Financial Planning (While we continue to accept new investment management clients we currently are not accepting new financial planning clients) F. Dennis De Stefano CPA CFP is the Chief Investment Officer and President of Maui Hawaii based De Stefano Wealth Management. Our Fee-Only Wealth Management firm specializes in Professional Investment Management. When we ask prospective clients how we can help them, they invariably respond by posing questions, such as: "do we have enough money to retirement on" or "how should we handle this situation" or "what do you think of this course of action".We respond by first asking them if they are confident they are asking all the necessary questions. After all, in order to get the right answers, you must first ask the right questions. We then point out that a financial planning framework (a Financial Plan) is crucial to effectively address their questions and the various collateral issues they engender.In the investment arena it is said that nothing useful can be said about an investment in the abstract; it can only be judged in terms of its impact on the whole portfolio and the purpose for which the portfolio is held. This maxim is equally applicable in the financial planning arena, where a proper framework is an absolute prerequisite to both asking the right questions and determining the correct course of action.If you have met with an estate planning attorney to have your wills, trusts and other necessary documents prepared, then you have to ask yourself "isn’t planning to live at least as important as planning for death?"Are you doing everything you can to achieve your Life Goals? We can help you develop a Comprehensive Personal Financial Plan tailored to your individual circumstances, which can increase the certainty of achieving your Life Goals.Think of Financial Planning as a road map, a way to get from here to there with the fewest detours and potholes. You undoubtedly have specific Life Goals:Putting your Financial House in order.Financial Security for your Family.College Education for your Children.A Secure Retirement.Financial Independence.Personal Financial Planning helps you reach these goals through the development and proper management of your financial resources.Financial Planning is not a product . . . it is a process. You may use specific financial products such as insurance, or other creative solutions such as wills and trusts, but only as ends to accomplish the goals you’ve established.It is a series of steps taken to help you accomplish your Life Goals. We will gather and analyze data about your income and expenses, taxes, insurance coverage, retirement plans, wills, trusts, investments, and other information pertinent to your overall financial situation. We will then help you set realistic goals, identify key financial issues concerning those goals, and prepare a list of recommendations and alternative strategies for achieving those goals. Each strategy will be recommended in the context of other strategies to achieve the optimum overall results.Once you’ve decided which recommendations to follow, we will work with your Attorney, CPA and other Financial Specialists to implement those decisions. The last step in the Financial Planning process is to periodically review, and if necessary, revise the plan.Financial Planning is not a one-size-fits-all package. It is a set of goals and strategies tailored to meet your specific values, abilities, and needs. Today, Financial Planning is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for most Americans.Financial Planning will give you a clear picture, perhaps for the first time, of where you stand financially. Many families have no idea how much money they have in their estate, how they spend their money, or what they want their money to do for them.Financial Planning will provide direction and discipline. Without direction and discipline, people typically make impulsive, random decisions: they buy this insurance, invest in that hot asset, or adopt the latest tax strategy. The pieces not only don’t fit together, they may actually conflict with each other and compound the problem.Financial Planning integrates your assets with your goals and objectives. It will help you achieve your lifetime goals by motivating you to action.Financial Planning will give you peace of mind. Uncertainty about finances creates anxiety. Money is the most common cause of marital stress and divorce. If you know where you stand financially, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there, you’ll feel more confident about your financial situation, about yourself and about your relationships.You can take advantage of our Comprehensive Personal Financial Planning Program, as discussed above.Alternatively, you can undergo our Basic Financial Check-Up Program. This program is designed to help you put your financial house in order. We will review you personal financial affairs to determine whether your personal finances are properly aligned with your financial goals and objectives. In the process we will ascertain areas of weakness requiring corrective action and identify those areas that would benefit from specific planning strategies.As a final point, it is important for you to recognize that Financial Planning and Investment Management are not the same. Investing is only one interlinked component of Financial Planning, though certainly an important one. In fact, most competent financial advisors consider investing one of the last strategies to be taken. We encourage our clients to do their overall Financial Planning first. Only after a sound financial foundation is laid does it become most effective to implement a sound investment management program.An old Chinese proverb says, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".Isn’t it time you take that First Step? If our client profile resonates with you, call us today to schedule your Complementary Confidential Consultation.