Where Are We At? • Where Do We Want to Go? • How Do We Get There? • Are We on Course?
The above questions represent the sequential order of primary questions that I work with clients to help them solve when they become clients of Carrick Bend Advisors, LLC.
CBA LLC is a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm. RIAs have more of a legal fiduciary responsibility towards clients than conventional brokers and brokerage firms where financial products are “sold” more than advised on.
I hold myself out as an Investment Advisor and a Financial Planner. I have two of the most validated professional designations to help support that claim. I hold both the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and the CFP (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) certificate. Both designations require a fiduciary standard of care and acting in the client’s best interest.
Enough about me, what about you? What I usually see is that people have some idea of all of their investment assets but they may not see how it all fits together. I call this the “Where are we at?” The first thing I do when a client has engaged me is to map out exactly where my client is financially at the present moment.
The next big question is “Where do we want to go?” or, perhaps more to the point, “Where can we afford to go?” This involves an iterative process of bouncing ideas and goals back and forth and crunching lots of numbers while running sophisticated statistical forms of analysis to best estimate what is reasonable and prudent.
Only then can we collectively even start to answer the question “How do we get there?” By now we have a firm understanding of the current and planned assets and resources in place. I can start mapping out a bespoke investment strategy for the client to try on, which I can resize to best fit as needed.
The last question “Are we on course?” is the key one. Yes, we have done a lot of work together. We have dug into details. I have come back for clarity and confirmation many times. We have gotten to know each other quite well. However, it is all worth it because the future is unknown. We have prepared for that as well as we could. In the interim we weather the storm, stay on course, make changes when necessary, and continue to monitor your overall progress in meeting your life goals. I say life goals because our finances touch upon our lives in almost every way.
That is what I do.
Brian Berberet, CFA, CFP®
Carrick Bend Advisors LLC