Understanding The Financial Planning Process

Understanding The Financial Planning Process

A successful financial strategy requires careful planning and precision. Every step of the financial planning process is important, and builds upon previous steps to create a comprehensive plan tailored to your needs. This blog post dives into each step and explains how the process works to create a comprehensive financial plan that can last a lifetime. 

Step 1. Gathering Financial Data

This step involves a detailed examination of a client’s financial situation. It includes a thorough analysis of areas like income, assets, liabilities, and expenses, and is typically conducted during the initial meeting.

Step 2.  Establishing Clear Financial Objectives

After gathering the financial data, your advisor will work with you to identify your financial goals, shaping your dreams and aspirations into concrete financial targets.

Financial goals can range from immediate desires like purchasing a car to long-term objectives like securing a comfortable retirement. Each goal is unique to the individual and will reflect their life’s plans, values, and priorities.

Your financial advisor will work with you to refine these goals to make them practical and achievable. This requires an understanding of your risk tolerance, desired lifestyle, and time horizons. Additionally, it involves leveraging the financial data collected in step one to ensure these goals are realistically aligned with the individual’s current financial situation and future prospects.

Setting clear financial objectives can help create a sense of financial security and peace of mind. Knowing that there’s a well-thought-out plan being built in support of long-term ideals can provide continuous comfort and confidence. 

Step 3. Examining Existing Investments

Following the establishment of clear financial objectives, the next step in the planning process is examining existing investments. This is a critical step where the focus shifts to a thorough review of investment portfolios and an assessment of how well these investments align with the freshly established financial objectives.

A financial advisor will look at various factors such as the types of investments, their performance, and how they are allocated across different asset classes. This review is not just about evaluating the returns but also understanding the risks associated with each investment. These will be compared to your risk tolerance and timelines laid out in step two.

After examining your existing investments, gaps in the present strategy may be revealed. For example, in the case of long-term wealth accumulation, more focus may need to be on growth-oriented investments. On the other hand, goals centered on steady income generation or capital preservation may call for more conservative investment choices. Ultimately, the goal is simply to identify areas where the present investments fail to align with the individual’s short-term and long-term objectives. 

Step 4. Reviewing Comprehensive Financial Planning Recommendations

Following the detailed examination of existing investments, the Financial Planning process progresses to the fourth step: reviewing comprehensive financial planning recommendations. This step consolidates the strategies and insights derived from previous steps into a cohesive plan.

During this meeting, your advisor will look at the effectiveness of your current investment strategy. He/she will discuss how it aligns with the established financial goals, as well as aspects that may require adjustments in asset allocation. 

In addition, your advisor will make suggestions regarding your financial, estate, insurance, and tax planning, including highlighting how these different areas interact and support each other, ensuring a well-rounded strategy.

At this point, with help from your advisor, you have the opportunity for making informed, highly personalized decisions. Working together, you will create a financial plan that not only works effectively but also feels right for you and your loved ones. Your input and honest feedback will also help shape the plan to accurately reflect your unique needs and goals.

Step 5. Putting A Comprehensive Financial Plan In Place

After a comprehensive review of your new plan has been completed, your advisory team will begin to execute the financial plan, including the practical implementation of the financial, investment, estate, insurance, and tax planning strategies. 

This involves initiating specific actions to align with your financial goals. For instance, it might include restructuring investment portfolios, setting up necessary estate planning documents, or adjusting insurance coverage.

Execution of the plan is methodical and deliberate. Our process ensures that every component of the strategy is implemented systematically. This may involve coordinating with other professionals, such as accountants or lawyers, to ensure all aspects of the plan are executed promptly and properly.

Step 6. Monitoring and Evolving The Plan

Following the implementation of a financial plan, our team advances to the final stage – monitoring and evolving your plan. This ongoing process is important for ensuring that the financial strategy remains effective and relevant over time. It involves periodic reviews of the financial plan’s performance and progress. 

Periodic reviews are typically during our scheduled client meetings. The frequency of these meetings can vary, depending on your preferences and the complexity of your financial situation. During these sessions, we will provide updates on various components of the plan, such as the performance of investments and progress toward achieving the set financial goals.

Ongoing reviews also help evolve the financial plan. Financial circumstances, legislation, and markets are dynamic which requires the financial plan to remain adaptable. Regular plan discussions allow us to make necessary adjustments to the plan in response to changes in your life, your economic conditions, or the financial markets. 

Go Through The Wealth Management Process With The Right Financial Advisor

At Fischer Investment Strategies, our comprehensive financial planning services are tailored to high-net-worth individuals, offering guidance through every phase of the process. Our approach is meticulous and personalized, ranging from gathering financial data to establishing clear financial objectives and examining existing investments. .

Our advisors excel in crafting strategies that reflect your unique needs and aspirations. We believe in a collaborative approach, working with you to refine your goals, making them realistic and achievable. Whether it’s fine-tuning your investment strategy, advising on estate planning, or navigating tax implications, we are here to guide you every step of the way.

As you work through the financial planning process, putting your comprehensive plan into action and monitoring its evolution, you can count on our expertise and support. We are committed to ensuring your financial plan meets your current needs and adapts to your changing life circumstances and goals in the future.

We invite you to experience personalized, expert guidance in your financial journey. Reach out to our team of financial advisors by calling us at our Westlake office at (805) 418-7686, or our San Clemente office at (949) 433-7768. Additionally, please feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation at a time that works best for you.


This commentary reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Fischer Investment Strategies, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Fischer Investment Strategies, LLC or performance returns of any Fischer Investment Strategies, LLC client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing in this commentary constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Fischer Investment Strategies, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Financial Advisor at Fischer Investment Strategies | Website

Ted Fischer is a Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner® & fiduciary, and the founder of Fischer Investment Strategies.

Drawing from more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Ted's expertise includes retirement planning, investment analysis, tax planning, estate planning, and insurance.

Ted has an extensive academic background. He received his Certified Financial Planning (CFP®) designation from UCLA in 2011. He became a Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC®) and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®). Ted has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, with a minor in Finance, from San Diego State University.


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