Values Based Financial Planning
You are more than just assets. You have goals, interests, passions, values, relationships, advisors, and your own processes. Understanding you can help us to shape and customize our approach to help you reach your end game. Six areas of your life have an impact on your financial planning and investment strategies: Your Vision, Values, Lifestyle, Family, Work, Health, and Financial Well-Being.
Your needs, wishes, and goals in these areas shape five key planning areas that are part of any investment or wealth plan. By helping you articulate your aspirations, we are better able to understand where you want to be and develop a blueprint to help you get there. This is values based financial planning.
Before we get down to crunching numbers, we’ll talk about the things that are most important to you — family, community, pastimes, church. We’ll ask a lot of questions about what you’re really thinking, feeling, worried about; your experiences with money; and what you’ve accomplished so far. Together we’ll figure out where you are now and where you want to go.
Credentials to Serve Your Best Interest
While our website and blog should help in that evaluation, our designation as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®) should make it more tangible. Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. If you are like many, you use financial advisor, financial planner, stockbroker interchangeably. Others see financial advice as being sold an investment or insurance policy that may or may not work as advertised. All financial professionals licensed to sell stocks and bonds are required to gain an understanding of their client’s circumstances. However, for some that merely means that it is suitable but not necessarily in your best interests. We have yet to meet someone who did not want financial planning advice to be in their best interest. The legal word for that is fiduciary. Our investment fiduciary credentials include:
- CFP® professional
- Accredited Investment Fiduciary®
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
To attain the right to use the CFP® professional marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:
- Education – Complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing the financial planning subject areas that CFP Board’s studies have determined as necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, and attain a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or its equivalent from a foreign university). CFP Board’s financial planning subject areas include insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning;
- Examination – Pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination. The examination, administered in 10 hours over a two-day period, includes case studies and client scenarios designed to test one’s ability to correctly diagnose financial planning issues and apply one’s knowledge of financial planning to real-world circumstances;
- Experience – Complete at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience (or the equivalent, measured as 2,000 hours per year); and
- Ethics – Agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.
Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks:
- Continuing Education – Complete 30 hours of continuing education hours every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and other parts of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to maintain competence and keep up with developments in the financial planning field; and
- Ethics – Renew an agreement to be bound by the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards prominently require that CFP® professionals provide financial planning services at a fiduciary standard of care. This means CFP® professionals must provide financial planning services in the best interests of their clients.
CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to the CFP Board’s enforcement process. This can result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.
Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®)
The Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) Designation certifies that the recipient has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and their application to the investment management process. To receive the AIF Designation, the individual must meet prerequisite criteria based on a combination of education, relevant industry experience, and/or ongoing professional development, complete a training program, successfully pass a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor and agree to abide by the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards. In order to maintain the AIF Designation, the individual must annually attest to the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards and accrue and report a minimum of six hours of continuing education. The Designation is administered by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, the standards-setting body of fi360.