Our Services

We have our Five Star Planning Approach, but we don’t prepare big plans.  Those big plans are generally used as sales tools to impress you with color charts and graphs, but a plan like that is often outdated by the time you sit down to review it.

“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight Eisenhower

It’s the “planning” itself that’s critical, and we have to work together on this.  This is how we evaluate your “now” and your “future” with our Vision-Focused Planning™ process that we walk through together.

We believe that you know your family and goals better than we do, so we have to discuss your current situation, your short-term goals, your long-terms goals, and the potential problems that you might see in your future — or that we might bring up, based upon our own planning experience with other clients.  That’s how we get to understand you and learn how to best serve you and best add value to you through our relationship.

Our services include several types of planning, and we go through an established process with our Vision-Focused Planning™ to get to the level of understanding and awareness that we need to achieve together.  It’s impossible to provide a high level of value to our clients without first setting the proper foundation for their goals and objectives.

Our Process

Hope is not a strategy!

We know this from years of experience counseling thousands of clients, and we know this through thousands of failed plans after someone comes to us too late.

We use our Vision-Focused Planning™ process to help you focus on what’s important to you and yours, and to guide us in helping you achieve that vision.  We work with you to develop and maintain your focus, even when the focus needs to be adjusted to a new focus.  We work together for your:

  • Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Investment Planning
  • Protection Planning

This is what we refer to as our Five Star Planning Approach.

Yes, it’s different for every client, but it’s a well-defined process based upon experience of what it takes to arrive at the proper end point of understanding your goals and objectives.  We apply our Vision-Focused Planning™ approach to get us, and you, into the framework of thinking through the different areas or your life.  What’s important to you?  Work and Career?  Retirement?  Do you want to continue working?  Family and Relationships?  Health and Wellness?  Longevity?  Interests and Causes?  What are your Goals and Concerns?

If we don’t take the time to address some of these issues, you don’t get the full value-add of my knowledge base and our relationship where we’re working together on your goals.

It’s important to understand your objectives and the ranking of your goals.  I had one client come in to see me in a new Mercedes, and then a different new Mercedes, and then an old Honda.  When I asked about the new Mercedes, he told me that that was his wife’s car.  When I asked about the second Mercedes, he replied that that was just a loaner car from the dealer.  His car was the old Honda, and he explained that the old Honda was fine just with him.  He wanted to live frugally and leave more to their heirs, but his wife’s plan was to try to spend it all before they died.  They had different goals, but he was okay with following her goal as long as they were both financially secure, and that was their joint goal.  That frequently happens, and it’s okay as long as they have a joint understanding and can still live together happily.  We have to discuss and understand your goals, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is in agreement with all of the goals all of the time.

And what about when changes come up?  Clients frequently contact me when there’s a change, and that’s part of our relationship.  I was recently contacted on a Saturday night by one of my clients.  Why?  Her husband had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and had his driver license revoked.  The family was falling apart.  He was angry and scared, and she was just plain scared and needed some reassurance and guidance.  

I got back to the wife within a few minutes to try and provide some calm to the situation.  That’s part of my relationship with my clients, and part of me caring about their lives and the success of their goals.

This is what we do for our clients.

If you’re a new client, we start with a phone meeting to determine your initial thoughts and see whether we both feel we’re compatible and I can do a good job of helping you.

Once we both establish that we want to move ahead together, we set the next appointment of about one hour to get to know each other better and further define your goals.  

If we’re still in agreement to move ahead together, our next meeting is two to three hours in length and we actually sign papers and start working on implementing the appropriate investment policy to reach your goals.

Some clients already know us, or have been referred to us by a good client, and we might skip the first two meetings and combine the goals of those meetings all into one long meeting of several hours.  Each client is different, and we understand that.  We try to be judicious with our time as well as yours, and that’s why we try to establish a level of mutual understanding before getting too deep into any planning.  

If you’ve reviewed our Client Pledge and our Principles, and understand What You Can Expect From Us and What We Expect From You, then, if you have a minimum $1,000,000 to invest with us, we invite you to contact us and set an appointment to discuss opportunities and goals.

Why would you choose to invest through anybody else?

Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom

Who We Work With

We don’t work with everyone.  

We work with individuals and families.

We specialize in people who are in the second half of their lives.  Yes, we hope everyone makes it to 100 years or more, so the second half of life starts around the age of 50.

Our clients might already be retired, looking to retire within the next five years or so, or working hard and never planning to retire.  That’s like me.  I love my work.  

(Three of my heroes are two attorneys who were still working full time at age 103, and a CPA who got his CFP® RICP® and built a large financial planning practice before selling to a large firm and retiring at age 86.)

Some of our clients have gained their wealth through inheritance or employee stock options that paid big, but most of our clients have saved diligently for many years to build up their nest egg, and they now have $1,000,000 or more to invest.

Most of our clients have a few gray hairs, and I have more than a few myself.  However, although we may get a lot more gray with time or troubles, none of us need more gray hair through stress.  We try to be selective about our clients so that we can work together to add value to their lives through the relationship we maintain with our clients. 

We seek clients who are looking a Trusted Advisor.  We firmly believe that I bring more knowledge and experience than 99% of the advisors in the market, and I apply a truly interdisciplinary approach to wealth through my experience and our Vision-Focused Planning ™ process.  We don’t just get to a result by referring you to a bunch of other professionals who may or may not understand your circumstances and your family.  We get there through our own knowledge of the various fields that affect our success with you.  Our interdisciplinary approach simply allows us to see things a bit differently than others.  In addition to being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney, Jim has held securities licenses, a real estate broker license, and an insurance license.  What other advisor do you know who can bring that level of expertise and experience to the table for your benefit?

Our Fees

Client Assets Under Management Annual Fee Percentage (paid quarterly)
From $0 to $1,000,000 1.25%
From $1,000,001 to $2,000,000 1.00%
From $2,000,001 to $3,000,000 0.80%
From $3,000,001 to $5,000,000 0.60%
More than $5,000,000 0.50%

We don’t hide our fees.  We’re not the most expensive, and we believe that you don’t want the cheapest.

While many so-called wealth managers are only governed by a “suitability” standard, we are governed by a higher standard ­– the standard of what’s in the “best interest” of the client.  That’s why we’re transparent about our fees and want you to know up front what we charge.

Although we provide much more than investment management, our pricing model is based upon the Assets Under Management (AUM).

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