Our Client Story
Challenge: High income, but high expenses and previous investment losses prevented this professional from feeling in control of her future
Result: 3 Financial helped her develop and implement a comprehensive financial plan and investment strategy so she could feel confident and comfortable
Our client, Janet, is a successful attorney. When we met her she was 53, divorced with two adult children who have kids of their own. Her busy schedule at her law practice gives her little time to focus on her finances.
Her high income has always ensured her a comfortable lifestyle, but unfortunately, she came to us not feeling confident about her future. In our initial discussions, she shared that her expenses had increased with new grandchildren arriving, as she couldn’t resist helping her kids out. Then, she had lost money when she had helped her brother start a new business. It was a restaurant and while he had done well with it for a while, in the end, it didn’t make it.
She also had a large stock portfolio. She liked the stockbroker she was working with, but she never fully understood her investment strategy. Over the years, losses due to market volatility made her feel unsettled. While the broker returned her calls when she reached out, she was hoping for a little more guidance and long-term planning.
Janet was referred to us by her accountant, who recommended that she work with a fee-only fiduciary advisor to minimize conflicts of interest.
We worked closely with Janet to get an in-depth understanding of her goals and priorities. Once those were clarified, we went on a fact-finding mission to fully understand her starting point. Once that was clear, we started developing Janet’s comprehensive financial plan. That process included stress testing everything to make sure Janet was protected from most market events and common life stressors.
We reviewed the initial financial plan with Janet and walked her through it so she understood it. We made adjustments based on her feedback.
Once adopted, Janet had a clear action plan of what she needed to do to stay on track to achieving her goals.
We also spent time adjusting her investment portfolio based on a lower-risk profile that she preferred. We lowered her exposure to higher risk technology investments and increased her weighting towards more stable, dividend-paying funds. We also used only low cost, efficient funds so Janet could keep more of her money working for her.
Once that was set, we started working on other aspects of Janet’s financial life. That included estate planning, where we worked with her estate attorney to make sure her wealth would be passed on tax-efficiently to her family. We also helped her develop a charitable giving plan that would provide Janet with tax benefits while allowing her to support the causes she cares about. Later, we worked to set up college funds for her grandchildren.
Today, Janet has an organized plan that we continually revisit and update. Janet has cut her practice back to part-time since she arrived at her goal ahead of schedule. We’ve also had two family meetings to address spending and saving habits since Janet’s kids had been turning to her more frequently for everyday expenses. All the while, Janet has been kept updated on her entire financial situation.