What is the initial meeting process for Financial Planning?

Financial Planning

What is the initial meeting process for Financial Planning?


At Vermillion Financial Advisors (VFA), the Financial Planning process always starts with you and your objectives. Your first meeting with one of our Certified Financial Planners® is a complementary initial consultation designed to answer all your questions.

What is the initial meeting process for financial planning

Initial Meeting (Getting To Know Each Other)

The initial meeting is your meeting. It is an exchange of questions, concerns, ideas, and a discussion of your financial goals. You are provided the opportunity to ask one of our advisors the key questions that are of concern to you regarding utilizing a professionals advice, such as:

What services does VFA provide?
What makes VFA different from other firms?
What can I expect from VFA if I and/or my family decided to try VFA services?
How can VFA help me?

This meeting has a singular purpose, that is to help you determine if you can plan on your own, with perhaps some simple guidance, or if your needs are more complex; meaning that you can benefit by working closely with the help of one of our Certified Financial Planners® (CFP®). The initial meeting will give you an opportunity to meet and interview one of our CFPs® without the pressure of being asked to make any commitments. Hopefully this will be a first step in creating a bond of trust between you and Vermillion Financial Advisors.

From our perspective, we want to learn about you, your family, and your goals. We want to know about your finances such as:

How did you get to your current financial position? (Tell us your experiences – good or bad)
What do you feel are the biggest financial challenges you face now, or will face in the future?
What is it that you wish to accomplish in terms of your financial goals and which goals have priority?
What do you expect from a financial advisor, financial planning, and a financial advisory firm?

By asking these and many other questions, we will be able to determine if we believe we can truly assist you in meeting your financial goals and long-term objectives. If our advisor feels confident that VFA can meet your expectations, properly service your needs and provide you value, you will be offered the next step in our process – a complimentary “Discovery” meeting.

Discovery Meeting (A Cursory Review of All Your Financial Data)

Our CFPs® use the “Discovery” meeting to review all of your important personal financial information, to verify if your current financial picture was as described in your initial meeting, and look for any financial exposures (known as well as unknown to you) that will need to be addressed through the financial planning process. Our discovery meeting is where we determine if our services can ultimately be beneficial to you, and if we can truly help you meet your goals. This no cost, no obligation consultation is a second opportunity for you to meet with one of our Certified Financial Planners®, to ask additional questions, and to raise your level of comfort with Vermillion Financial Advisors and the services we provide. You will learn more about what you can expect from our firm, the potential benefits of our financial planning process, the service options available to you, and the costs involved. Should this consultation successfully meet your expectations, the next step in our process will be to determine together what you wish to do next.

You most likely will be given one of three choices.

You can either select:
Personal Financial Inventory
An Investment Inventory
A Customized Solution

What is the initial meeting process for financial planning

A: Personal Financial Inventory Presentation (The Baseline Analysis – it all starts here)

What is it?
Your Personal Financial Inventory is a thorough, in-depth, comprehensive analysis of your finances that provides a snapshot of your current financial picture. It allows you to benchmark your finances while offering insight into your financial strengths and exposures. Your Personal Financial Inventory is your most useful collection of financial information.

What are the benefits?
Your Personal Financial Inventory offers a clearly defined starting point from which to plan your financial future. You and your advisor will now have the ability to create a comprehensive plan for you to follow to help you achieve your long-term financial goals. By understanding your exposures you can determine your financial priorities thereby addressing these exposures and continually measuring your progress towards meeting your goals.

A Personal Financial Inventory will include the following:

A statement of net worth
An income statement
A comparison of past tax returns
A preliminary tax projection
A review of investment holdings
A review of insurance plans
A preliminary retirement forecast and income projection
A preliminary college cost projection (if applicable)
A preliminary projection of estate taxes and a review of your current estate plan
An initial list of recommendations required to address financial goals and exposures

Recommendations vary from client to client. They may involve any of the seven fundamental discipline areas of personal finances such as:

1) The realignment of your investments to better meet your retirement goals.

2) Strategies to accelerate your ability to retire sooner.

3) The development of appropriate and meaningful estate planning documents to better protect your family, should you become ill or pass away prematurely.

4) The adjustment of your monthly spending to better meet your family values and long-term goals.

5) Tax reduction strategies to reduce your tax burden.

6) Possibly all of the above.

B: An Investment Inventory (The documentation and evaluation of your current investment holdings)

VFA’s Investment Planning starts with an investment analysis. Once your investment statements have been collected by one of our Vermillion Financial Advisors, your investment holdings will be reviewed and all key data will be extracted. Your data will be entered into our databases for analysis and the following reports (if applicable) will be provided:

Cost Analysis
Risk Assessment
Documentation of current allocation mix
Back testing of your current holdings thus providing you with the expected average rate of return, and risk factor for this mixture of investments.

Recommendations also vary client to client. They may include investment alternatives to lower your costs, enhance your return or reduce your volatility.

C: Customized Solution of a Specific Financial Issue of Choice

A Customized Solution is often appropriate for those who may lack either the necessary time to commit to VFA’s comprehensive financial or investment planning process or are experiencing budget constraints.

A Customized Solution allows a client to work with one of our advisors on an agreed upon hourly or project basis. In many cases, a customized solution relies more heavily upon advisors experience and less on financial analysis. Appointments are often scheduled following the achievement of a financial milestone or a timetable frequency being met. A Customized Solution is not always the best choice but sometimes it is the only choice. One of the key benefits a Customized Solution provides is the time to become familiar with one of VFA’s Certified Financial Planners®, our comprehensive planning / investment processes and to develop a long-lasting and trusting relationship.

Recommendations will vary from client to client.

Follow-up Meeting (What do you want to do next?)

Once any of these above service options has been completed, you and your Vermillion Advisor will carefully address the following:

1) Answer any questions raised since your last meeting, financial analysis, or relating to the other services available through our firm.

2) Discuss and determine your financial / investment goals and prioritize them.

3) Discuss your next steps and determine which additional services (if any) you wish to engage VFA to provide.

4) Formulate a service plan of action to maintain and achieve your financial goals.

5) Set up a meeting schedule that fits within your busy life and other commitments.

Should you choose to continue the planning process, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire for the specific discipline that you wish to address first. After all the discussions, gathering of information, financial reviews, and recommendations, you are now ready to begin the real work of financial planning. Regardless if you start with our comprehensive financial planning, investment planning, or a customized solution of a specific financial issue of your choice, you will be moving forward toward addressing your financial goals and objectives.


If you sincerely desire to improve your personal finances,
contact Vermillion Financial Advisors today.

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