Know you’re making the right decisions.
Your finances have gotten so complex that advice from the internet and co-workers no longer helps. "Five Years Ago You" never envisioned this much money, and "Now You" DOesN'T know what to do with it.
Sometimes you have to make big decisions: 401(k) contributions, changing jobs, employee benefits. Sometimes you have to make life-changing ones: your company is going public, you’re buying a home. How do you know if you’re making the right decision? How does this all fit together?
We start our partnership with a process we have designed for women in their early to mid career in tech. That said, our process is simply a tool to get us to the right place; it’s not gospel.
Whatever is urgent for you is always the most important thing. If your company is going public soon and you need a plan for that, we do that. If you are desperate to consolidate your investment accounts into one place, we do that.
Our foundational work usually takes three to six months, though it can take as long as you need. Once we finish the foundational work, we move into ongoing care.
are we a fit?
Introduction and ExplorationYou meet the team. The team meets you. This is going to be a big relationship in both of our lives, and we want to start it off right.
We have just a few questions for you, and they’re the good ones: What do you want to get out of this relationship? What did you learn about money as a kid? What does your ideal life look like?
We want to start unearthing all those (perhaps hidden) dreams you have about what an awesome life you could live.
Yes, it might be weird because these are not things you usually think about, and especially not talk about. Ultimately, it’s actually wonderful.
We don’t talk numbers...unless you want to.
Get OrganizedWe need a stupid amount of data to fully understand your financial situation. You ideally have all that information nicely organized or know where to easily get it.
Ha! Well, the purpose of this meeting is to accomplish both those things: We get the information we need, and you walk away knowing where all your financial information is, perhaps for the first time.
We deepen, enrich, and clarify the vision of your ideal life that we started to create in our Exploration meeting.
We carve out time to really feel your way into what you want your life to look like in the next 3 months, 6 months, 2 years.
Why do we spend so much time doing this? Because this work tells us the "why" of all the financial decisions you'll make.
If your vision is clear, the answers (often) are obvious.
Brass-tacks time. This can be one of the most energizing meetings for our clients.
That vision of your ideal life? The one that you immediately started thinking about all the reasons you couldn't do? Let's step through those obstacles one by one.
We use a specific framework to help guide you through identifying obstacles and also what, how, when, and who is going to help you surmount them.
Perhaps for the first time, you get a consolidated overview of your total financial picture.
We structure this meeting around managing risks and planning for opportunities, and we help you identify what actions to take in your financial life now.
The best part for clients is often the modeling we do, which shows you that yes! That crazy thing you want to do is actually...doable!
INVESTMENTS AND STOCK COMPENSATION
You’ll walk away understanding how we propose to invest your money, how your company stock works, and with a written strategy for your company stock.
You'll walk away understanding how we propose to invest your money, how your company stock works, and with a written strategy for your company stock.
If we didn’t cover this in the previous meetings and it needs its own dedicated time, we can schedule meetings for:
- Spending Review
- Estate Planning
- Your specific brand of chaos
TRANSITION TO ONGOING CARE...
The impact of the foundational work is felt more and more over time, as we can more effectively help you navigate life’s choices and opportunities.
Each year we will reach out to you to schedule two meetings, springtime and fall. We want this face-to-face time primarily so we can continue unearthing who you are, who you’re becoming, what’s happening in your life, and the life you want to fashion for yourself.
In addition to those two meetings, several times throughout the year we will review a technical part of your financial situation. Between the two, throughout the year we will cover all the important technical parts of your financial life.
We also expect you to reach out to us when you need guidance in anything that has come up in your life. A new job offer? Want to buy a home? Having a baby? Company going IPO? We will address these issues either via email or additional meetings, depending on what’s most helpful.
What to expect from us
You can expect us to meet with you several times a year. Outside of meetings, you can expect us to work on technical aspects of your financial life behind the scenes (open enrollment, tax return review, insurance review, estate planning review, etc.), reaching out to update you or when we think you need to do something.
You can also expect us to be here when you need us. This is the essence of our relationship: here when you need us.
Financial planning is not an emergency room, but nor does it always fit neatly into two meetings a year.
What else you can expect:
- Spring meeting, focused on cash flow
- Fall meeting, focused on taxes, charitable giving, stock compensation, and a review of your plan
- Written strategies for the parts of your financial life (stock compensation, insurance, etc.)
- Investment management and advice
- Client email newsletters, bringing you up to speed on the stuff that can affect you. And animal photos.
What we 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, open communication, and participation.
And please reach out to us when life happens. We want to help!
Flow is a virtual firm, so we conduct our meetings via videoconference. Outside of meetings, we communicate by email.
Want to get a better sense of how we work together? We have all our clients review and sign our:
Flow’s annual advisory services are “all-in-one”
You get both comprehensive financial planning and investment management.
WHY DO WE INVEST YOUR MONEY?
Because our job is to help you achieve the life you want to live. Your investments are one of your biggest tools for achieving that life. (Not the only, mind you.) We need to ensure that your investments are working in alignment with all your other financial decisions in support of that ideal life.
Please note that, because we want all the tools at our disposal to help you live your ideal life, investment management—to the extent you have investments to manage—is a required part of our work with you.
HOW DO WE INVEST YOUR MONEY?
We believe that “Life is interesting. Investing shouldn’t be.” And we’re guessing your life is pretty darn interesting at times.
We believe that the best way to achieve your investing goals is to invest in a broadly diversified, simple, and low-cost portfolio, and to match the choices of investments to the timeframe of your goals and to your attitude about risk.
If you’ve never had anyone else manage your investments for you, that’s okay! We have plenty of conversations before actually doing anything.
HOW MUCH it costs
We agree to a flat, annual fee at the beginning of our work together. You pay it either monthly or quarterly.
We provide you with your quote—stated in dollars—after our initial call.
We review the fee every 12 months. If your financial circumstances have changed, your fee will also change.
How fees are calculated
First $1M in Assets
Next $2M in Assets
Next $12M in Assets
Assets exceeding $15M
Our minimum annual fee is $10,000 for a single person, and $12,000 for a couple.
Flat fee is the most transparent way of quoting your fee. You know exactly how many dollars you’ll be spending to work with us.
We believe flat fees reduce conflicts of interest.
We want you to reach out to us whenever you have questions. A flat fee encourages this sort of “all you can eat buffet” behavior (without the lamentable aftereffects).