Many years ago, I was invited to speak at an insurance industry conference, by a large insurer, because of some of the innovative ways we were using insurance products to solve financial problems through our sister company Wealth Preservers, LLC.

The president of the inviting insurer was speaking to the audience of insurance agents stating that they needed to change their tactics or perish. He was quite resolute in his believe that stockbrokers were “eating their lunch”, referring to the agents in attendance. His solution was to begin using titles such as financial advisor, financial consultant, financial planner, etc.

I was the next speaker and rather than use my prepared speech I knew I had to set the record straight. I took the stage and briefly spoke about some of the financial problems were able to solve using this tool called insurance but then pivoted. I spoke about how my team were referred into cases that enabled us the opportunity to find solutions to the problems presented to us. We were not referred by an allied professional to sell their client a product, we were referred to solve a problem. True Wealth Management is about solving financial problems so that the client can realize their financial and personal goals. If our referring partner saw the team as product salespeople, we would never had the opportunity to solve the financial problems that afforded us the invitation to the conference.

So, what is Wealth Management? It is a process! It is not the products you sell, the software you use to create the multicolored charts and graphs or glossy 4 color brochures. It is a process!

Step 1 Getting to know each other: The advisor needs to ask pertinent questions to learn about theprospective client. What does their family look like (if any)? What are they trying to accomplish? What are their issues?, etc. The prospective client also needs to ask probing questions regarding the advisor such as experience, certifications, client and regulatory issues, etc. No financial relationship can truly form without complete trust of both parties.

Step 2 Gathering Data: Once trust and report have been established both sides can work together as a team. Sometimes the relationship never makes it to step 2 and that is good as well. Both the client and advisor have to have confidence in the other. Now the discovery process takes place where the advisor is gathering necessary documents and being introduced to the other advisors on the client’s team.

Step3 Analyzing and Evaluating: In this step we are using various software and database systems in order to understand not just how each component works but how each component works or doesn’t with the others. In this stage it is not uncommon for the advisor to request permission to engage their other advisors such as CPA, Attorney’s, Insurance Agents, etc.

Step 4 Develop and Present: Now we reach the point where we re-engage the client to present a plan that we believe will solve their problems and give the a clear path toward their personal and financial goals. In this stage it is not unusual to make some changes to the plan because, a reasonable solution cannot be found, and we need further input from the client.

Step 5 Implementation: Once the client is satisfied with the planning path, implementation of the plan takes place. Clear Financial Strategies, LLC is a strict fee-only RIA and does not permit compensation outside of the client’s fee, so we look for the best products to implement the plan at the least cost. This does not mean the cheapest, it means the best at the least cost. For example, if financial solution A is more expensive than financial solution B but A has a better net return and potentially even lower risk, we may opt for what looks like, at first blush, the more expensive solution. Since we are fee-only, the more the client makes the more we make as your fiduciary, so we are always looking after your best interest because it is also ours.

Step 6 Monitoring and Adjusting: While all steps are important, step 6 is the most important in our view. Without this crucial step you are simply driving using only your rearview mirror.

Wealth Management is very time consuming and data intensive. Done correctly, it can positively change the financial life of the client, and the advisor.

The advisors at Clear Financial Strategies, LLC use a holistic wealth management process that coordinates the client’s personal, business and financial life together for a comprehensive goal of success.

Call +1 (844) 372-5900 to learn more or schedule a convenient appointment by clicking here.