Financial planning can be a fairly nebulous term, no situation is exactly the same. That, to me, is the magic of this business. There are no shortcuts, everyone deserves individual attention and since we don’t sell products you can be rest assured that we won’t stick you in an annuity you don’t need or an expensive fund when an ETF would suffice. Our focus is figuring out what your path is and helping you get a plan together to achieve that. Because we are solely advice driven, we spend time on pension plans, 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, private real estate investments, and the like. Most advisors don’t address these items in full because they are paid by AUM (assets under management) and can’t get paid on those assets so there is no incentive to help out with ancillary financial items.
All the services provided below can be provided on an hourly basis*. (See: Asset Management under “Our Services”). Our primary focus is comprehensive financial planning since everything is ultimately interrelated with money. We understand not everyone is a candidate for a comprehensive plan, hence billing for particular projects. Most clients find that when they address only one issue more questions inevitably pop up. Regardless if it’s a simple modular plan or complex comprehensive plan, the pricing is still structurally on a subscription or hourly basis. In some circumstances you’ll have to buy a product for a particular purpose, specifically life insurance for estate planning purposes or general protection planning (term insurance) for your family/business. In the event you want to use our firm to purchase products outside of advice we provide, know that we donate all the net proceeds to local charities. We do that to remove any worry of conflict of interest, which is fitting with the title “Fee-ONLY “.
Planning for life after Divorce
Second Opinion on proposed plans
|Cash Flow/Debt Analysis
Managing Inheritance or Trust
Business Planning/Stock Options
Real Estate Investment Analysis
Risk Management/Insurance Analysis
We look forward to working with you through this process. Tell us where you want to go, we’ll help you get there.
*We do not offer variable annuities or variable insurance products. We can provide a referral if you’d like after informing you of the risks and expenses on these products.
Our personalized financial plans center on two important factors. First, by really getting to know you, we can help you identify the goals and objectives you are more passionate about. We can then provide you with a plan that reelects those goals. Secondly, we will help you to understand how each of your decisions will affect other areas on your financial life. We believe that with 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 you need to develop long-term plans that will you to adapt, change, and stay on track as your life changes.
We use both MoneyGuidePro and eMoney financial planning programs, what we use and why depends entirely on the our clients current situation, goals, and complexity. We occasionally build out our own models depending on the circumstance, this usually has to do with buying/selling a business or investment property. Regardless of the financial planning platform is one central tenant and that is that money is interdependent, fluid and always changing. Because of this we prefer to meet at least twice per year to update the plans and make tweaks when necessary. The takeaway is this, it doesn’t do anyone any good to spend 20+ hours carefully crafting a plan that walks you through the next 30-40 years of your life and never update it.
We recommend a low-cost, transparent, no-frills approach to investing through the use of index funds, ETF’s and no load mutual funds. We believe that this approach is preferable over complex financial products, enabling you to focus on your goals, the process, and not the product itself. We offer the option of a hands-on approach through our asset management services or a hands-off option by assisting you in setting up your own brokerage account online.
We use TD Ameritrade Institutional platform for our asset management services. This platform provides a dynamic offering for clients who are interested in having a financial professional manage their portfolios. We have access to DFA funds, employ tax loss harvesting, as well as numerous techniques behind the scenes to make sure we are minimizing your expenses, minimizing your tax exposure, and maximizing your returns. We are able to aggregate third party investments (including mortgages, credit cards, outside brokerage accounts, etc.), along with integrating any assets managed by us into our financial planning software programs. This allows us to gain a much more detailed perspective on our client’s financial picture as well as keep asset management costs down, while having a low-cost, dynamic, & tax efficient portfolio.
Blueprint Financial Consultants does not require you to invest your assets with us, but we do require you to engage in creating a financial plan if you would like us to manage your assets. We are a planning centered firm who also manages clients investments, but as I always tell my clients “if you don’t know where you are going, how do you know you’ve arrived?” If you would like to set up a online brokerage account and do it on your own, we’ll help with the paperwork and help build a portfolio for you. We still recommend meeting twice per year to go over the account and make sure the portfolio is rebalanced and address any changes to your financial picture.
Owning and running a business is a little different approach than traditional personal financial planning. Not only that, but you are busy running your business and don’t have time to comb through plan documents, review insurance, or make sure your employee benefits are optimized. The good news is that what we are here for, and we’ve been in your shoes before (we are in your shoes).
