Special Topics - Financial Planning

Financial Planning


What is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is the gathering of information relating to your financial health and wellbeing. Through an interview process, as your financial concerns and future goals are established, the information gathered is then analyzed and compared with your stated goals.

From this comparison, recommendations can be made to help adjust your current financial behavior so that any gaps can be filled and/or any current plans can be altered to help meet goals. Or, in a best-case scenario, it simply validates that the path they are currently on is the correct one.

Is a Financial Planner Right for Me?

Whether you have very limited resources or a sizable estate, you can benefit from the services of a financial planner.

Today, it is almost impossible for anyone not working in the financial field to keep up with rapidly changing financial products and tax laws, as well as the volatile economy. We strive to explain your options in easily understandable terms showing how each option could affect you.

The busier you are, the less time you have to devote to sorting out these issues, and yet a comprehensive financial plan can be the key to your financial success.

What Services Should You Expect from a Financial Planner?

At Chatterton & Associates – The Wealth Management Team, Inc., we take the time to get to know you, your financial situation, your financial goals and your risk tolerance. When you decide to work with us, you should expect to receive these services:

Personal attention: We take the time to get to know your entire financial situation, your risk tolerance and your goals before setting up a customized financial plan.

Asset allocation strategies: Once we’ve determined your risk tolerance, we can help you allocate your money based on a mix of asset classes with varying degrees of risk that fit your time horizon and comfort level.

Advice on specific investments that match your goals: When you're comfortable with your financial plan and have determined an asset allocation strategy, we will then make specific recommendations on the types of securities that can best meet your needs.

Answers to your financial questions: If the markets become volatile, we will be available to help you understand the reasons behind the instability. If you hear of an interesting investment opportunity or a new stock offering, we have the expertise to research and investigate these opportunities, and to help you decide if they fit into your overall plan.

Proactive account management: We can also bring potential investment opportunities to your attention, based on detailed knowledge of your financial plan and goals.

Ongoing, regular checkups: We will stay in touch to see if your financial situation has changed. Getting married, switching jobs, having a child or purchasing a home—events like these may call for adjustments to your financial plan. At least once a year, we will review your account with you and make any adjustments necessary to help ensure your plan continues to meet your situation and goals.

What is the Personal Financial Planning Process?

Our primary focus in the financial planning process is to coordinate all areas of your total planning picture to achieve the optimal outcome for all concerned—emotionally and financially.

1. Initial Interview: We will meet to discuss how our company will be able to impact your personal, family and business goals.

2. Data Gathering: As a first step toward working together, we spend time with you in a fact-finding interview. This conversation provides us with sufficient information to conduct an accurate analysis.

Examples of the information that will be gathered include:

  • Current Income Taxation
  • Investment and Asset Management
  • Wealth Accumulation or Preservation
  • Income/Cash Flow Planning
  • Financial Independence
  • Business Continuation or Disposition
  • Estate Planning and Gift & Estate Tax Planning

3. Analysis: We then evaluate the data collected to gain a better understanding of your situation and your unique requirements in order to create your Financial Plan. All the information gathered in Step 2 will be incorporated, and it’s time to start the process of determining if you can meet your stated financial goals and objectives.

4. Recommending a Plan: We will discuss the analysis and plan recommendations, determining the direction of the plan’s development and prioritizing issues to resolve. We are here to help you with the accomplishment of your goals in the way you desire and see fit, and will only move forward with a plan that you understand and endorse completely.

5. Implementation: This step is absolutely crucial to ensure that the recommendations in Step 4 are put into action so you can commence your journey to achieving financial independence. At this time, you will have a solid understanding of what needs to be done to increase income and assets in order to have the greatest impact on your desires, goals and dreams. This will act as the implementation guide as well as a benchmark for monitoring the project as we all move forward in time.

6. Monitoring: We conduct periodic portfolio reviews and maintain ongoing personal communications to keep you informed and involved. We also invite your input, encouraging you to keep us informed as any questions, concerns or significant financial developments occur. We may recommend investment adjustments when your situation or objectives change, or when a potential opportunity arises to increase investment performance.

Independent Financial Advisor

Being an independent practice, we strive to offer a wide range of financial advice to our clients, as well as unbiased advice on financial matters.

The Potential Benefits of Working With An Independent Financial Advisor

As an independent financial advisor, we are free to consider all of the thousands of investment alternatives available today when designing your portfolio. There are no artificial limitations on which investments you can use since we are independent financial advisors.

We can weigh the merits of one investment against another, recommending investments only because they can contribute to the success of your investment strategy. There is no pressure and no incentive to sell you proprietary products.

When assessing your portfolio’s performance, we can use objective criteria to gauge the performance of each investment. A financial advisor can help you track the progress of your portfolio toward the financial goals you’ve set, and advise you when it is appropriate to make changes and when it’s time to stay put.