Making a plan is the first step in your journey. And the first step in making a plan is to identify a destination. At Armor Investment Advisors, LLC, the Financial Life Planning process is custom to every client and always begins with clearly identifying goals. Without clarity on goals, plans will be pointless and measurement will be meaningless.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
-The Cheshire Cat
Like a flight plan for a pilot, we understand that the initial plan is critical as a guide, but that the real value from a planner comes after takeoff when we conduct ongoing reviews and updates to the plan in response to life changes and economic changes. Multi-generational planning has a longer time horizon and therefore even more course corrections as situations change.
Financial Life Planning
Financial Life Planning connects life and money, the qualitative, and the quantitative, and provides a framework which brings clarity to financial decisions. With the Financial Life Planning process, we help clients articulate their wishes and dreams and chart a path to achieving those goals while minimizing risks.
Each client’s framework is unique and incorporates their goals, dreams, and risks as well as their money personalities, values, and legacy wishes. While every plan is unique, the planning framework always covers five broad categories of risk.
Current and Future Income Protection
Current and Future Income Protection includes retirement cash flow projections and Social Security claiming strategies for some clients and college planning and executive benefit analysis for others.
Debt Management covers the analysis of current liabilities and the risks of different debt structures.
While Investment Management is often the most visible way that we help clients, it is always part of the broader Financial Life Planning. Investment Management does not stand alone, but builds on top of Financial Planning and Estate Planning.
At Armor, we do not sell insurance so we evaluate insurance needs with no conflicts of interest. As part of the Asset Protection analysis, we evaluate asset titling to identify risks and perform survivor needs analyses to determine life insurance needs. Incapacity planning which includes planning for Long Term Care and CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) analysis also is part of the Asset Protection risk area.
The Estate Planning component of Financial Life Planning is one that many people would rather avoid but it is critically important. We help clients define their legacy and charitable desires and work with their attorneys to implement their wishes in a way that reduces taxes and avoids probate.
Investment Management does not stand alone, but builds upon the goals, risks and constraints determined through Financial Planning and Estate Planning. Custom portfolios are built that account for time horizon, income needs, risk tolerance, outside holdings, and tax situation.
Strategic Thinking. As planners, consultants, and buyers’ agents, we begin with a client’s goals and design risk-managed strategies for meeting those goals. Strategic asset allocation decisions are the most important factors in meeting a client’s long-term goals and managing risks along the way. We adhere to asset allocation categories and guidelines that are academically based and time-tested, but our clients’ portfolios each are constructed uniquely to meet the client’s own goals for them.
Efficiency. A criterion that we have for our clients’ investments is that they be as efficient as possible. This means that we emphasize low expenses, minimized tax consequences, and attractive pricing on buys and sells.
Aggregation. Most of our clients have many different accounts of different types that are held at a number of different institutions. It is not always possible to eliminate accounts or institutions, although simplification usually is desirable in order to facilitate strategic thinking and decision-making. When accounts and institutions cannot be simplified, it is helpful for strategic thinking to be able to aggregate them in a variety of different ways, for example, by taxability (tax deferred or taxable) and by purpose (lifestyle spending, long-term growth, legacy, charitable, educational, etc.). Our technological and operational capabilities enable us to aggregate accounts as needed, including accounts at many different institutions. Aggregating accounts allows us to view the whole investment picture from client’s perspective, better aligning us to achieve the client’s goals.