How we do things.
Each of us is passionate about the financial planning process. By gathering and reviewing financial data and designing and implementing a plan, we can help you reach your goals. It is a lifelong process, but it doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Not anymore. We see your financial plan as an outline that we continue to monitor, review and update to meet dynamic circumstances. A good financial plan spells out goals and the means to work toward those goals. But whatever a plan looks like, its purpose is the same: to coordinate short-term needs with long-term goals.
The Gardner Group offers these services towards developing a written strategic plan for solving specific problems and/or reaching specific goals depending on client needs. Our services are available individually or as part of a comprehensive plan that often includes:
- Asset Allocation and Investment Strategies
- Cash Management
- Retirement Income and Capital Needs Analysis
- Estate Planning and Tax Mitigation
- Risk Management
- Charitable Giving Strategies
- Corporate Benefits
Our comprehensive wealth management services provide a detailed level of planning and investment management in two phases. The first phase of our wealth management services includes development of a financial plan and initial portfolio design. We are not beholden to third-party agendas, so we can put your best interests first. We work for you. For this reason, there is a quarterly fee charged for the initial plan development.
Investment Advisory Services
Although it’s only one component of the financial planning process, asset management is essential. That is why the second phase of our services is ongoing management of investment assets. The Gardner Group believes that an investment policy and asset allocation can be designed only after the initial financial planning process is complete and a target return is established. We allocate assets among the major classes of stocks, bonds, cash and real estate. Stocks are divided between domestic and foreign, as well as large and small capitalization. Further diversification will be tailored to your client-specific investment strategy, which will be reported in a personalized Investment Policy Statement that outlines the strategy, time frame, risk tolerance and reward.
There is no one particular investment portfolio that is appropriate for all individual investors. The optimal portfolio will depend on the amount and timing of cash flow needs, tax considerations and market conditions. Investment decisions should be based, therefore, on the client’s objectives. Through that objective-driven process, crucial factors such as appropriate levels of risk and return are derived and optimized to achieve those objectives.
The Gardner Group will implement, manage and rebalance your portfolio on a regular, ongoing basis. The fees for these services are paid out quarterly. Once we have agreed upon an appropriate risk tolerance, asset allocation and cash management analyses, we implement our recommendation for a portfolio. Specific investment decisions must be implemented, and trading occurs on a discretionary basis. Assets are primarily custodied at either Fidelity Investments or Charles Schwab. Other arrangements can be made if necessary.
Also, included with this phase are quarterly reports on the portfolio, rebalancing, target allocation and related performance. Each quarter you will receive a performance report that includes a tracking of portfolio holdings, interest and dividend payments, capital gains and overall portfolio performance. Clients with a minimum of $500,000 under management will benefit from periodic meetings to review their current situation and investment portfolio.
Taxes represent a significant consideration for every long-term investor. By minimizing income taxes, investors retain more wealth to help meet their goals. We exercise care in the appropriate placement of investments within taxable and tax-deferred accounts without allowing tax considerations to dominate our portfolio management process.*
While taxes are inescapable, it is possible to develop strategies that will minimize your tax liability. We are vigilant about staying informed on current tax law changes so that we can:
- Review your tax returns with an eye to possible savings in the future
- Reposition investments to take full advantage of tax law provisions
- Work with your tax and legal advisors to help you meet your financial goals
- Suggest alternatives to lower your taxes during retirement
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*The Gardner Group is not a CPA firm, but we are committed to creating and implementing a comprehensive wealth management program that will serve all your needs, now and in the future.
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