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Our Process

The Financial Planning Process

We believe in developing expertly crafted, personally tailored strategies from a financial planning relationship before anything else.  While building wealth and protecting against risks is important, we find the best way to find success is to understand exactly where you are and what you want to achieve in order to determine the best decisions to get you there.  We think everyone that goes through the planning process is empowered to make better financial decisions, significantly improving their potential for success.

Step 1: Initial Consultation

Our first meeting is a complimentary consultation, where we work together to determine if we're a good fit for a financial planning relationship.  We will provide you an overview of how the industry works, how we prefer to work with clients, and answer any questions you may have about our team, our philosophies, and our capabilities.  We then take time to learn more about you.  What matters to you, why you're talking with us, where you want to get to, and how you got to where you are today.  We use this time to determine the scope of work needed, and how we define a successful relationship.  Only when everyone involved understands the scope of work and feels that the relationship will be beneficial, we can move forward with a planning agreement.  

Step 2: Data Verification

Next we have to make sure we have enough quantitative and qualitative information as needed. We'll gather statements, check for proper linking of accounts to our web-based planning tool, and make sure we understand your current financial position. We'll clearly define your goals, get to know your relationship with money, and assess your attitudes toward risk.  Only once we have very accurate information can we develop and tailor recommended strategies for you. 

Step 3: Decision Center 

Our team uses modern technology and analytical tools to evaluate your current path during our decision center meeting.  We review portfolios and policies to make sure your allocation is in alignment with your risk profile.  We identify strengths and weaknesses in your current course of action as well as opportunities for improvement and threats to your success.  We prepare an in-depth analysis to present to you when discussing potential strategies.  We review with you difference scenarios and how different courses of action can impact outcomes, and get feedback from you on the different choices to see how to make recommendations fit your preferences and philosophies. 

Step 4: Strategies & Recommendations

Using the analysis and our discussions of potential strategies with you, we create a comprehensive report of analyses and recommendations and review in detail making sure you understand your options, and the steps to move forward.  In addition to a comprehensive report, we also provide a simple list of action items outlining all areas of planning. 

Step 5: Implementation of Solutions and Strategies

We work with you to determine how to best implement each aspect of your financial plan.  We recommend investment portfolios we manage in-house specifically tailored to your needs.  We collaborate with other professionals with whom you currently engage (Attorneys, CPAs, Agents, etc.) or, if needed, introduce you to appropriate professionals from our vast network of vetted resources.  

Step 6: Monitor and Evaluate on an Ongoing Basis.  

In accordance with the agreed upon scope of work, we set up regular meetings throughout each year to monitor and evaluate progress made towards goals. 

  • Financial Position Review: Each spring we will review your current financial position, cash flow, and taxes to look for opportunities for tax savings or efficiencies. 
  • Protection and Estate Plan Review: Usually during the fall, or during your workplace open enrollment period if applicable, we'll review your estate planning as well as life, health, disability, and/or long term care insurance policies. We'll also use this time to make sure your beneficiaries are up to date.
  • Annual Review: When nearing the end of our first year working together we will meet to discuss the value gained from our relationship, your most important goals for the next year, and the scope of work for our ongoing relationship. We'll use this time to review investment strategies, performance, and asset allocation.

We will then repeat an annual process of a decision center meeting, followed by these 3 review meetings in perpetuity so your financial planning stays up to date and we continue to align your intentions with your actions and improve potential outcomes. 

Financial Planning

Retirement Planning

Tax Planning

College Planning

Estate Planning

Estate Distribution

Asset Allocation

Risk Analysis

Cash Flow Analysis

Monte Carlo Analysis

Business Planning

Investments

Common Stock

Bonds

Mutual Funds

Exchange Traded Funds

IRAs

Brokerage Accounts

Trust Accounts

Employee Benefits Plans


Insurance

Life Insurance

Disability Income Insurance

Long-Term-Care Insurance

Hybrid Insurance Solutions

Group Insurance

For more information about our firm and the services we offer, send us a quick email or call the office. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

eric@bergenn.com  |  (860) 463-0537

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