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Financial Planning: Helping You See the Big Picture

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Financial Planning: Helping You See the Big Picture

February 7, 2020

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At Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors, we are committed to guiding clients toward meeting their financial life goals. Our unique and strategic Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well.™ process alleviates wishful thinking around performance. We work with our clients to define their financial life goals and develop a tailored and holistic plan to help reach them.

In this article we’re going to take a deeper look into our unique and strategic Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well.™ process. By utilizing our financial planning process, you may not only see, but also live the long-term benefits of evaluating your holistic financial picture and outlining strategies tailored to your financial life goals.

Why is financial planning important?

A comprehensive financial plan serves as a framework for organizing the pieces of your financial picture. With a financial plan in place, you'll be better able to focus on your goals and understand what it will take to reach them.

One of the main benefits of having a financial plan is that it can help you balance competing financial priorities. A holistic financial plan will clearly show you how your financial goals are related. Then you can use the information you've gathered to decide how to prioritize your goals, implement specific strategies, and choose suitable products or services. Best of all, you'll know that your financial life is headed in the right direction.

Our financial planning process

Creating and implementing a comprehensive financial plan generally involves working with financial professionals to develop a personalized plan based on your specific values and goals. Then, a clear picture of your current financial situation is assessed (i.e. your income, assets, and liabilities, insurance coverage, investment portfolio, tax exposure, and estate plan).

Once your goals have been determined and your assets evaluated, your financial planning team creates a tailored and holistic investment implementation strategy. Your advisors choose specific products and services that are tailored to help meet your financial objectives and continuously monitor your plan – making adjustments as your goals, time frames, or circumstances change.

Getting an appropriate mix

The combination of investments you choose can be as important as your specific investments. The mix of various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives, accounts for most of the ups and downs of a portfolio's returns.

There's another reason to think about the mix of investments in your portfolio. Each type of investment has specific strengths and weaknesses that enable it to play a specific role in your overall investing strategy. Some investments may be chosen for their growth potential. Others may provide regular income. Still others may offer safety or simply serve as a temporary place to park your money. And some investments even try to fill more than one role. Because you probably have multiple needs and desires, you need some combination of investment types to meet your goals.

Balancing how much of each you should include is one of your most important tasks as an investor. That balance between growth, income, and safety is called your asset allocation, and it can help you manage the level and type of risks you face.

Staying on track

The financial planning process doesn't end once your initial plan has been created and implemented. Your plan should generally be reviewed at least once a year to make sure that it's up to date. It's also possible that you'll need to modify your plan due to changes in your personal circumstances or the economy. Some of the events that might prompt a review of your financial plan include: a change in your goals or time horizon; a specific or immediate financial planning need (e.g., drafting a will, managing a distribution from a retirement account, paying long-term care expenses); your income or expenses substantially increase or decrease; your portfolio hasn't performed as expected; you're affected by changes to the economy or tax laws.

By taking advantage of a strategic wealth advisor team, some of these worries may disappear. They monitor your accounts and advise you upon modifications due to unaccounted changes.

Common questions about financial planning


What if I'm too busy?

Don't wait until you're in the midst of a financial crisis before beginning the planning process. The sooner you start, the more options you may have, the longer your time horizon becomes, and the more goals you may be able to achieve.

Is the financial planning process complicated?

Each financial plan is tailored to the needs of the individual, so how complicated the process will be depends on your individual circumstances. But no matter what type of help you need, a financial professional will work hard to make the process as easy as possible and will gladly answer all of your questions.

What if my spouse and I disagree?

A financial professional is trained to listen to your concerns, identify any underlying issues, and help you find common ground.

Can I still control my own finances?

Financial planning professionals make recommendations, not decisions. You retain control over your finances. Recommendations will be based on your needs, values, goals, and time frames. You decide which recommendations to follow, then work with a financial professional to implement them.

Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well.

Planning is essential for desirable investment and financial outcomes, no matter what that may look like in your life. It’s also important to understand the best way to align your investments to help meet your financial life goals. When taking a strategic approach to financial planning, the first step is assessing your financial life goals; the second is investing and utilizing financial products best suited to meet your specific needs. The most meaningful outcome, however, is meeting your financial life goals so you can Live Well.TM To access additional informational pieces on the markets and topics regarding your financial goals, visit www.whzwealth.com/resources and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, just search Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors.

This blog has been authored in part by James Zahansky AWMA® of Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. 697 Pomfret Street, Pomfret Center, CT 06259, 860.928.2341. www.whzwealth.com. Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors and Commonwealth Financial Network do not provide legal or tax advice. © 2019 Commonwealth Financial Network®