As independent, fee-only financial advisors, our goals are aligned with yours: to successfully achieve your short-term, mid-term and long-term financial objectives without unnecessary risks, taxes and costs.
STEP 1: GET ORGANIZED
Your Personal Financial Website contains a digital financial profile of everything you own, everything you spend, and all of your short-term, mid-term and long-term financial objectives on a web-based platform, accessible on-line 24/7.
It connects with all of your financial accounts and imports updated values all day long. It automatically adjusts the value of real estate and collectibles based upon your specific criteria, records your income and spending, projects asset growth, calculates taxes and required IRA distributions, and tracks your mortgages, loan payments and debts.
STEP 2: MAKE A PLAN
With your financial data organized on your Personal Financial Website, a Certified Financial Planner® can create a digital financial profile that merges all of your short-term, mid-term and long-term financial objectives into one cloud-based, digitally living Master Financial Plan that you can easily monitor online 24/7. Your account values are current, your financial plan is automatically updated with tax and inflation factors, and interactive tools can simulate the future value of your investment portfolio based upon accurate data.
Everything you own is aggregated into one place so strategic decisions can be made with fresh information of the day and not a stale snapshot of the past.
Do you ask for directions, or do you just drive around until you arrive where you want to be? Clearly, one is significantly more efficient than the other; especially when it involves arriving at your important financial objectives.
Approaching retirement, many people just invest for growth and retire when they can afford to. Our clients have plan to retire when they want to.
During retirement, many people just invest for income and live whatever lifestyle they can afford to. Our clients have plan to afford the lifestyle they want to live.
Don't just make a retirement plan - make your retirement plan happen.
Florida is swamped with senior citizens whose retirement years are less than golden because they relied on bad advice and oversold products. An experienced, independent, Florida-based, Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner® is a trustworthy resource for avoiding unnecessary delays, expensive potholes and misdirection on the road to a comfortable retirement.
Before, During and After
We realize nobody wants to think about his own death. Just know that the plans you make today can impact multiple generations of your loved ones hereafter. Let our experience be your guide to custom-designing an estate plan that can fulfil your legacy goals without unnecessary complexity, cost or conflict of interest.
Once the Will or Trust is signed, it often ends up in a drawer somewhere - out of sight and out of mind. But life goes on; and we know from first-hand experience that having an outdated estate plan can be worse than having no plan at all. Deaths, marriages, divorces and births can change everything. Review your plan periodically to make sure an ex-spouse doesn’t inadvertently inherit property that was intended for a child or grandchild.
Emotions and vulnerability collide when a loved one dies. Grieving family members are often scrambling to locate assets and decipher legal documents while everyone around them is offering conflicting advice about what to do next. One of the most valuable tools your heirs can have at this time is access to your Personal Financial Website Document Vault. This is your web-based financial dashboard. If anything happens to you, your appointed family members will have immediate, 24/7 access to a full inventory of everything you own, wherever it may be located, held or invested, all on one easy-to-navigate dashboard, with updated values and transaction histories, and your private document vault with copies of everything your family members need to get ahold of at a moment’s notice.
It’s not about how much you make… it’s about how much you keep.
An after-tax return of 6% in one bracket might be superior to a 7% in another bracket; so tax evaluations need to take place continuously throughout the year as we strive to maximize investment returns and minimize risk.
Our Comprehensive Financial Planning service evaluates fundamental tax considerations as part achieving your financial objectives:
Don't be surprised when a conversation with most financial planners about "risk" results in the sale of an insurance policy or annuity.
A FirsTrust Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner® sees risk as an actual issue, not a sales opportunity, and lends an unbiased evaluation and professional perspective to the subject from many critical angles:
Our clients tell us some of their greatest concerns pertain to cash management. First and foremost, they want to make sure their money doesn’t run out before they do; so we generate a variety of what-if scenarios to project income, and stress-test the ability of their resources to generate cash flow under multiple scenarios and over different periods of time.
Additionally, they want a reliable and consistent “flow” of cash, which is achieved by creating a sustainable process for moving cash and funding their accounts on regular intervals.
Our clients also want to be tax efficient, so we also focus on “sourcing” their spendable income from their accounts in a manner that generates the least amount of tax burden. For many retired clients, this involves an ongoing efficiency analysis. Should your income come from investments that produce dividends and interest, or is there a more tax efficient way to generate cash flow? Should you defer withdrawals from your IRA or retirement account? Can your income be derived from capital gains at a lower tax rate?
At FirsTrust, our expert wealth managers discuss all of your tax planning needs with you to ensure your mind is put at ease.
STEP 3: IMPLEMENT YOUR PLAN
ASSESS GOALS AND RISKS
The journey to reach your specific financial objectives is like taking a road trip. If you choose the wrong vehicle, take the wrong road or drive the wrong speed, you'll be significantly less likely to arrive where you want to be - when you want to be there.
Optimize Your Vehicle Optimize Your Route Optimize Your Speed
Using a scientific framework that won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, we are able to engineer a portfolio to fit your unique risk preferences and meet your investment expectations with a 95% mathematical confidence.
CREATE YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO
With a hierarchy of your goals, respective timelines and risk tolerances, we have the framework for selecting investments and allocating capital to each objective. The widest selection of the world's best performing investments is rarely ever found at the local bank or brokerage. As truly independent wealth managers, we can evaluate and select investments from anywhere, not just a menu of choices from one institution.
We know many financial products are burdened with ambiguous fees and unnecessary expenses buried in the fine print of confusing disclaimers. Reducing or eliminating these costs is another effective way to save our clients money.
We also know that taxes can be a tremendous drag on a portfolio's total return, and employing strategies to reduce them can produce better net returns without incurring additional risk.
Once your portfolio’s asset allocation is determined, we also seek to improve its tax-efficiency by optimizing the “asset location”: holding more of the income-producing investments inside of retirement accounts to defer the annual income tax bite, and holding growth-oriented investments in taxable accounts where capital-gains tax rates may be timed and managed. This asset-location strategy also considers taxes on your future spending and any portfolio transitions. By strategically evaluating the "big picture," we can often add significant value without taking additional risk simply by strategically placing assets where various tax drags can be reduced.
MONITOR, REVIEW AND ADJUST
The comprehensive data in your Personal Financial Website and Document Vault provides an opportunity for more fully informed decision-making, and collaborating with you on a regular basis is the only way we know how to do it right. We routinely meet and/or teleconference with clients to review progress toward meeting your goals, and evaluate risk levels. One important analytical tool on your website is something we call a STRESS TEST; a present-value vs. future-value assessment of your investments given various what-if scenarios.
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