Know you’re making the right decisions.
Your finances have gotten complex. you no longer feel confident that you can make the best decisions for yourself.
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. Below is a template for the meetings we’ll have, and we will adjust according to your needs.
are we a fit?
We deepen, enrich, and clarify the vision of your ideal life that we started to create in our last conversation (before you were a client).
You 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?
And 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.
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.
Obstacles And Cash Flow
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.
Also, especially if you have a feeling of "where does all my money even go?" we will get a clear idea of your income, and then where it goes. This helps make decisions about spending and saving and funding your goals.
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
- Going deeper into previous topics
- Your specific brand of chaos
TRANSITION TO ONGOING CARE...
The impact of the foundational work is felt more and more over time, as we know you and your finances better and can more effectively help you navigate life’s choices and opportunities.
Each year we will reach out to you to schedule one, comprehensive annual meeting. This is the “big rock” each year. We use this time primarily to continue unearthing who you are, who you’re becoming, what’s happening in your life, the life you want to fashion for yourself…and what actions we need to take to protect and support all of that.
We understand that your life doesn’t happen once a year, or on a schedule of any sort. So, we will also meet with you however many additional times is right for you. Some years, your life might be steady. Other years, you might have a lot going on. Our biggest responsibility? To Be There When You Need Us. We structure our business so we can do just that.
Additionally, several times throughout the year we will review a technical part of your financial situation and let you know our assessment and any changes we think you should make.
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? Let us know so we can help you walk through it.
What to expect from us
You can expect us to meet with you at least once a year, and sometimes several. 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 a set number of meetings each year.
What else you can expect:
- Cash flow (saving and spending) recommendations
- Tax-focused recommendations: charitable giving, stock compensation, etc.
- 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 second consultation.
We review the fee every 12 months. If your financial circumstances have changed, your fee will also change.
How fees are calculated
Our fees start at $10,000/year for a single person, $12,000/year for a couple.
If your assets under management (i.e., the size of your investment portfolio, which we manage for you) exceed $1M, then at each 12-month renewal, we calculate your new annual fee like this:
First $1M in Assets
Next $2M in Assets
Next $12M in Assets
Assets exceeding $15M
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).