Financial planning is the long-term process of wisely managing your finances so you can achieve your goals and dreams, while at the same time negotiating the financial barriers that inevitably arise in every stage of life. At Chris Cooper & Company, we follow the same six-step process endorsed by the National Association of Personal Financial Planning Advisors (NAPFA), the Financial Planning Association (FPA®), and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP® Board).
Step 1 - Define the Relationship
At Chris Cooper & Company, our services are clearly explained and documented for you upfront, so there are no unanswered questions regarding client vs. planner responsibilities. We believe that early on in the relationship, all parties should agree on how long the professional relationship should last and on how decisions will be made.
Step 2 - Establish Financial Goals and Gather Data
As your financial planner, we will require information about your financial situation. We will work with you to mutually define your personal and financial goals, gain an understand of your time frame for results and discuss, if relevant, your risk tolerance. We will gather all of the necessary documents before giving you the advice you need.
Step 3 - Analyze and Evaluate Your Financial Status
After gathering your data and establishing your financial goals, we will analyze your information to assess your current situation and determine how we can help you attain your goals. Depending on what services you have asked for, this could include analyzing your assets, liabilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments or tax strategies.
Step 4 - Develop and Present Financial Planning Recommendations
Once the analysis and evaluation step is complete, we will make appropriate financial planning recommendations that address your goals, based on the information you provided. During this step, we will take the time necessary to fully explain our recommendations to you and answer any questions you may have, to help you make informed decisions. We are there to listen to your concerns and revise the recommendations as appropriate.
Step 5 - Implement The Financial Plan
When an agreement is reached regarding how our recommendations will be carried out, you may choose to have us implement the plan, or we can also provide 'coaching' to help you implement the plan yourself, or with the help of other professionals such as your attorney or CPA.
Step 6 - Monitor the Financial Plan
It is important to regularly monitor your progress towards your financial goals. We will periodically provide you with a status report on the pieces of your plan that we are implenting for you, and review your situation and adjust the recommendations, if needed, to accomodate any life changes you may experience.