I wanted to share a quick update on some training I have recently completed. Well, almost completed. As always, I need to provide a bit of context.
The short version is for the last few years I have been looking for some advanced financial planning training. There are a variety of training programs out there. However, none of them were the right fit for what I wanted for my clients. Most programs were designed around the concept of adding new clients and increasing assets I manage. You know – how to sell more. Or the training was focused in areas I have no business playing in. For example, becoming a financial therapist is not a good idea in my mind.
After two hard years of looking I finally came across a program that seemed to be the right fit. Me being me, I needed to talk to people who went through the training. Especially because there is a large financial and time commitment with it. Everything was positive and I moved forward with the training, which comes in stages.
The primary stage was a week of intensive training. It was easily more intensive than the training I went through to pass my CFP® designation. Every night I slept soundly. Upon completion I moved into a four month stage to really help me implement it with my clients. This new process is referred to as the True Wealth planning process.
As you know, I founded Forward Thinking Wealth Management from scratch. After spending a decade at larger firms I decided to create a firm built on two main principles. First, to always put clients first. Second, to charge a flat fee based on my knowledge and experience, not on what I can sell.
Building on this tradition, I am excited to share my True Wealth planning process. This framework helps individuals and families clarify what is most important to them, organize their priorities, and define their unique vision of a fulfilling and enjoyable life. From here, clients and I co-create a comprehensive financial plan that aligns with their vision and goals.
To expand a bit on this process, I use a five-stage process that guides individuals and couples in exploring and gaining clarity around:
- Specific concerns and possible options for relieving financial stress and anxiety
- What is most important to you and how to organize your priorities
- Your hopes, dreams and aspirations
- A vision for your ideal life that will guide your personal and financial decisions
- A spending plan that will support your chosen lifestyle and keep you on track to reaching the vision of your ideal life
The organization that trained me has been around for 20 plus years, but seems to keep a rather low profile. Kind of like I do with my practice. There is only one other advisor in Northern OH who has gone through the training. Not sure why I mentioned that since I work with clients across the country, but it struck me as worth sharing. Maybe the thought is most advisors are seeking training to gather assets, while my focus is to do financial planning right for my select number of clients.
To summarize and conclude this article – I went through advanced training so I could do financial planning right.
I’m Dan Johnson, CFP®, founder of Forward Thinking Wealth Management. I run a flat-fee financial planning and investment management firm located in beautiful Akron, OH. Although I am in Akron, OH, I work with clients regardless of location. I cater to owners of equity compensation positions who are looking to organize their financial lives, keep more of what they make, and do the things they want in retirement and even now.