At Waymark Wealth Management, we believe that simply constructing a financial plan will not, in and of itself, improve a client’s financial situation. Instead, it is when a client actually implements quality advice that true value can be created. Because of this, we have developed a personalized financial planning process designed, not only to build a blueprint for seeking, pursuing, or addressing financial success, but also to compel a client to take action to execute that blueprint. Waymark utilizes Behavioral Finance exercises to better understand a client’s decision-making process. These exercises allow Waymark to be aware of a client’s top values so they can understand why they may or may not support a recommendation later on in the financial planning process. They also help Waymark tailor their advice to a client’s values and communicate recommendations in a manner that is natural for a client.
Click here for a list of some of the topics we cover during our Comprehensive Financial Planning process.
Goal Setting & The VISOR Process
The purpose of establishing the goal or relationship is to form the foundation or purpose of planning itself - to begin the financial journey with the clarification of a financial destination. Too many people save and invest money with no specific goal in mind. Going a bit deeper, too many people have financial destinations but these goals are not their own; the goals are whatever the so-called conventional wisdom has taught. The purpose of money must follow the purpose of life, not the other way around.
To flesh out your strategic & tactical goals, we use a proprietory method called our VISOR process. VISOR is an acronym for:
V – Vison: paint a picture of how your completed goals would look
I – Importance: how important are these goals to you?
S – Supporting resources: what is working FOR you
O – Obstacles: what is working AGAINST you
R – Readiness: emotional & overall readiness to pursue your goals
This step is where the information required to make recommendations for the appropriate strategies and financial products to strive towards your goals is gathered. For example, we'll need to know your annual income, savings rate, years until proposed retirement, age when you are eligible to receive Social Security or a pension, how much you've saved to date, how much you will save in the future, expected rate of return and more.
Although you may already know this information, it is wise to have it all written down so that you can visualize all of the necessary data required to make informed decisions. It is also critical to have some level of redundancy in case you become unable to manage your own finances. This information will be recorded in your personalized Waymark Online Client Portal, and it can be accessed anytime by you or with whomever you choose to share this information (e.g. spouse, children, attorney, accountant, etc.).
Analysis Presentation & Implementation
This is where we marry your qualitiative goals with your quantitative data. Here, we present you with how you are progressing with your retirement, savings, cash flow and education savings goals. We also will provide an objective analysis of your current investment portfolio and a review of your current estate plan. And all analyses and recommendations take your personal tax situation into account.
As simple as this sounds, many people find that implementation is the most difficult step in financial planning. Although you have the plan developed, it takes discipline and desire to put it into action. This is where inaction grows into procrastination. The point is to make your financial strategies achievable and to consider slowly moving up to desired savings rates rather than jumping into something that may be challenging if implemented too fast for your comfort level and budget.
It's called "financial planning" for a reason: Plans evolve and change just like life. Once the plan is created, it's essentially a piece of history. This is why the plan needs to be monitored and tweaked from time to time. Think of what can change in your life, such as marriage, the birth of children, career changes and more. These events all require new perspectives on life and finance. Now think of financial changes beyond your control, such as tax law changes, interest rates, inflation rates, stock market fluctuations, and economic recessions.