The Four Phases of Financial Planning: Part One

04 Aug 2015

What does financial planning look like? You know you need to do something to prepare for retirement, but what might that be? Let’s talk about the four components of financial planning that make up the framework for success. They are: discovery, planning, solutions, and monitoring.

Some people in financial services focus on just a few, or one, of these components. Then there are some that offer a truly comprehensive financial plan: They help their clients align every component and that’s what you should strive to find in an advisor.

Let’s discuss in more detail the first two components of the financial planning framework and how Cornerstone Financial Strategies approaches them:

  1. The Discovery Phase: This phase uncovers the ‘why’ behind the ‘what.’ We use the Financial Road Map to help clients articulate their values. Then we help them establish goals and milestones for working toward them. How will they feel when they achieve them? When do they want to attain a particular goal, and how much money will that require? We look at their current financial situation to assess the possibilities.
  2. The Planning Phase: This phase alone is quite detailed. Overall, we want to make sure the right product is used for the right job. In my opinion, there are no bad financial products, but there are many financial products applied badly. The planning phase relies heavily on the discovery phase, because the plan needs to match up with your goals and values. We will weigh the financial implications of each goal and construct the framework for a plan that supports them.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this post for details on the solutions and monitoring components.


Brad Berger
Brad Berger

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