Our Financial Planning Process
A Personalized Financial Plan for Your Situation
At Fisher Investments, we believe the financial planning process should start with a detailed understanding of your long-term goals, needs and objectives. We believe having a personalized financial plan will help guide you when making decisions about your financial future.
To create a personalized financial plan, some people choose to hire a financial planner, while others prefer to create and manage their own. For those who wish to oversee their own financial planning process, there are three main components to financial planning:
- Evaluate your current financial situation
- Create your financial plan
- Review your financial plan regularly
Fisher Investments offers clients the financial resources they need, including financial planning services. This includes helping our clients with financial plans so they can make decisions holistically and confidently. We can help our clients with budgeting and cash flow analysis, estate and tax planning, and even strategies to help maximize Social Security.
Let’s take a closer look at the three main components of the financial planning process, and how they are used to craft a personalized financial plan.
Evaluating Your Current Situation
Creating a personalized financial plan first requires an understanding the current state of your finances. This holds true whether you’re creating your own financial plan or working with a financial adviser. Without a clear picture of your current finances, it can be difficult to create a financial plan to help you achieve your long-term goals.
See Our Investment Guides
The world of investing can seem like a giant maze. Fisher Investments has developed several informational and educational guides tackling a variety of investing topics.
Measuring Your Net Worth
You’ll want to take stock of both sides of your financial ledger—assets and liabilities. This helps you determine your current net worth and overall financial health. Measuring your net worth is an important part of the financial planning process.How to Measure Your Wealth
After determining your net worth, you need to evaluate your cash flows. Knowing your current cash flow situation, both income and expenses, can help illustrate areas where you may need to adjust spending to help reach your financial goals.
When evaluating your cash flows, use financial records like bank account and credit card statements to get the most accurate numbers as possible. Be sure to cover necessities, nice-to-have items and contingency costs (things like home or auto repair, medical emergency costs, etc.) in your cash flow evaluation.
Crafting a Personalized Plan
Once you have created a detailed picture of your financial situation, established financial goals and evaluated your cash flows, you can begin to create a personalized financial plan. When creating your financial plan, you should consider factors such as your time horizon, legacy plans, risk management, future tax liability, health care and long-term care costs.
Run your financial plan through multiple scenarios to confirm it will help you reach your long-term goals. Your financial plan may lead you to modify your current investing strategy and asset allocations. Perhaps you’ll see a need to generate additional cash flow or retirement income from your investments. Working with a reputable financial planner or financial adviser can help streamline this process.
Perform an Annual Review
Creating your initial financial plan isn’t the end of the financial planning process. Life happens and circumstances change, and you should regularly review your financial plan to help ensure you’re on the path to achieve your financial goals. Fisher Investments recommends reviewing your financial plan at least annually, either on your own or with your financial adviser.
As part of your annual financial plan review, take a fresh look at your current assets and liabilities. This exercise should give you an idea of your current financial health. Then review your current cash flow situation. Doing so helps you determine if you are staying on budget, or if adjustments are needed.
Finally, an annual review is good, but consider looking over your financial plan more frequently if you’ve had any major life changes: marriage or divorce, new grandchildren, a death or major illness, moving homes or retirement status. Examine how an event could impact your financial future and adjust your plan accordingly.
Fisher Investments’ Approach to Financial Planning
At Fisher Investments, we offer the financial resources you need. Our wealth management services focus on seven areas we believe are critical to reaching your long-term financial goals: portfolio management, financial planning, insurance, estate planning, taxes, trustee services and banking. Below you’ll find a comprehensive overview about our services and how we help create a personalized financial plan tailored to you.
Estate Plan Evaluation
We can review your current estate plan and help you ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. If you would like to make changes to your estate documents, we can connect you with a vetted attorney in your area.
We can help you evaluate your Social Security options—such as when to file and begin drawing benefits.
We have partnered with third-party Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms to establish a dedicated tax advisory team who can provide tax planning support and answers to your questions. We can also help you identify a CPA to help you prepare and file your taxes. Fisher Investments receives no compensation for tax planning and preparation referrals to third-party resources.
Our specialized service professionals can help you assess your insurance needs and determine what amount of life and/or long-term care insurance may be most appropriate for you and your family.
We can help analyze your current annuity contract, or a contract you are considering, to help determine if the annuity’s features are aligned with your long-term financial goals and objectives.
We can coordinate with your custodian to link the use of a check or debit card to your brokerage account—allowing your funds to serve as backup to your traditional check and savings accounts. We can also help you evaluate mortgage and home equity loan rates available through your custodian.
Through a custodian in our network, we can provide access to corporate trust issuers who can help manage assets held in a trust. If you are the grantor of an existing trust or are interested in establishing one, we can help you select the most appropriate custodian for your needs. Any applicable fees are paid directly to the trust company—Fisher Investments receives no additional compensation for these services.
Our Financial Planning Counselors are available to review your financial status and planning goals and help with strategies to meet those goals. Your financial plan consolidates future income and expenses and, if a shortfall is found, the Financial Planning Counselor can help identify potential solutions.
Creating Your Personalized Financial Plan
First, we take the time to understand your entire financial pictures and determine your goals and objectives. Then, we help identify a path that aligns with your goals and provide a personalized financial plan, including actionable steps to take. To accomplish this, one of our financial planning professionals gathers information on your current financial situation, including your investment goals, time horizon, income and expenses, cash flow needs and more. We use that information to prepare a personalized financial plan with clear, easy-to-understand information to help you make the right decisions about your financial future. Whether it is helping define your initial investment strategy, mapping out the impact of differing investment decisions, creating an estate plan or even navigating life’s major non-financial decisions—like transitioning from the working world into retirement—we can help.
Reasons Why a Fisher Investments Financial Plan Might Be Right for You
- We provide an asset management strategy and recommendation based on your specific needs, analyzing time horizon, investment objectives and other factors specific to you.
- We can help you understand your legacy and how to help ensure your wishes are met in the future.
- We educate you on financial planning topics like: Social Security optimization, legacy and charitable gift planning, perspective on annuities, life insurance and long term care.
- We provide access to professional resources.