Financial Planning + investment management

Get the guidance you deserve to make the right financial decisions, now and in the future.

You have to make financial decisions all the time. Employee benefits. 401(k). Taking a new job. Downpayment. Restricted stock units. How do you know if you’re making the right decision? You sure don’t want to waste opportunities. Do you even know what your finances look like now, let alone the how each new decision will affect them?

How does it work?

Our work together is collaborative. I may be the financial expert, but you are the You expert. My role is to help you cultivate consciousness around your financial decisions and to erect “guardrails.” You choose a path between those guardrails that works for you.

We start by creating an initial plan that showcases where you are now financially, and also your goals and vision for your life. We then work together systematically to implement the action steps and get you closer to your goals As changes happen in your life, we adapt our strategy so it still makes sense for you. Once a year we do a thorough review of the plan to ensure we’re still headed in the same direction.

As part of this ongoing relationship, I also manage and provide advice for all your investment accounts.

What You Can Expect From Me:
  • The first year features 5 or more meetings, in which we get clear on your ideal life, understand your full financial picture, explore possible paths forward (until you find a path you like), and whatever else is on your mind

  • Subsequent years feature a spring meeting and a fall meeting, plus any additional meetings or work that you need for what’s going on in your life

  • A written plan organized around your ideal life, and the milestones on the way there

  • Investment management and advice

  • Anytime access (via email, phone, and meetings)

  • Reminders, to help keep you on track

  • Secure, simple, online access to all your information

  • Quarterly client newsletter

What I Expect From You:

Our work together is a partnership. Everything that goes into a good partnership is what we want in our relationship with you: respect, appreciation, open communication.  And please reach out to us when life happens. We want to help!

We work virtually, so we conduct all our meetings online or on the phone (unless you happen to live near Bellingham, WA. It’s beautiful up here!).

How much does it cost?

We agree to a flat, annual fee at the beginning of our work together, and you pay it either monthly (out of cash flow) or quarterly (out of your investment accounts).

We review our agreement and fee every 12 months. If your financial situation hasn’t changed much, then your fee likely won’t change much upon the annual renewal. If you grow your wealth significantly—through an IPO, for example—or your financial situation becomes much more complicated—you take a job with a complicated equity compensation structure, for example—then your fee will increase in step with your increased wealth and/or complexity.

How Fees are Calculated

The fee is calculated based on your Net Worth and Income. The fee increases with the complexity of your situation and the level of wealth. We will provide you with your quote after our initial call.

“How Much Would I Pay?”

Because your fee will depend on the specifics of your financial position, we hope that these examples will help set your expectations.

$6000-$8000: 

  • Single woman, working at a public company, salary $150k, RSU income $60k, net worth $50k
  • Single woman, working at a private company, salary $200k, net worth $50k, preparing for an IPO
  • Couple, total income $500k, net worth $500k

$8001-$10,000:

  • Same couple as above (Couple, total income $500k, net worth $500k), and one of them going through an IPO
  • Single woman, income $275k, net worth $300k, going through an IPO for a previous company and with a complicated stock situation at her current, private company

$10,001-$15,000

  • Couple, income between salary and RSUs $500k, net worth $1M
  • Same couple, but one of them works at a private company and has a complicated stock-option situation

$15,001+

  • Income $500k, net worth $2M, much of which is in investable assets (ex., not tied up in home equity or private-company stock) 
Why a Minimum Annual Fee?

Our minimum annual fee is $6000 for a single person, and $8000 for a couple.

We specialize in working with women in their early-to-mid-career in tech. Many of you don’t have much wealth…yet. We still want to work with you, so we can help you to build that wealth. So, instead of requiring you to have a certain minimum amount of wealth to work with us, we simply require you to pay a minimum annual fee.

Why a Flat Annual Fee?
  1. It is the most transparent way of quoting your fee. You know exactly how many dollars you’ll be spending to work with us.
  2. We believe flat fees reduce conflicts of interest.
  3. Predictable fees fit more easily into your regular cash flow.

Investment Philosophy

Investing isn’t complicated. At least, it shouldn’t be.

Unfortunately, it is usually presented as rocket science, or soothsaying…too mysterious for you to understand. Both theory and empirical studies have shown us the simple solution:

  1. Pick a balance of stocks and bonds appropriate for you (both your goals and your attitudes about risk).
  2. Buy low-cost, broadly diversified funds.
  3. (Optional) Get a little fancy with tax optimization.
  4. Don’t touch it! (except, of course, to add more money )

That’s the simple part. But our emotions make it far from easy. Too often, our emotions convince us to buy and sell at just the wrong times. Or to neglect your investments entirely.

Investing needs to be part of a comprehensive planning process.

Investment decisions are best made when you thoroughly understand your financial picture. Directing your investments without that understanding is “ok” at best, and damaging at worst. How can you know what your investments should look like without knowing how much life insurance you have or need? How big your emergency fund needs to be? Whether your finances are entangled with your extended family’s?

A successful investment strategy should not be measured by the rate of return; it should be measured by how well it helps you achieve your goals. She who dies with the biggest number doesn’t win. She who dies with the fewest regrets does.

Are you afraid you’re missing opportunities?

Help me make the most of my finances.

As Seen In

FLOW Financial Planning

Flow Financial Planning, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor in the States of Washington, California, and New York.

hello@flowfp.com
Bellingham, WA
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