Whether it is reviewing your current 401(k) to makes sure you have the best investment options available for your employees while keeping costs under control, setting up a profit sharing plan to help gives employees a little extra incentive, or putting insurance in place to assure continuation of ownership or if a key employee leaves. We administer 401(k) plans similarly to how we manage our client’s assets, low cost, transparent, using index funds and ETF’s, with a focus of service and flexibility. Additionally we can help you review your plan to determine what is the best retirement for both ownership and employees. And because we are primarily an advice-driven firm, we can merely just give you our opinion on your current set up and show you where your strengths and weaknesses are without worrying about having to implement any recommendations immediately. Here are some of the places we can help;
-Set up/rollover 401(k) plans ($2 million minimum)
-Best fit evaluation for SEP IRA, Simple IRA, Profit Sharing Plan, or Solo 401(K)
-Evaluate group term insurance plans for cost savings
-Evaluate key man insurance, buy/sell funding agreements, and/or gernerational business transfer.
Trust is a major part of any relationship with a financial professional. I offer a second opinion service not because I want to interfere with your relationship with your current advisor: most are entirely trustworthy and ethical. However, during my past working for AXA Advisors (an advisory branch of the French insurance company AXA Equitable) I had to sell products such as annuities. These first 7 years I spent in the business gave me insight into how all the various financial products work, what alternative options are out there for clients, and the ability to breakdown fees and expenses that aren’t often properly disclosed to the consumer (See: DOL fiduciary rule). If you have questions about what your advisor is recommending to you, or you think a product offered might not be appropriate for your financial needs, I am more than happy to give you my opinion. I can explain the product for you in detail to show you where there might be opportunities to save you some money and perhaps make a better decision.
Most often, the products that get recommended by financial professionals are the ones with higher commissions: that is how the bulk of their profits are made. Suspect products (examples listed below) have a few things in common: 1) High commissions; typically 5%-7% paid to the advisor 2) They are expensive for you to own, containing high internal costs (annuities can be cost upwards of 3%-4% annually) 3) They are illiquid: if you withdraw money from these products early, you will pay a hefty penalty (some permanent insurance policies require you stay 15 years, annuities typically require around 5-7 years).
Suspect products vs potentially better options:
-Whole Life Insurance vs Term Life Insurance
-Variable Annuities vs Any other investment product
-A & C share mutual funds vs Index funds/ETF/no-load mutual funds.
-Equity Indexed Annuities vs Fixed Annuities
-Non-traded REIT’s vs Publicly traded REIT
-Brokers selling their company’s proprietary product vs brokers who will also sell a competitor’s product.
Bottom line: you should get the best product, for the best price, from the best company regardless of affiliation. It’s that simple.
Planning for retirement is an art and a science. It’s impossible to predict how the stock market is going to behave over 30+years, much less what your employment picture is going to look like. The thing you can control is saving as much money as possible as early as possible. We build our models using Monte Carlo simulations to show you thousands of difference outcomes based on savings, rates of return, tax treatment and other ancillary factors. Here is a list of some of the items we can assist you with:
-Help maximize employee benefits at work
-Set up/transfer Roth IRA/Traditional IRA’s
-Analyze portfolio investments to change investment allocation and identify cost savings.
-Set up/transfer non-qualfied brokerage accounts
-Help rollover old 401(k)’s or other retirement accounts without tax penalty
-Help identify alternative investments to invest in
If you are planning on retiring early you need to make sure you have the right balance of funds invested in tax deferred accounts such as a 401(k) or 403(b), as well as investments that are available without penalty before the age of 59 1/2.
It is usually a difficult transition for most folks who are accustomed to saving, contributing to their 401(k), paying FICA taxes, stashing away money in a rainy day fund, etc. to “taking” money out of those assets and trying to make that last 30+ years. Our job is to address the myriad factors that play into calculating how much can a client safely withdraw while trying to maintain principal. Some of the areas we address here are:
-Pensions, PERS, Military Pensions, Social Security
-Roth IRA Planning
-Changes in Taxation
Distribution planning is an area that requires multiple updates throughout the year, especially for new retirees the first five years are of critical importance since any major negative market moves can dramatically alter how much money you can safely withdraw and for how long.
Risk Management/Insurance Analysis
Making sure you have the appropriate amount of insurance is a necessary evil, it definitely isn’t as sexy as seeing a stock go up 100%, but it is the base for any holistic financial plan. There are myriad ways to insure yourself:
-Term Life Insurance
-Permanent Life Insurance
It is important to make sure you update your beneficiaries and amounts at least once/year. Additionally, if you have a term insurance policy it is always smart to “shop it” each year to make sure you can’t save a little money, maybe you’ve lost a little bit of weight or maybe an insurer has changed their actuarial table.