How AMF Follows the CFP Board’s Financial Planning Process (2024)

How AMF Follows the CFP Board’s Financial Planning Process (1)The CFP board revised its Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct effective October 1st 2019.

Part of this revision was an update to the CFP™ Practice Standards for the Financial Planning Process. This revised process is logical and makes a lot more sense than the previous version.

In this post, I will go through the seven steps to the revised financial planning process and show you how working with Andrew Marshall Financial, LLC (AMF) corresponds to each step.

How AMF Follows the CFP Board’s Financial Planning Process (2)

The first step in the financial planning process is gaining an understanding of your personal and financial circ*mstances. How did you get where you are today? Who is important in your life? Whatassetsdo you have to work withinyournext stage of your life journey?

To begin to understand your circ*mstances, I ask everyone who is considering working with AMF to complete a confidential questionnaire.

In the questionnaire I ask for some basic contact and financial information like: do you own a home, are you collecting Social Security, how many kids do you have, are you married, etc.

In the questionnaire I do not ask for any financial numbers. That way there is very little reason not to get started and fill out the questionnaire. It should take you 10 minutes or less to complete the questionnaire.A link is here.

With your questionnaire complete, the nextmethod I use tounderstandyour situationis to talk to you.

If you’re in the Carlsbad area,we can meet in my office.

If you’d rather not drive,or you’re not near the Carlsbad, California area, we can do a video conference. If you’re familiar with video conferencing at work or you have used Skype orFaceTime, you know it’s very easy to go online and meet as if we’re in the same room. The final option is a traditional phone call. Phone calls still work too.

This first meeting is free and what I want to do is hear your financial concerns, what you would like to accomplish, and determine how I can help you improve your future.

Step 2 in the CFP Board’s financial planning process is to identify and select your goals.

You probably already know your goals before you come to see me. In our first meeting, we will talk about your goals. I may suggest some goals that you haven’t thought of butthatwill help your financial future.

Common goals people havearedetermining when they can retire, determiningwhattheirretirementspendingwill look like, having their investment allocation reviewed,andlearning what steps they should be taking now to improve their futures.

With my help we will select and prioritize your goals. Hopefully all of your goals will be achievable, but if not, we may have to resize them or prioritize them.

After our meeting I will send you a written proposal listing out what your project will include and the price.

If you like the proposal and decide to hire me, then I will send you a contract for digital signature and collect a deposit.

After we are officially working together, my understanding of your personal and financial circ*mstances continues to expand.

I will collect the data needed to create your plan. Examples of the information I will collect include: your income, your spending, your risk tolerance, your account details, assets, liabilities, available resources, rental properties, taxes, employee benefits, government benefits, insurance coverages, and others.

Step 3 of the CFP™ planning process is when my work as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional really begins. At this stage, your input is complete for a while.

Using software, calculations, knowledge and experience, I will analyze your current course of action and create a projection for how things are likely to turn out for you should you continue as you currently are.

A baseline retirement projection is the most common example of this scenario. If you continue to save and invest as you are, you continue paying down any debts, and you retire at the age you want, what does your retirement look like? How much can you spend safely in retirement?

From this baseline situation I will test alternative courses of action to find ways to improve your outcomes. What changes to your finances will create a better future for you and your family?

My CFP™ training and experience has taught me how to analyze the different alternatives available to you and assemble them into a coordinated plan that maximizes the use of various elements and strategies.

In step 4 of the revised CFP™ financial planning process, I will choose the best of the alternatives that I tested in the previous step to make my recommendations.

The term “best strategy” could mean many things including highest probability of not running out of money, highest net worth remaining foryourheirs, highest average spending, easiest implementation, least complication, and others, depending on your wants.

In developing my recommendations, I will coordinate what the numbers tell me with what I know about you, your personality and your desires.

Once I have finished developing my recommendations, I will write a report detailing my findings, recommendations and the reasoning behind my recommendations. Click here to see sample report.

After I have completedyour financial plan, we will meet again and go over the written report. I will explain eachof my recommendationsand answer any questions you have.

In some situations, we will connect my laptop to the large monitor on the office wall and show you how the variables affect your outcomes. For example, does spending $500 more per month make a difference? Does working one additional year make a difference? If so, how much?

As we play with the software and observe how the different elements of your financial planinteract with eachother, you will come away with a great understanding of how your behavior today affectsyourfuturelifestyle.

Step 6 of the financial planning processis toimplement the recommendations that you agree with. A financial plan that isn’t put into action doesn’t do any good.

When I make a recommendationfor you,it’s just that a recommendation. If you don’t want to follow through on arecommendation,that’s up to you.

