In our first meeting, we want to get to know you, your motivations for engaging us, and what you would like us to do for you. We'll explain how we work at the firm level, the kinds of problems we can solve, the cost of our services, etc. At the end of this meeting, you should have a general idea of who we are, what we do, and if our way of providing financial advice is something you're interested in. Often times, we will be able to quote your planning fee at the end of this meeting but occasionally it will require additional calculations and consideration. Common questions include:
What should I bring to the initial meeting?
Answer: You do not need to bring anything beyond an open mind to our initial conversation. Only after we enter into a formal financial planning arrangement do we need to review your documents.
What is the cost of the initial meeting?
Answer: There is no cost for an initial meeting. This is our opportunity to get to know each other and mutually evaluate our fit.
The first step to formally begin a financial planning relationship with our firm is to enter into a planning agreement. You will receive the applicable disclosures and a copy of the agreement via DocuSign that must be completed and returned, along with your first semi-annual payment. At the same time, a secure portal is created, and you will begin to upload your financial documents for review.
A lot happens in the first year. Our goal as a firm is to help you become and remain financially healthy, but your definition of financial health, and the steps required to arrive there, are as unique as your fingerprint. In the beginning, we set out to learn as much about you as we possibly can. What motivates you, inspires you, and even scares you. These are the questions that allow us to create a plan that is truly yours and will help you achieve the state of financial well-being that you're seeking. Once we have this deeper, clearer understanding of who you are, what you want, and why you want it, we do a deep dive into your current finances and strategies.
We carefully review your financial documents and build your personal income statement and balance sheet. Your income statement and balance sheet, along with our clear understanding of you, come together to form the foundation of your financial plan. From here, various sub-sets of your plan can be developed and evaluated.
What if you save more or use different investments? What if you work an extra year, delay social security or downsize your home? How will less-than acceptable investment returns, or the death of a breadwinner impact your ability to achieve your goals? By measuring and testing various scenarios, you can make more informed decisions that are better aligned with the things you care about, avoid common mistakes that come from the herd mentality, and generally increase the likelihood that your actions will lead to the outcomes you want.
Learn more about our process here.
Often, clients are eager to make changes and wonder when recommended changes are coming, and what those recommendations will look like. While no two clients are the same, there are some commonalities in the types of things we recommend. Areas of implementation include but are not limited to:
Note: Financial plan recommendations can be implemented with the advisor of your choosing. Implementation of specific products or services may result in commissions or fees outside of the financial planning fee.
In our first year together, we worked hard to help you get financially organized, identified and prioritize your goals, and began to implement a suite of solutions to help build long-term financial security. But the goal is not to just achieve financial security, it is to achieve and maintain it. Because this goal is perpetual, we structure our planning to be both dynamic and flexible. It's not enough to create and implement a plan, then send you off to fend for yourself the rest of the way. Rather, we provide frequent contact, structured reviews and timely updates, to ensure that you continue to make good decisions and progress.
At Tide Creek, we have several different types of reviews (can be combined):
We use all compliant methods at our disposal to communicate with you and make every effort to match our communication frequency and style to your preferences. At a minimum, clients will hear from our client experience manager quarterly and meet with their primary advisor twice per year. Often times, more frequent communication is necessary and is always welcomed. In short, we will meet and/or speak with you as often as necessary but not less than the 2/4 listed above. We happily offer in-person meetings in our office during normal business hours (by appointment only), as well as virtual via Zoom and Teams, and of course, over the telephone.
Professionalism and effectiveness are extremely important to our firm. We believe that sound advice is the key to a successful planning relationship and strive to create an environment where we can continuously provide high quality advice to our clients in a way that is both enjoyable and sustainable. We also believe that we can be highly effective financial planners while maintaining a casual and friendly working environment. We work to build relationships with our clients that go deeper than just numbers and, in many cases, have developed what we consider to be professional friendships. You won't find us lined up in our board room (although we do have one) pouring over hundreds of pages of data. We don't' believe in sales meetings where you must make a decision before you walk out of the room. That's just not who we are. Instead, we choose to focus our time and energy on what matters really matters to you, and what we can do to help. This is who we've decided to be, and if this resonates with you, this is why you should hire us.