The Six-step Financial Planning Process

Consumers are more aware than ever of their life plans and goals. Are you offering your clients the comprehensive financial planning they need? The Financial Planning Standards Board and Certified Financial Planner Board recommend a six-step process to improve client outcomes and grow your business:

1. Establish the relationship

The relationship between financial advisor and client is deeply personal. You need to ask important questions and explain how you can meet your client’s planning needs.

2. Collect information

Build confidence in your clients by collecting relevant information quickly and efficiently. Automated or electronic processes can speed this up.

3. Analyze

Your financial knowledge is a crucial part of the financial plan. Examine the data and use your conversations to understand the client’s goals.

4. Develop recommendations

Decision-making can be affected by many outside factors—and you will need to understand each client’s unique circumstances. Understand which recommendations are realistic, allow the client to keep his or her options open, and present your recommendations with confidence and knowledge.

5. Implement

After your extensive preparation, it’s time to put your recommended plan into motion. Set a follow-up schedule to keep clients and third-party professionals on track.

6. Review

Communicate with clients and set expectations. Will you meet in person, talk on the phone, via email, or the Client Portal? Sharing market news and financial developments will further strengthen the advisor-client relationship.

By following these six steps, you will have new understanding of your clients’ needs and wants, and a method to help them map out a clear path toward their financial and life goals. As you grow your business to include an automated and efficient planning process, clients will appreciate the wide array of services you can offer.

Click here to download our white paper, “Improving Outcomes and Driving Growth with the Six-step Financial Planning Process.”

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