Many of my initial meetings have been preceded by submission of client data and several telephone conversations so that immediate planning may take place. However, it is always good to review the basics of what is hoped to be accomplished. I have included some commentary as well.
FIRST MEETING AGENDA
1.Brief overview of Financial Planning Process. Most of this will may been identified by separate mailings of information as well as my material as a Registered Investment Adviser sent previously. However a review is beneficial
2. Participation of spouse/other family members as required. If you are married, BOTH must attend (assuming joint planning). I will not even consider a discussion unless both are present and STAY present. If other decision makers are involved, they must also be present.
3. Discuss confidentially of information. Not much to say here. Nobody will ever find out anything. I don't even like to give out names of clients for referrals. It's nobody else's business who I work with.
4. Review the projected issues to be discussed as defined by prior conversations
5. Review material previously submitted (client questionnaire, will/trusts, policies, business documents) . Request any updates as applicable.
1. Initial overview of client data questionnaire. This to include significant personal areas including direct question as to the solidity of the marriage. If both can't agree on this, no sense in having the meeting in the first place- at least if marital planning was contemplated. Issues of life and projected lifespan, physical condition, persona outlooks (though much garnered throughout meeting.) Will also note that I prefer the meeting in client's homes whenever possible. Not only does it indicate possible value of home, but how you live (conservative decor, colors, art, etc. all lend to understanding of client). The insight is mandatory for comprehensive planning.
2. Discussion of risk/reward and other investment fundamentals. This identifies misconception about investments and helps to determine the direction the consultation will take. Obviously, if risk and reward are not reasonably understood, proper planning can never be accomplished. May include short instruction on the basics of economics, interest rate movements, diversification, and, almost universally, basis. This will not be done solely by words but also visually by diagrams personally drawn as the subjects dictate. This is an instructional meeting for clients.
3. Discussion of estate planning, retirement, college funding, business planning, charitable gifting, insurance fundamentals, etc. as necessary and identified by questionnaire and conversation. (This is a conversation, not a one way dialogue. You MUST understand each of the basics before proceeding further. If you do not understand, you MUST ask the questions. Your future depends on it.) Incorporated within such review is the will, insurance policies, long term care, Medicaid, Social Security, Powers of attorney, Trusts, Business agreements, etc.
CONTINUATION OF PLANNING
The extended discussion above may take several hours (usually 3 minimum). If the concerns/questions have been answered no further planning may be necessary. With many clients, and certainly with detailed issues, subsequent planning with estate planning and real estate attorneys as well as CPA's etc. may be required/necessary. Such continuation is solely at the discretion of the client and a new contract will be initiated.
The anticipated time frame for completion is usually estimated.