Comprehensive financial planning involves the detailed review and analysis of all facets of your financial situation. This includes areas such as cash flow analysis, retirement planning, risk management, investment management, tax management and estate planning.
Integrity First Financial Planning LLC’s investment philosophy is based on the belief that financial markets are an essential means for building and maintaining wealth. However, they are unpredictable and market timing is not possible. Diversification is essential in managing risk. Fee minimization is critical in maximizing returns. Client portfolios are designed to reflect their individual risk profile, time horizon, and objectives.
Equities (stocks) provide excellent opportunities for long-term growth. Integrity First embraces a global equity strategy as wealth “knows no borders”. Capital will flow to where it can make the best returns. The US has provided the best equity returns over the last decade after 2000-2009 which is referred to as “the lost decade”. International markets are classified as developed (e.g. Germany, Japan), emerging (e.g. China, Brazil), or frontier (e.g. Vietnam, Kenya). Mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) offer the best vehicles for professional management and diversification of equities. Both active and passive fund management styles are viable options. Mutual funds and ETFs are selected and monitored by Integrity First using third party research tools.
Fixed income securities (bonds, TIP’s, and CD’s) provide interest income and reduced portfolio risk, but offer lower long-term returns compared to equities. Fixed income is a real challenge in today’s ultra-low interest rate environment. Bond mutual funds provide professional management and diversification. Holding high quality bonds to maturity is another fixed income strategy employed by Integrity First.
Listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) or mutual funds that invest in them are included in Integrity First portfolios to provide income and diversification. Precious metals (e.g. gold and silver) offer diversification and a hedge against the effects of rising debt levels across the globe.
Retirement planning determines retirement income goals and the actions and decisions necessary to achieve those goals. Retirement planning includes identifying sources of income, sizing up expenses, implementing a savings program, and managing assets and risk. Future cash flows are estimated to gauge whether the retirement income goal will be achieved. It was not that long ago a financial advisor would deliver to their clients a long-written report that became quickly dated and was rarely revisited.
Integrity First delivers a one-page Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis. Integrity First clients also have 24/7/365 online access to RightCapital that provides a retirement analysis and accompanying net worth, investment, insurance, tax, education, and estate analyses – updated daily.
Tax planning is the analysis of a financial situation or plan to ensure that all elements work together to allow you to pay the lowest taxes possible. People often make financial decisions based on erroneous understanding of complex tax laws. Integrity First can save you significantly on your long-term tax bills and keep you out of trouble with the IRS, often working in conjunction with your tax preparation professional.
Most people cringe at the word “budget”. It implies a financial straight jacket and a loss of freedom to enjoy the fruits of hard work. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A budget is simply a spending plan based on income and expenses, but it requires time and commitment. In addition to a career of business budgeting, I began personal budgeting in the mid-1990’s with Quicken. RightCapital includes a budget tool that is similar to Mint which I’m also a daily user of.