A while back, we at Pathway Financial went through an exercise of writing down every service we have provided or will provide to three or more clients over the life of our relationship. When we finished, we had a list of 113 services! As you can imagine it was quite difficult, even for us, to remember all of these things. And frankly, when we have been asked what we do, it's always been difficult to explain. Therefore, we boiled these services down into seven key pillars on which our Path to Purpose FORMula is built.
1. Wealth Management - We think of wealth management in terms of asset allocation. In other words, how much of your portfolio is allocated to stocks, bonds, cash, etc. This is a very important part of our overall process and an area in which we believe we provide value, but we also recognize this has become a very commoditized service. However, unlike many financial advisors, this is only a part of our process; an important part, but really just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Risk Management - This pillar refers to two different areas: personal risk and investment risk. Our in-depth analysis uncovers areas of personal risk that may be mitigated by life, long-term care, key person, or disability insurance. We then work with you to help you decide whether it makes sense to mitigate these risks using insurance products or bear the risk yourself. When it comes to investment risk, our goal is to make sure you are invested in a way that is in line with both your overall risk appetite and the current risk/reward dynamics of the market.
3. Tax Planning - We are not in the business of doing tax returns or offering tax advice because we aren't CPA's, but we realize many recommendations we give as financial advisors come with tax implications (you and potentially your beneficiaries). We strive to always be cognizant how taxation fits into the advice we render, and as such do our best to make sure any advice we give is as tax-efficient as possible.
4. Legacy Planning - Because family is so important, we talk with many of our clients about different aspects of legacy planning. Will the surviving spouse be able to maintain their lifestyle? Are your accounts in-line with your estate planning documents? Will your estate have the liquidity necessary to carry out your wishes? It's important to note that while much of this planning is centered around what happens when you pass away, we can often find ways of shifting assets during your lifetime so you can experience the joy of seeing the fruits of your gifting.
5. Cash Management - Many different services fall under this category, but our main focuses in this area are making sure you always have enough in emergency reserves, keeping your cash flow at a comfortable level, and helping you determine where to take money from and when. We advise on how to coordinate social security benefits, pension benefits, and retirement nest egg distributions. In addition, we always make ourselves available to consult with you on things like major purchases, debt restructuring, and other matters around cash flow.
6. Philanthropy - This is an important matter to many of our Ideal Clients and it's pretty important to us at Pathway too! Typically with philanthropy we're referring to the ways your estate can impact different charitable organizations, but sometimes this can encompass family member's lives, or in memorial of a loved one who has passed. No matter your reason or goal for being philanthropically minded, there are ways we can assist in carrying out your wishes when you pass away, or even during your lifetime.
7. Value-Added Services - This pillar encompasses all the various services and perks we provide that do not fall into any of the above categories. Examples can include things such as educational events, social events, access to technological resources, informative newsletters, and for our most ideal clients, we'll even make ourselves available as a sounding board to anyone important to them.