Financial Decision-Making Packages
This is the level that works best if you have with multiple accounts and/or over $100,000 in assets. Coaching can be particularly helpful when you are facing change—a new job and a new 401(k) plan, an inherited stock portfolio. Often clients come to us with multiple IRAs or 401(k) or 403(b) accounts that need streamlining and reorganizing. Or a broker will be suggesting a particular product or account change and you want to gather and review the information needed to make an informed decision. In such cases the coaching process typically has several stages:
- Information gathering: To begin, we collect documents, account statements, set up online access to accounts and organize all the relevant papers needed to understand the big picture. Your coach will also share with you useful background information that will take you through the basics of investing and beyond.
- Account analysis: For many clients, this phase starts with a subscription to Morningstar and/or Quicken. Together with your coach, you link accounts electronically, enter key data, study the big picture, and critically review each of your account holdings. You will learn to find and use a wide range of research sources, including mutual fund annual reports, prospectuses, account agreements, and research from independent providers such as Morningstar, Value Line, S&P and Lipper and your brokers’ web sites. You will come out of this phase with a clear understanding of what you own and what gaps there are in your portfolio, as well as hard numbers on what all these financial products are actually costing you. And you will build analytic skills that will stand you in good stead for a lifetime of successful investing.
- Decision making: Armed with real, unbiased information and solid understanding of the costs and issues, you will be ready to begin to make measured changes, if necessary. At this stage your coach can help you by asking the right questions and guiding you through the detail-oriented process of making fund or account changes. Some people find that it’s helpful to have a coach join them at meetings with human resources professionals, investment advisors or financial planners, and having your coach at your side or on the line can make conference calls with account help lines much more fruitful and less stressful. Your coach is there as a sounding board and a mentor, but you are in charge and you’ll be making the decisions, armed with all the right skills and knowledge.
- Monitoring: During this phase you’ll create files and systems to track papers and online accounts and set up watch lists to help you monitor stocks and funds. You’ll learn what to pay attention to and how to quickly scan your statements and all those mutual fund reports for the two or three numbers or news items that really make a difference. The first time you go through all this, it helps to have your coach teaching you, then you’re ready to solo. It’s a truly empowering feeling, knowing that you are ready to take charge of your own finances, armed with information, lots of useful tools and worksheetsand the skills, habits and self-confidence that will ensure a lifetime of successful wealth management.
The Financial Decision-Making Package includes six coaching sessions plus 12 hours of research and online email support provided by your coach. Fee: $1,620 per quarter, payable in advance.
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