Download a PDF of this article
Many people know they should have a better financial plan, but have not found the time to create one. An in-depth plan can take a lot of work. Most people do not have the time to do it all in one chunk. Those who try often become so overwhelmed that they never get around to completing it all. If this happens, it can be a waste because the plan can become outdated.
Our approach is different – it resembles more of a medical checkup. We get to know you and figure out your ailments. We discuss the problem, alternative ways to deal with it, and arrive at a potential treatment plan. (Like a doctor, this of course is confidential). If you need specialists to be involved, we can work with people you know or help provide some specialists to help find someone you like to work with. We are involved to the degree you choose to involve us. And the cost of our involvement is included as part of your management fee (where we manage your investments).
Step 1: Getting To Know You
Here we get to know your situation – your family, your work situation, assets and liabilities, income and expenses, your goals, and any concerns you have. We also tell you about us – who we are, what we do, how we do it, how we are paid and our investment philosophy. Then we see if there is a fit and whether we both choose to work together.
Step 2: Financial Planning—Your Medical-Style Financial Checkup
In getting to know you, we normally do a Financial Checkup – sort of like a medical physical – covering all areas of financial planning (Cashflow Management, Family Security, Tax Planning, Inheritance Planning, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning and Business Planning), with the purpose of identifying any existing or potential problems as well as opportunities to improve your financial situation. Where there’s an issue, we’ll tell you the implications if nothing is done, the alternatives methods to dealing with the problem and recommend a “treatment.”
Step 3: Implementing Your Treatment Plan
You may choose to carry out any, all, or none of the treatment recommendations. And you decide to what extent our involvement will be. Our only concern is your best interest and that whatever we do is helpful and adds value to you. We work with you on a schedule that’s convenient for you.
Step 4: Getting Your Investments Right
Your portfolio and regular savings need to be invested to grow to provide for your needs but do so without taking unnecessary risk. If you don’t have the right mixture of investments you might take on more risk in your portfolio value than you are comfortable with. Or it could mean that you simply don’t get enough growth to reach your goals. Similarly, if you are holding poor investments, your portfolio might not get the growth you need. Without proper risk control, losses can be devastating.
Here we will review your asset mix and each of your investments. Where we manage your portfolio at Lycos Asset Management Inc, we will also make investment recommendations, implement your portfolio and continually monitor it.
Step 5: Periodic Portfolio Review and Financial Checkup
(I) Portfolio Review
Once your portfolio is put in place, we would meet periodically to review your portfolio. We would also meet if anything significant happens in the market or in your life or to your family members that might impact needs from your portfolio.
(II) Financial Checkup
To ensure your finances remain in-line with your goals and that you’re prepared for many of the pitfalls that can derail your finances, it’s time to do an updated financial checkup whenever there has been a significant change in your situation.
In our Financial Planning approach, like a medical doctor, if you have an ailment, please call or email Steve anytime. We’ll set aside the time needed to identify the problem, discuss treatment alternatives and arrive at a recommend treatment plan, and work with you on your time to put that plan in place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steve Nyvik, BBA, MBA, CIM, CFP, R.F.P. is a Senior Portfolio Manager with Lycos Asset Management Inc. – an independent investment management firm located in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada. Steve focuses on building income portfolios to meet family retirement needs and provides financial planning so that if ‘life happens to you’, your goals aren’t derailed in the process. He has been in the investing and financial planning profession since 1992. Steve can be reached at 604-288-2083 Ext 2 or toll-free at 1-855-855-9267, or by email at [email protected].