Hopefully Iwillhave explained the reasoningforwhymyrecommendationswould benefit you,and you’ve asked questions,so you fully understandthe recommendations.

Since I do not sell insurance and I do not manage investments,most all of the implementation will be done by you.

Icanrefer you to an insurance broker who works with fee only financial planners like myself,if that is needed. Also,I will make specific recommendations about funds that are available to you in your investment accounts.

For example if you have your accounts at Vanguard, I will recommend Vanguard funds for you.You can then log in to your account and make the necessary changes.

I will have analyzed your options for your 401(k)or 403(b) accounts and have made recommendations on the funds that are available to you. You can then take these recommendations,log into your 401(k)account or talk to your HR person at work,and make the changes.

In your written financial plan, Iwill make it clear which steps youneed toimplement and include instructions as needed.

Since Ido not charge an assets under management fee, I do not continually monitor your accounts. When you work with Andrew MarshallFinancial LLC,eachprojectis separateand the ongoing monitoring is up to you.

Oneway to integrate monitoring is for you to come back each year for an annual update.

Duringfutureupdates we will look at how things have changedin your lifeandhow yoursavings and investments have progressed.I may develop newrecommendationsoradjust the current ones.

Iwillleave it up to youto decidehow often you want to come back for monitoringyourprogress and updating.

This really depends a lot on the client situation. I prefer to see clients who are approaching retirement each year because the retirement transition is so critical. Forclients in the middle of their careers, perhaps they can come in every 2 or 3 years.

Ifsomething changesin your lifelike a new job, anillness,newbaby,youbuyahome,etc.There are lots of things that change inlife and maynecessitate a progress update for your financial plan.

I hope this blog post has shown how the process I follow aligns with the financial planning process according to the new CFP board standards of conduct.

Ifyou are ready to get started please fill out the questionnaire (link here) and schedule your first meeting (link here).

How AMF Follows the CFP Board’s Financial Planning Process (3)

How AMF Follows the CFP Board’s Financial Planning Process

As a seasoned financial planner and a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP™) professional with extensive experience, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the discussion of financial planning. My credentials are not just a title; they represent a commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards and staying current with industry regulations. My expertise is further demonstrated by a deep understanding of the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, especially the revisions effective from October 1st, 2019, which included updates to the CFP™ Practice Standards for the Financial Planning Process.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts and steps outlined in the article about how Andrew Marshall Financial, LLC (AMF), aligns with the revised financial planning process:

1. Understanding Personal and Financial Circ*mstances

The first step in the CFP Board's financial planning process involves gaining insight into a client's personal and financial circ*mstances. AMF utilizes a confidential questionnaire to gather basic contact and non-financial information, making it easy for clients to initiate the process.

2. Identifying and Selecting Goals

Step 2 focuses on identifying and selecting financial goals. AMF discusses both client-identified goals and suggests additional ones that could enhance their financial future. Prioritization and selection of achievable goals are crucial aspects, leading to a written proposal and contract if the client decides to move forward.

3. Collecting Data for Analysis

Step 3 involves collecting comprehensive data to create a financial plan. AMF gathers information such as income, spending, risk tolerance, account details, assets, liabilities, and various other factors to build a foundation for analysis.

4. Analyzing the Current Course of Action

In Step 3, as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, I use software, calculations, knowledge, and experience to analyze the client's current financial situation. This includes projecting outcomes based on current actions, with a common example being a baseline retirement projection.

5. Developing Recommendations

Step 4 focuses on choosing the best alternatives tested in the previous step. AMF tailors recommendations based on the client's unique situation, considering factors like avoiding running out of money, maximizing net worth, and aligning with the client's desires and personality.

6. Presenting Recommendations and Report

Step 5 involves presenting a detailed report of findings and recommendations. AMF explains each recommendation, answers client questions, and may use interactive tools to demonstrate the impact of different financial decisions.

7. Implementing Recommendations

The final step is implementing agreed-upon recommendations. AMF emphasizes the importance of taking action on the financial plan and provides guidance on steps to be taken, such as changes to investment accounts. Ongoing monitoring is left to the client, with options for periodic updates based on individual needs and life changes.

In conclusion, AMF's approach aligns seamlessly with the revised CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, providing a comprehensive and client-centric financial planning process. If you are ready to embark on this journey, consider filling out the questionnaire and scheduling your first meeting with AMF.

How AMF Follows the CFP Board’s Financial Planning Process (2024)


How does the CFP Board define financial planning? ›

Financial Planning is a collaborative process that helps maximize a Client's potential for meeting life goals through Financial Advice that integrates relevant elements of the Client's personal and financial circ*mstances.

