How to Optimize Your Financial Roadmap: Key Steps for Success

Just like a compass helps guide you in the right direction, having a comprehensive plan can help guide you through various financial life stages. 

At Brown|Miller, we believe this financial planning process should be the foundation of a robust wealth management plan that includes asset accumulation, preservation, and distribution. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” 

This is true, especially regarding your wealth. We employ a holistic 3D wealth management process (Discover, Design, Deliver) that we’ll discuss in more detail in this article. 

We’ll also provide insights into crafting and executing a personalized wealth management plan that can serve as your financial roadmap. 


Clarifying Investment Objectives and Your Risk Profile

When you think about a wealth management plan, one of the first steps that should be taken is to clearly define and prioritize your financial goals and how your investments will help you pursue those goals. Your goals could be focused on accumulating for your retirement, income generation, capital preservation, creating a charitable giving strategy, or all of the above!

The second step to include in your McLean VA wealth management plan is addressing how much risk you are willing to take. Having a risk profile as part of your wealth management plan should include evaluating factors like your time horizon, liquidity needs, and overall capacity to take risk or tolerate risk. 

A risk profile typically falls into categories like conservative, moderate, or aggressive, reflecting the individual’s or couple’s comfort level with taking on investment risk to pursue higher rates of return.

Brown|Miller Insights: Having this information helps us craft a financial roadmap for you that aligns with your unique financial circumstances and preferences.


Establishing an Asset Allocation Strategy

Once you have detailed the framework of your wealth management plan, the next step is creating a preferred asset allocation that is a part of your investment strategy. 

Asset allocation should not be limited to how much is invested in stocks or bonds; it’s about creating a balanced portfolio that reflects your goals and risk tolerance. A financial planner in Washington, DC, should consider a blend of equities, fixed income, and alternative investments to diversify your risk further. 

Brown|Miller Insights: A balanced approach that can weather market fluctuations while aligning with your financial objectives is key to consistent results.


Implementing Appropriate Investment Strategies

Once your asset allocation is set, the next step is implementing your investment strategies. This could involve choosing individual stocks, bonds, and other asset classes. 

You should consider various factors like investment expenses, performance histories, and how each investment fits into your overall portfolio management strategy. A wealth manager in McLean, VA, can offer guidance on selecting investments that suit your goals and risk profile.

Brown|Miller Insights: Our approach embraces global diversification, using mutual funds, ETFs, and individual stocks to build your portfolio. Our recommendations are based on helping you pursue your financial goals while staying within your risk parameters. 


Monitoring Progress Towards Your Goals

A crucial aspect of wealth management is monitoring your results. This isn’t just about tracking your portfolio balances; it’s about assessing whether you’re on track to meet your financial goals. After all, your biggest financial risk is not the volatility of the securities markets. It is a failure to pursue your financial goals.

Regular reviews can help you understand if your investments are performing as expected and if your strategy needs any adjustments. Goals-based financial planning emphasizes the importance of this step because it keeps your financial journey in sync with goals that evolve over longer periods.

Brown|Miller Insights: We continually monitor and review your portfolio holdings. This includes systematically rebalancing your portfolio to adjust your exposure to risk on an as-needed basis. 


Updating and Modifying as Needed

Life is constantly changing, and your portfolio should adapt to those changes. Whether it’s a career change, a new family member, children heading off to college, or an impending retirement date, your plan has to be adaptable to your changing financial journey. 

This might mean adjusting your risk tolerance, rebalancing your portfolio, or changing your investment strategy. Regular check-ins with your financial advisor ensure your plan remains relevant and current.

Brown|Miller Insights: When you partner with Brown|Miller, you can have the confidence that you will receive frequent and consistent communications so you know how your investments are performing in the volatile securities markets. 


Brown|Miller’s 3D Holistic Wealth Management Process

At Brown|Miller, we focus on turning your dreams into tangible realities, whether planning for retirement, purchasing your dream home, supporting charitable causes, creating a lasting legacy, or setting aside funds for a child’s (or grandchild’s) education. 

Our 3D (Discover-Design-Deliver) method offers a comprehensive and all-encompassing perspective of your financial status, regardless of your current life stage.

Discover: The first phase of our collaboration begins with creating a financial plan focused on your current circumstances, concerns, and goals. We use this information to create a financial roadmap that prioritizes pursuing financial goals important to you and future generations of your family. 

Design: The second phase of our collaboration is based on creating a wealth map. This plan is designed to weather various economic uncertainties that may occur over long periods. This plan has to withstand the test of time. For example, a combination of working years and 30-plus years of retirement due to rising longevity.

Deliver: The third and ongoing phase of our collaboration includes ongoing monitoring and consistent communications with you. At Brown|Miller, we pride ourselves on delivering our clients the highest levels of personalized services. We believe in providing you with frequent updates that evolve with you and your current financial circumstances. 

We invite you to connect with us to learn more about our 3D holistic wealth management approach.


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Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only, and not to be a client-specific suitability analysis or recommendation, an offer to participate in any investment, or a recommendation to buy, hold or sell securities. Do not use this report as the sole basis for investment decisions. Do not select an asset class or investment product based on performance alone.  Consider all relevant information, including your existing portfolio, investment objectives, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, and investment time horizon. This report is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to predict or guarantee the future performance of any individual security, market sector, or the markets generally.  

The information provided in this article represents the opinions of Brown Miller Wealth Management (“BMWM”) and is expressed as of the date hereof and is subject to change. BMWM assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise our opinions or this article.  The observations and views expressed herein may be changed by BMWM at any time without notice. The information may be based on third-party information, which is deemed reliable, but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed.  

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Author: Christopher W. Brown, CFP®, CIMA®

Christopher W. Brown is the Founder and Managing Principal at Brown | Miller Wealth Management.