Financial Architects is so named because we believe, done properly, the investment and financial planning process is similar to the services of an architect. This is true in the following ways:
1) The first step is to identify the goals. The architect asks, "What are you trying to build?" The professional financial planner inquires, "Describe the financial future you desire?" Both the architect and planner will work with the client to clarify and identify those dreams.
2) The second step is to identify the resources available to reach those goals, and, in the absence of unlimited resources, what trade-offs might be made to maximize enjoyment of the final outcome.
3) The third step is to monitor progress toward the goal as construction continues and make modifications to the original plans as necessary. In both professions, the true goal is assisting the client in achieving long-term happiness.
What We Do & What We Don’t
We provide technical expertise and education on financial issues. We also do financial planning and investment management for our clients. Some clients simply want us to look at their overall situation and identify any problems or opportunities and make recommendations. In addition, most clients want us to also manage their investment portfolio. The areas we look at include insurance, estate planning, taxes, investments, and retirement planning.
We don’t sell insurance, draft legal documents, or prepare taxes. Rather we identify needs or areas of risk and work with professionals in those fields to address the issues. We also don’t do behavior modification. While we can educate people so they can make better decisions, we have found we have little ability to change people’s basic behaviors. Therefore, while we try to help as many people as possible, we do not accept as clients those who are not in philosophical alignment with us.
While we assist many types of clients, our typical client has already accumulated some wealth and has realistic attitudes toward what can be accomplished with those resources. Our clients are successful people who typically have goals such as attaining a comfortable retirement, providing for their children’s education, and leaving a legacy for their family and community.
Most of the financial services industry today focuses on selling either products or transactions. In truth, the primary driver of financial success will be a quality process for constructing, implementing, and monitoring a disciplined financial plan. To that end, we:
1) Receive no compensation other than fees paid directly from our clients.
2) Maintain complete independence from any product providers.
3) Are academically oriented rather than sales oriented.