category, we encourage you to visit “Our Pricing” page…

On the page you will find we charge a flat fee rate that includes everything listed on the page, and more, for a fix cost over a six month engagement…

Alternatively, for those interested in more “project based” work we will allow clients to employ us for hourly engagements…

However it is important to know…

Only our investment management and flat fee engagements qualify for our ongoing 75 household service model…

Once a Wealth Manager reaches 75 ongoing relationships they are prohibited from accepting any new client engagements…

This ensures the integrity and quality of the advice given to each and every client…

So now the only question you need to ask is…

“Do I want to start the interview process and decide to add Horizon Ridge Wealth Management to my advisory team..?”

It goes without saying that we are always looking for dream clients to work with…

This is why we created an application process…

We know we are not a fit for everyone, and not everyone is a fit for us…

This makes it extremely important to ensure we find the right partners…

We want to work with people who want to be engaged to a point, but need the expertise and experience of highly educated financial professionals to manage their financial affairs…

So now you get to decide…

What is holding you back…?

Apply NOW and discover if we are a match…

 

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