Our Process

Our process is always unique to the individual.  But regardless of your situation, we will probably navigate through the following steps:

Step Zero:  Learn your values

Let’s face it, we all worry about money.  Using award-winning research on life planning, we help you discover what makes YOU worry about money. Good financial planning requires that you first understand what you value, and then align your finances to fit that picture.

Step One:  Organize!

Most people get to the point where they have multiple accounts with multiple providers, they rarely look at them, and they don’t know how all the pieces fit together.  Our first step is a meeting just to organize and create what we call your Financial Life Map.

Step Two:  Brainstorm

After gathering enough data, we can now explore ideas of how you can reach your goals or solve any issues.  We will recommend things based on our own evaluation but hope to keep this interactive so that you feel ownership over the process.

Step Three: Work the Plan

Now it’s your turn.  We determine a timeframe for you to ‘live in’ your new plan and see how it goes.  Whatever we decided as your short-term goals, this is when we’ll test whether they work in real life, and then adjust accordingly.

Step Four:  Reassess

By this point, you should feel like you’re more organized, more focused, and ready to accomplish your financial goals.  We’ll meet again to fine tune your goals and plans, with each step getting you closer to your own financial freedom.


Over 60% of Americans have less than $1,000 in liquid savings.


Nearly 30% of Americans don’t have an emergency fund.


43% of Americans have not ‘spoken to anyone’ about retirement planning.


48% of those with a financial plan report living comfortably, compared to 22% without

Why Work with a CFP®?

Our process generally follows the Certified Financial Planner’s Board’s. The CFP® website says it best:

“Although many professionals call themselves “financial planners,” only Certified Financial Planner™ professionals have completed extensive training and are held to the highest ethical and educational standards. CFP® professionals understand the complexities of the changing financial climate and will make financial planning recommendations in your best interest.”

Our Investment Philosophy

We’re often asked, what is our investment system?  After a decade working at Wall Street firms, we feel the most dangerous advisers are the ‘gurus,’ the ones with a system that supposedly outsmarts the market.  The person screaming the loudest is likely the one from which to run.

Every person is different, but we depend on a few rules in setting our investment models:

1. Investments should be cheap.

Over the last several years, the cost of investment products has dropped very quickly. If you’re still holding mutual funds from 10 years ago, you’re definitely paying too much.

2. Investments should be simple.

You should understand what you own and why you own it. More complexity does not make more money.

3. Investor emotions are the most likely cause of under performance.

We focus on good behavior so you’re not buying and selling at the wrong time.

4. Investments should be evidence-based.

We invest based on decades of peer-reviewed research. You won’t find any forecasts or hunches here, they don’t work.

Pricing That Works For You

% Based

For our investment management clients, we charge a tiered percentage of your dollars managed. We guarantee we’ll be cheaper than your current adviser!


Maybe you feel like you have most things under control, but need advice on a few specific items. In this case we’ll set up an hourly arrangement, and you’ll only pay us for a small amount of work.


If you’re just getting started or love investing on your own, this option may be for you. For a simple fee, paid monthly or in a lump sum, you’ll get a year of comprehensive financial planning.

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Crafted for Innovate Wealth by Harris & Ward. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.