Onboarding with

Topsfield Financial Group

Step I: Information sharing

When we meet clients for the first time, we get to learn about them and they get to learn about us. We take notes, discuss our backgrounds, explain professional designations, and explore our roles as fiduciaries. We explain what it really means to place their interests before ours. The initial meeting usually lasts 60-90 minutes.

We have found that each investor presents their own set of personal circumstances. It is our responsibility to listen carefully to their beliefs about risk aversion, investing, and perspectives of wealth. Conversations lead to financial goals, health status, bequests, family dynamics, and special need circumstances. Discussions segue into time horizons, investment experience, cash flow, emergency funds, and the uncertain sequence of market returns. Once we have established the facts, we introduce our methodology for managing assets and the mechanics of our “rules-based investing.”

During the meeting, we explain the role of the custodian of funds, the responsibilities of the registered investment advisor, and the purpose of the broker dealer. We provide sample quarterly reports and give a simple demonstration of what a financial plan would look like. We answer many questions including procedures to access or send funds, and the additional services that one can expect from us.

There is usually enough information at this point to determine if there is a good fit between your needs and our services. Fees are disclosed, paperwork is signed, and we begin working together gathering additional information needed to build a financial plan. The process creates the initial framework for the appropriate allocation to stocks and bonds.

Step II: Building a financial plan and pairing it with investment allocations

Moving forward, the financial plan continues to take shape. Once completed, it will substantiate our recommendations for portfolio composition, and much more. Today’s tools provide predictive capabilities to evaluate specific scenarios such as income sourcing in retirement, higher inflation, and the impact of assuming more or less investment risk.

A plan can even deliver probability ranges of success based upon random and unpredictable outcomes. It provides an effective and graphic means to assess various “what if” scenarios such as: When can I retire? Can I afford a second home? What assets can be left to heirs, or what gifts can be made today? Our planning software includes a secure and encrypted vault to store important documents making them retrievable from anywhere.

Step III: Assessing the progress of your plan

The path to reaching your financial goals will always encounter market volatility, inflation, changing tax laws, and personal updates. Evaluating success is best measured by revisiting your expectations as they relate to the progression of your plan; in other words, knowing if you are on track and on time. We like to meet with clients at least once a year to review plan assumptions, or whenever they have questions or a change in circumstances.