buTHave you ever worked with a Fee-Only financial planner before? You’re not alone if you answered “no” to that question. We work with many clients who have never worked with a financial planner and aren’t sure what to expect. Let’s dive into the details to give you a better idea of what you can expect when working with Spark Financial Advisors.
What You Can Expect
1. A complete and detailed picture of your financial life, including your net worth in an online client portal.
2. Exploration and clarification of your personal and financial goals and life plan.
3. A review of your cash flow to assist you in identifying ways your cash flow matches with, or varies from, your priorities.
4. Presentation of possible scenarios to help you make the most of your financial assets & live your best life.
5. Analysis, discussion and recommendations on a wide variety of topics pertaining to your financial life (existing savings and investments, tax strategy and planning, risk management, employer stock incentives, student loan analysis, college planning, charitable and estate planning).
6. A checklist with specific recommended actions and a letter explaining the “why” behind the checklist.
7. Ongoing financial planning support and investment advisory with unlimited access to your advisor, bi-annual plan reviews, and assistance checking off your “to do” list. Has something happened in your life? Business changes? We want you to call us. Let us help you re-calibrate your plan.
We will guide you through the process and help you stay on track. We strive to make the process as enjoyable, simple, and straightforward as possible.
We believe in transparency, please visit our financial planning services page to get more details on the topics we cover with clients and our pricing. Let’s take a closer look at the flow of our financial planning process.
1st Step: A Quick “Get to Know You” Call
We begin with a free 15-30 minute phone call. You can schedule this phone call directly from our website or click here:
During this call we’ll ask you to tell us a little bit about you. What prompted you to reach out to Spark Financial Advisors? What services are you looking for? What questions do you have for us?
If our services match your needs and you are ready to move forward, we will schedule a one-hour meeting or video-conference.
You will also receive an invitation to your personal financial portal. Through this portal you can directly link your checking, savings, and investment accounts. You can also link any credit cards or loans you may have.
This portal will give you an up-to-date snapshot of your net worth, your spending, cash position, investment allocation, and financial plan.
2nd Step: Get to Know You Meeting or Video Conference
This is a relaxed and open meeting where we will be going through a life planning process to help you clarify your goals, dreams, and aspirations. We will talk about any worries and concerns you may have and get to know you better.
There are no right or wrong answers.
After this meeting we will ask you to sign a client agreement.
3rd Step: Data Gathering
Now it’s time to start digging into your financial lives. You will receive access to a secure document folder via Box.com so you can quickly and safely share your financial documents with Spark.
We will start to comb through your documents and begin building your financial plan. Your financial plan will reflect the dreams, hopes and fears we uncovered during our first meeting.
4th Step: 1st Year Quarterly Meetings
We break the financial planning process into manageable sections with specific action items after each meeting. This helps us to accomplish parts of your plan at a comfortable pace but still maintain momentum.
We tackle financial topics in this order:
- Cash flow and Taxes
- Retirement Account structure & Investments
- Estate Planning & Insurance
- College, Social Security, & Charitable Planning
Have a pressing issue? Don’t worry, we can address it quickly. While we’ve laid out a financial planning process to ensure nothing falls through the cracks, we are sensitive to your needs.
Based on our conversations we will continue to refine your longer-term financial plan.
5th Step: Financial Plan Presentation
We will check-in on your action items from the past meetings and go through your personal financial plan recommendations. We will discuss your optimal path towards achieving your goals; including investment and tax strategies, risk management recommendations, and any other areas of concern we previously identified. Specifically, you will receive a checklist and an investment recommendation.
6th Step: Business & Exit Planning
The health of your business drives your personal financial picture which is why we coordinate with your team to get everything running like a well-oiled machine. Do you have the right strategy and team in place? Are you preparing for a sale or ownership transfer? Is your business supporting your great life, or controlling it? This process typically begins in year two.
7th Step: Ongoing Implementation and Adjustments
Life changes quickly and real financial planning is an iterative process. Every year we will continue to refine your financial plan and make adjustments as your life changes. We offer ongoing life planning, forward-looking tax planning to minimize your taxes, investment advisory services, business value & exit planning, updates to your plan, portfolio withdrawal planning, and unlimited access to your financial planner for questions big and small.
Let’s Get Started!
Why wait? Time is your most valuable asset. Let Spark Financial Advisors help you create and enjoy financial freedom.
Questions for Lauren?
Financial planner and advisor, Lauren Zangardi Haynes, CIMA®, CFP®, works with business owners in Richmond and Williamsburg, VA. She also works virtually with clients nationwide. As a fiduciary, she offers comprehensive Fee-Only financial planning and investment advisory services so you can live your dreams with confidence.