What are the 7 steps of the financial planning process? ›

7 Steps of Financial Planning
  • Establish Goals.
  • Assess Risk.
  • Analyze Cash Flow.
  • Protect Your Assets.
  • Evaluate Your Investment Strategy.
  • Consider Estate Planning.
  • Implement and Monitor Your Decisions.
  • AWM&T: Your Choice for Financial Fitness.

Which of the seven steps of the financial planning process follows the development of the financial planning recommendations? ›

  • Step 1: Understanding the Client's Personal and Financial Circ*mstances. ...
  • Step 2: Identifying and Selecting Goals. ...
  • Step 3: Analyzing the Client's Current Course of Action. ...
  • Step 4: Developing the Financial Planning Recommendation(s) ...
  • Step 5: Presenting the Financial Planning Recommendations.
Oct 26, 2021

What are the six steps in the financial planning process give an example? ›

The Financial Planning Process
  • Step 1: Set Goals. While this seems pretty basic, this step often gets overlooked. ...
  • Step 2: Gather facts. ...
  • Step 3: Identify challenges and opportunities. ...
  • Step 4: Develop your plan. ...
  • Step 5: Implement your plan. ...
  • Step 6: Follow up and review yearly.

How many steps are in the CFP financial planning process? ›

They agree to a Scope of Engagement for financial planning that includes all seven steps of the financial planning process.

What is the lifecycle approach in CFP? ›

Life-cycle financial planning helps to understand the dynamic nature of your family's financial risks presented and developed in a plan that evolves over time to meet those changing needs. The stages of life-cycle planning can be seen in 3 simple phases: Accumulation, Preservation and Transfer.

What is the financial planning process? ›

The financial planning professional and client mutually define and agree on terms for the future review and evaluation of the client's situation, including financial objectives and stated personal goals, personal risk profile, lifestyle and other relevant factors, and the client's progress toward achieving stated ...

What is the process of financial planning? ›

It involves chalking out a plan listing all your future goals and estimating the capital required for their completion. You then plan out the financial means to attain them. It may involve saving, investment, and administration of funds, among others.

What is the order of the financial planning process? ›

There are six steps in the financial planning process: understanding your financial circ*mstances, identifying goals, analyzing your current course of action, developing a financial plan, and monitoring progress and updating. This is a great question to ask if you're considering working with a financial planner.

What are the 4 basics of financial planning? ›

The main elements of a financial plan include a retirement strategy, a risk management plan, a long-term investment plan, a tax reduction strategy, and an estate plan.

What is the smart thing that you can do for your money? ›

Create a Spending Plan & Budget

If you are spending more than you earn, you will never get ahead—in fact, it's a sure sign that your finances are headed for trouble. The best way to make sure that your income is greater than your expenses is to track your expenses for a month or two and then create a budget.

What are the 6 aspects of financial planning? ›

As a financial advisor, you play a vital role in helping clients navigate their financial life through various aspects, such as cash flow management, investing, aligning personal values, risk management, tax planning, and retirement and estate planning.

What do you mean by financial planning? ›

Financial planning is the process of assessing the current financial situation of a business to identify future financial goals and how to achieve them. The financial plan itself is a document that serves as a roadmap for a company's financial growth.

What is the definition of a financial planner? ›

A financial planner helps clients manage their current money needs and reach their long-term financial goals. Their focus may be broad or narrow. Some help clients with many aspects of their financial lives, including savings, investments, insurance, retirement savings, college savings, taxes, and estate planning.

What are the 3 S's for financial planning? ›

The Three S's
  • Saving. The methods for teaching money lessons have certainly changed. ...
  • Spending. A budget is an important financial tool that can teach children how to manage money responsibly. ...
  • Sharing.
Nov 18, 2022

What are the 5 key areas of financial planning? ›

In this blog, we explore the five key components of a financial plan and how they work together.
  • Investments. Investments are a vital part of a well-rounded financial plan. ...
  • Insurance. Protecting your assets—including yourself—is as important as growing your finances. ...
  • Retirement Strategy. ...
  • Trust and Estate Planning. ...
  • Taxes.
Feb 9, 2024

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Last Updated:

Views: 6362

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Birthday: 1998-02-19

Address: 64841 Delmar Isle, North Wiley, OR 74073

Phone: +17844167847676

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: LARPing, Kitesurfing, Sewing, Digital arts, Sand art, Gardening, Dance

Introduction: My name is Amb. Frankie Simonis, I am a hilarious, enchanting, energetic, cooperative, innocent, cute, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.