It’s that time of year when people make resolutions, set goals, and commit to improving themselves. If you are focused on your finances this year, we have just the list for you… the BFS Advisory Group Top 4 in 2024.
#1 - Finance is Fun
You think finance isn’t fun. We get it. We really do. The wealth management industry has a tendency to make finance boring. We, on the other hand, think finance is fun and fascinating. Our firm is focused on the intersection of your financial plan and your portfolio - essentially, the place where your money allows you to have the life you want, the life you think about on long walks and as you plan your upcoming months and years. Sure, our financial plans will address the “must do” goals like retirement and college education, but they are more precisely designed for the “want to” goals that are unique to you. We firmly believe that your money should bring you more joy than stress, and a well-designed financial plan gives you the confidence that you can handle both “must do” and “want to” goals (more on that below). We have fun when our clients have fun, and we have had a ball lately helping our clients with second homes, career pivots, adventure travel, and lifetime experiences.
#2 - You
Our industry has also told people to just keep accumulating as much money as possible throughout your lifetime, no matter what else may need attention. But that idea doesn’t necessarily leave room for life to happen - for family caretaking, for intentional or unintentional career changes, or for a reprioritization of what’s important. Your financial plan is your financial plan, and even that plan may change during your lifetime. We have no two plans across all of our clients that are exactly the same. Each of our clients has different priorities, values, family dynamics, opportunities to make money, choices in spending, hobbies, and activities that bring them joy. You get the picture. The rules of thumb that are useful when you are starting out (“max out your 401k plan”) may be wholly useless to you if you have more pressing demands on your money. This is where finance is fascinating - it looks different for everyone, and we shouldn’t expect cookie cutter answers to complex questions like how you will finance a business and a college education at the same time.
#3 - Clarity
A big step in the financial planning process is gaining clarity about the role your money should play in your life. Our in-depth process requires that clients revisit the decisions that led them to where they are today. The very act of identifying what you are lacking in your financial plan will pave the way for your success in achieving your goals. Seemingly small details like the payout options on a deferred comp plan can have a major impact on a long-term plan. What is the interest rate on your savings account? Do you need life insurance? If so, do you have enough of the right kind? Or are you possibly overpaying for a policy that doesn’t even suit you? Does your job give you the right work / reward balance? How much money are you spending unintentionally that you can redirect? How often do you replace cars? Can you afford to start your own company? All of these answers (and about a hundred more…) affect the optimal design of your plan.
#4 - Confidence
2023 was a banner year for our financial planning team, as we provided more financial planning services than ever before, both in breadth and depth. We designed plans for multiple generations within multiple families, we officially launched our Small Business Owner plans, and we added an in-depth tax strategy program for our clients with complex assets and income. We worked with entrepreneurs and executives, families starting to manage wealth and those looking to maximize it. Across all of our clients, there is one common theme: they are smart people who want to be good stewards of their wealth, but they lacked confidence about their money before they met us. They just didn’t know if they were going to be okay and whether they could keep living the life they want. Our process provides them with the steps to achieve their goals, of course. More importantly, it provides them with the confidence they need so that they can use their money to have the life they want.
If your 2024 resolution is to gain more clarity and confidence around your finances, we’d love to help you with your financial plan. Email us at email@example.com.
Debra Brennan Tagg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and the creator of the DBT360 Financial Plan, a proprietary program that helps her clients prioritize their goals, leverage their resources, and address their risks. She is the president of BFS Advisory Group and teaches the public and the financial services industry about the importance of values-based financial planning and investor education.