Ready, Set, Go!
As we do each year at this time, we hit the reset button on our proprietary wealth planning system – The Natural Wealth® Process. Remember, "2020 is hindsight!" Pun intended! 2021 is a brand-new year with all the possibilities that a new year can bring! Granted, we have some tough sledding in the first part of the year as we wait for vaccinations to ramp up and for the world to return to a sense of normal… But we will get through this, and hopefully, when we do, we will all appreciate what really matters in life, like health, family, friendships, and the things we experience together. If the COVID-19 pandemic has given us anything, it should have been the opportunity to reflect on what we think is most important in our lives. So, enough of 2020, enough of the past, what do you want more of in the future, and how can we help you get it?
The Natural Wealth® Process is our proprietary system for helping our clients manage all the pieces of their financial lives. We believe in the power of process, the application of systems thinking in financial life planning; developing clear life goals and objectives based on your values, designing a plan to achieve your goals and objectives and then, taking action to make your life vision, goals and objectives a reality. In short, we are process-focussed, working with our clients to determine what is controllable and what is not controllable in their situation, and then to "control the controllables" and manage the impact of uncontrollable situations and events to the maximum extent possible. The primary controllable is behaviour; our thoughts and actions, the choices we make, when it comes to money (saving it and spending it) and life.
The core of the Natural Wealth® Process is each client's own unique VISION of what you want to achieve from your financial life planning activities. VISION is literally at the heart of the Natural Wealth® Process model. We believe VISION is most effective in guiding financial planning activity when there is an aspirational approach, based on what we call the "BE, DO, HAVE" exercise, in developing personal and financial goals and objectives to determine your own unique life vision. The key is to make the plan matter and generate commitment and engagement in the rest of the process. We addressed the importance of thoughtfully determining life goals and objectives, your household's unique life vision in our last couple posts.
Where households can provide us with a thoughtful VISION with defined goals and objectives, we can work with them to determine the gap between where they are and where they want to go. We can then develop strategies for closing whatever gap there may be in a financial life plan, designed and built specifically for each individual household.
The four action elements in the Natural Wealth® Process are WEALTH Planning, TAX and Estate Planning, CASH and Cash Flow Planning and RISK Management. We will address each of these elements through the course of the next 12 months and provide guidance to you on how to maximize wealth, minimize tax and maximize your estate, manage cash flow effectively, and manage the risks in your overall financial life plan. In the event of a major life change in a client household, or if we are onboarding a new client household, we will do a "triage" assessment of a household's situation. Otherwise, we methodically work through the elements, quarter by calendar quarter through the year, starting in January to arrive back where we started this time next year and start the cycle again. By maintaining a consistent, periodic review and corrective action system approach in the planning process, we attempt to keep our client's life plans current and on-track towards their most important life goals and objectives. The earlier we address potential issues that might take us off course the better the chances of arriving at the destination (our life vision) at the allotted time.
Think of your vision, your goals and objectives as your destination, the port you to which you are sailing, to borrow from the sailing vernacular. Your financial life plan is your map (the Master Action Plan). The Natural Wealth Process is a sort of combination of GPS and ship (plan) systems monitoring device. It gives you ongoing input as to where you are relative to your course, and input on what course corrections are required, in addition to the status of various elements in your plan. Storms happen at sea and they occur in life as well. The Natural Wealth Process can help you re-establish your bearings after a storm, determine any damage caused by the storm and provide guidance to repair damage and get back on course towards your desired destination.
We start the year focussing on WEALTH. We will help you frame and determine all your wealth; your Person Wealth, your Portfolio Wealth and your Possession Wealth, to help you build your own household's Real Wealth Statement. We will then provide you with strategies to maximize your wealth, mindfully, balancing needs now with anticipated needs in the future, in alignment with your vision. Your wealth is more than your Portfolio Wealth (your investments and business assets) and your Possession Wealth (your stuff!). Your most important wealth is your Person Wealth; your Capacity (health), your Capabilities (knowledge and skills) and, your Connections (your relationships). Our next blog will focus on Person Wealth and our take on the concept of Human Life Value.
In the meantime, make a point of collecting your December 31st, 2020 statements for all bank accounts, investment accounts, mortgages, and other debts, including any credit card debt you were carrying at December 31st, 2020. Put these statements in a folder. We will use them in the coming weeks to construct your household's Real Wealth Statement.
It's early January, 2021. A fresh new year… on the heels of a tough year for many readers. Where would you like to go this year, and looking further ahead, in the years to come? How can the Natural Wealth Process help you get there? If you want to discuss how we might help you realize your household life vision, and your most important goals and objectives, call or email us. We want to help!
David J. Luke, CFP, RFP, CLU, CH.F.C., CIM | Financial Advisor
360 Private Wealth Management | Manulife Securities Incorporated
Unit 1 – 25 Scurfield Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB R3Y 1G4
Main Office 204.925.5868 | Direct 204.925.2073| Fax 204.925.2263 | Toll Free 844.688.3656