Verum’s Financial Planning Philosophy

By May 14, 2024 No Comments

In Dave Perkins’ blog post “Four-Decade Perspective of Dave Perkins, J.D., CPA/PFS, CFP®” he highlighted numerous observations and experiences across his 40+ years as an Attorney, CPA, and Financial Adviser.  His eighth observation touches on financial planning and specifically how it should be a process, an evolving conversation, and not a memo or some sort of printed report.  This is really at the heart of how Verum approaches financial planning for our clients, and highlights an approach to financial advice that isn’t common in our industry.  Here are the most important areas of a well-rounded, comprehensive, financial planning relationship.

  • Organization – How can all aspects of your financial life work together if the various pieces are not fully known, understood, or complimentary to each other? It is impossible to give good advice without knowing and contemplating all the details.
  • Start the process of mapping out your financial goals. Where do you want to go, what resources do you have available, and how can you continue to progress year over year toward those goals?  This isn’t a one-time project – goals will change, circumstances will change, resources will change.  Revisit your goals and your progress annually, keeping your eyes on the road ahead.
  • Invest in accordance with your financial goals and within your ability to tolerate (or not tolerate) market risk. The risk of owning an all-equity portfolio or an all-cash portfolio may not help you progress prudently towards your goals.  Striking the right balance between Offense and Defense is key (see Austin Tilles’ blog post, “Verum’s Purpose-Driven Investment Philosophy”).
  • Taxes How are you planning for and around taxes not only in your career but in your portfolio?  Tax planning must be proactive to make a difference.  Tax strategy after the close of a year is simply limited.
  • Have an estate plan and incapacity documents – for yourself and for your family. Some non-negotiables are a Will, Power of Attorney (Financial and Health Care), Living Will, and HIPAA authorizations.  Depending on family complexities, estate tax exposure, or financial complexities, trusts can also play an important role.  At the most basic level, thoughtful estate planning makes life easier for your loved ones at a time when you may not be able to help guide them.  How can you effectively pass wealth to your spouse and your children?  Who cares for your minor children if you can’t?  If you’re incapacitated, who can help manage your financial and health care affairs?  These are not fun topics, but they absolutely need to be in place.  Remember, it’s not for you – it’s for them.
  • Insurance is insurance: no one wants it until they need it. While we are not in the business of selling insurance, we understand its importance in crafting a rock-solid financial plan, and we can partner with you and our insurance resources to make sure you have proper coverage in proper areas.  Some of the biggest risks to a financial plan or for family financial security are loss of life, disability, or a long-term care need.

How can this be covered in a report or a memo or a single financial forecast?  It can’t and it shouldn’t be.  If we are all honest, we almost certainly don’t have the ability to deal with all these conversations at once.  This is why financial planning is a process, done best a little at a time over a long period of time, starting with the highest priority items first.  This is what financial planning should be; this is the modern wealth management experience.

The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your attorney or tax advisor. The views expressed in this commentary are subject to change based on market and other conditions. These documents may contain certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Any projections, market outlooks, or estimates are based upon certain assumptions and should not be construed as indicative of actual events that will occur. For additional information, please visit: https://verumpartnership.com/disclosures/

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