Financial Planning Process


There are 6 steps to the financial planning process. Most financial planners use this process as the framework to helping you achieve your financial goals and dreams. It is recommended that you follow these steps in order, and that you provide the engagement with enough time to see each step through. In the next few paragraphs, we will explain what is entailed in each step of the financial planning process.

Step #1: Establish Financial Goals

In order to achieve your financial goals you must first begin with a financial vision. You should work with your financial planner on determining where you want to be, financially, in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and ultimately in retirement.

For some people, this is often the most challenging part of the financial planning process. Goal setting is crucial to creating a successful financial plan, but very few people actually set clearly defined goals. Every decision you make should be based on the goals you have set for yourself.

At O'Neil Financial, we are committed to helping you every step of the way to ensure you end up where you have always dreamed.

Step #2: Gather Relevant Data

In order for us to make sound and accurate financial recommendations, we must first learn as much as we can about your current situation. We will need to ask you a series of questions while filling out our fact finder form. This form is used to help us gain a better understanding of your investing style, risk tolerance, and how close or how far away you are from reaching your retirement goals.

As part of the information gathering process, we will need you to provide accurate data on such things as: a current list of investment holdings and their values, an inventory of assets and liabilities, a list of annual income and expenditures, and a summary of present insurance coverages.

Step #3: Analyze the Data

Once we have gathered the information needed to asses your current situation, we will then analyze the data to begin developing a financial plan that is customized to your unique and individualized needs. Our main objective when analyzing the provided information will be to determine where you stand, currently, in relation to the goals you have set-forth in the first meeting.

Step #4: Develop a Plan for Achieving Goals

After the information has been analyzed, and we have verified that the goals to be achieved are attainable, we will then develop a financial plan that is intended to improve upon your present situation. The plan will take into consideration changes that should be made to investments, liabilities, risk level, time horizon, and more. We try to make our financial plans as comprehensive as possible, covering all areas of you financial well-being.

Step #5: Implementing the Plan

Once you have the made the decision to go with our recommendations, we can then begin to implement the financial plan. The plan may include activities such as: moving assets to new investment vehicles, purchasing life insurance policies, working with an attorney to design wills and trusts, taking the proper procedures to reduce debt, and more. It is our job to help you put the plan into action over a reasonable time frame and schedule.

Step #6: Monitor the Plan

We are committed to building a strong, working relationship with you that will last throughout the course of your life. It is recommended that you meet with us at least once a year to review the plan and keep up with changes in the financial markets. In our annual meetings, we will review the performance of your investments, rebalance your asset classes and categories as needed, and asses the latest changes in economic and tax conditions. Investing a few hours of your time, per year, will only help you in the long run!