Our ProcessFee-Only ModelInvestment Approach

Our Process

I work with a wide range of clients, they are retirees, working professionals , businesses, and even recent college grads. We only ask that our clients are serious about improving their financial situation and willing to do something about it. Whether that is learning about ETF’s and getting started saving or constructing a comprehendive financial plan, we’ll help you get where you want to go. We think that information is power, and we’ll do our best to provide you with all the tools to make better decisions. We like to look at our process as a team effort, we don’t expect you do any of the technical work, but the more information we can get from you both financially and personally, the better.

We believe that our holistic approach, with an emphasis on financial education, will help you be able to not only focus on your short-term goals, but also gain the understanding needed to develop long-term plans that will allow you to adapt, change, and stay on track financially as your life changes. We tailor our recommendations around your life, goals, and dreams, not just numbers.

The advantages of a fee-only firm are lower investment costs, no product sales pitches, and the transparency and certainty that comes from an up-front explanation of fees and products.

Here is a typical process for a plan with our firm (time will vary based on complexity & timeliness/organization of client).

  1. Introductory Meeting
    1. Get Acquainted (Initial 30 min complimentary)
    2. Discuss Financial Objectives/Goals & Answer Questions
    3. Develop Fee Estimate and Project Timeline
  2. Data Gathering/Initial Preparation
    1. Gather copies of all relevant financial statements (documentation list will be provided)
  3. Interactive Goal Setting Session
    1. Determine/Prioritize goals and objectives for financial issues.
    2. Create clear understanding of what we want to accomplish moving forward.
    3. Review Data Gathering to make sure all financial aspects are addressed.
  4. Analysis and Plan Formation
    1. Construct Financial Plan and/or Portfolio Analysis
    2. Input information from data gathering and interactive goal session
  5. Financial Plan Presentation
    1. Present Plan, answer any and all questions
    2. Make Recommendations on actionable items
  6. Plan Implementation and Follow Up
    1. We’ll assist in helping you set up a brokerage account to self manage if you prefer.
    2. We’ll refer you to someone in event you need a product we don’t offer (variable annuity and variable life insurance).

*If you prefer, some of these meetings can be done via FaceTime/Skype, but we prefer to get to know our clients in person if possible.

Fee-Only Model

Blueprint Financial Consultants is a fee-only firm. We are advice driven, not product driven. The advantages of a fee-only firm are lower overall costs for services, no product sales pitches, and the transparency and certainty that comes from an up-front explanation of fees. On the other hand a commission-based service, by contrast, earns its money from commissions on the products it sells, and those commissions ultimately come out of your pocket and investments. This is a one and done relationship, you simply purchase a widget from your broker and most likely never heard from them again, unless it is to sell you something.

Everything we do for our clients is centered around holistic financial planning, we aren’t interested in managing assets for the sake of managing assets, we consider that merely selling a product.  We feel that if we don’t know our clients’ entire financial picture, how can we effectively construct a portfolio to reflect their unique wants and needs?

The other unique aspect of being advice driven and is the that we have an open platform. What does that mean? That means if you have the majority of your assets tied up in employer retirement plans or privately held real estate for example, that’s ok, we can help address that since we charge for our time. Most “fee-only” or ‘fee-based”planners are really just charging a percentage of assets they can manage, they have no incentive to really dig deep and look at assets they can’t charge for. We have no such conflict.

Investment Approach

The traditional approach to providing personal financial services — focusing on investments alone at the expense of seeing the big picture — is out-of-date and ignores the increased complexity of financial decision-making today. Your portfolio is only part of your financial picture. To be effective, investment planning needs to be integrated with the other aspects of your financial situation. Our approach to money management is based on your needs and goals, and the results of the planning we do together.

We don’t offer active management of stocks. We don’t pretend to know what will happen in the stock market. We don’t consider stock picking or market timing to be investing: we call it gambling. Our recommendation is that if you want to gamble, go to Las Vegas, because at least there they’ll comp your drinks.

The strategies we recommend focus on controlling the factors you can (how much you spend, how much you save, what you pay in taxes and fees) and respecting forces beyond your control (financial market performance). In working with you to achieve or preserve financial independence, we will never recommend taking risk for risk’s sake alone.

We focus our work with you on your plans, financial and otherwise.  We don’t really know what to do with your investments until we understand what you need them to do.  And that’s where holistic financial planning comes in. We build portfolios with best-in-breed, low cost index mutual funds and ETFs.  A buy-and-hold approach minimizes taxes, and we consider the location of investments (taxable versus tax deferred accounts) when constructing portfolios, along with myriad factors that are unique to your individual portfolio.