Clients Prefer Comprehensive Financial Planning

Clients Prefer Comprehensive Financial PlanningAccording to an online survey by the CFP®  Board of Standards, which surveyed more than 1,000 Americans 18 years of age or older, about 70 percent said they would prefer to work with a financial advisor who provides comprehensive financial planning services, compared with 30 percent who said they want to work with someone who specializes in a single area, such as retirement. In fact, an overwhelming 91 percent of those surveyed said they expect the advice they receive from a financial advisor to take into account their total financial situation.

“As Americans’ finances become more and more complex, they are turning to advisors who can partner with them, look at their total financial picture, put all the pieces together, and provide a comprehensive financial plan,” CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller said.

As a financial advisor, if you aren’t offering comprehensive financial planning as part of your service, you may want to rethink this strategy. Comprehensive financial planning is more than active management of investments. It is more than creation of a retirement plan and it goes well beyond regular check-ups of a portfolio. Comprehensive financial planning is the act of planning for and prudently addressing life events. It addresses everything from buying a new car or home, to planning for a child’s education, preparing for eventual retirement, or creating a plan for your client’s estate. It goes well beyond these basic life events, but it also addresses potential events which can drastically alter your clients’ long-term financial security.

To fully engage in offering comprehensive financial planning, financial advisors should integrate the six steps to the financial planning process as defined by the Standards of Professional Conduct (Standards):

Establishing and defining the client-planner relationship: Clearly explain and document the services to be provided and define both your and the client’s responsibilities. Along with compensation, you’ll discuss how long the professional relationship will last and how to make decisions.

Gathering client data, including goals: Talk about the client’s current financial situation and gather any necessary documents. Mutually define personal and financial goals, including timeframes for results, and discuss, if relevant, the client’s risk tolerance.

Analyzing and evaluating the client’s current financial status: Analyze all financial information to assess the current situation and determine what must be done to meet client’s goals. Depending on what services have been requested, this could include analyzing assets, liabilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments, or tax strategies.

Developing and presenting recommendations and/or alternatives: Offer financial planning recommendations which address the client’s goals, based on the information provided. Be sure to fully explain all your recommendations, so the client understands them and can make informed decisions. Listen to concerns and revise the recommendations, as appropriate.

Implementing the recommendations: Jointly decide how the recommendations will be carried out. You may be asked to carry out the recommendations or serve as a coach, coordinating the process with other professionals, like attorneys or stockbrokers.

Monitoring the recommendations: Check in from time to time, reviewing the situation and making any necessary adjustments.

For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visit or contact us at (800) 354-5528.

This blog and website are for informational, educational and discussion purposes only, and the owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Summit Financial Group Inc., and any of their affiliated entities and principals are not a law firms or an accounting firms, or substitutes for an attorney or accountant. Although topics may be discussed on this blog that may involve legal, accounting, or investment issues, nothing on this blog shall be deemed to constitute the practice of law, legal advice, investment advice, and/or tax advice. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., and its affiliates do not, and cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties.You should consult an experienced professional regarding tax consequences of specific transactions.

No reader should act in reliance on anything discussed in this blog without prior consultation with a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate the reader’s individual facts and circumstances and offer an informed professional opinion with respect thereto. If any reader takes action or makes decisions based solely on the information on this blog without prior consultation with a qualified, licensed professional, the reader does so at his or her own risk and agrees that Summit shall have no liability resulting from such unilateral action or decisions by the reader.

Summit makes every effort to provide accurate and truthful information in its posts on this blog, but in no way expressly or impliedly warrants or guarantees the accuracy of its postings and/or the information posted here by others. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Summit may, on occasion, post links to information maintained on other websites. Such links and the information thereon are not under Summit’s control.  The mere appearance of a link to a third party site does not mean that Summit has undertaken a review or approval of the link and/or its contents.  Readers must treat information from third party links at the reader’s own risk, and Summit accepts no liability with respect to such third party information. Please note that the third party’s privacy policy and security practices may differ from Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Summit Financial Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries’ standards. We assume no responsibility for nor do we control, endorse or guarantee any aspect of your use of the linked site.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to Summit Brokerage

Personalized Industry Newsfeed For You

Thank you. You are now subscribed.


Thank you. We will get in touch with you shortly.