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Shopping for a financial advisor isn’t easy, and some advisors have earned the industry a less-than-stellar reputation. So we understand why, as an investor, you might be wary of salespeople with expensive products to pitch and doubt that the advice given really applies to you. That’s why we structured EP Wealth Advisors as a fee-only firm whose status as a fiduciary means we do not receive financial incentives when recommending investment products, and we are required to put your interest before our own. In addition to explaining these benefits to prospective clients, we wanted to be able to demonstrate them. To do this effectively, we have created a Financial Health Assessment. It’s a transparent, two-meeting process* geared to inform and educate you on the realities of the markets, financial planning, and establish the foundation for a trusting relationship with an EP Wealth Advisor.
When you sit down for your initial discovery meeting, you’ll be with an actual financial advisor. You don’t need to bring any documents, or have them handy if you’re on the phone. We may not be the right fit for you—this offering is only available to individuals with a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets--but our advisors will try to provide some level of guidance in every case. We know not everyone needs our help, but we believe that a more financially stable community is a healthier, less-stressed community, and we’re pleased to support that goal.
Because we offer customized financial plans paired with the appropriate portfolio allocation, we’re most interested in what your goals are and where you stand with your investments and finances. We plan around what success looks like to you. That’s why our tagline is “Invest in what’s important”—because what’s important is relative to everyone’s individual needs.
Many advisors use a favorite question to start off the initial discovery meeting of a Financial Health Assessment with a discussion that ranges more broadly than just investments. Some may ask: “What’s the one thing that brought you to talk to me?” Others may ask: “Could you describe your financial landscape?” You may notice that the advisor will ask a lot of questions on a variety of topics to get a better understanding of where you’re at, taking notes to document the important points.
From the start, you’ll get a better understanding of what it feels like to work with EP Wealth Advisors. You’ll see how our financial planning team will collect documents and acquire the detailed personal insights needed to help determine the asset allocation we would use to invest your portfolio if you were to become a client.
The discovery phase sets the stage for your second proposal meeting, where the discussion typically revolves around your investments, financial situation, and potential action items. This is how we provide guidance our clients can put to use. This is especially valuable, because even if you don’t hire us, it can help you better understand the general areas where we might see opportunity to improve your financial and investment life. We use an interactive proposal for this second Financial Health Assessment meeting to clarify the numbers and help you better visualize the potential recommendations we make.
For some investors, they may want to get into the details of investment strategy.
The reason why we go into this level of detail on a proposal is that it sets the expectations for a more transparent and trusting relationship, which is where we think we can add the most value over the long term.
When you walk out the door or hang up the phone after your first meeting with us, we hope you have a better sense of the questions that can help shape your financial future. We also hope that you’ll have scheduled the second meeting in the Financial Health Assessment so you can see how we work more closely and interact with you as we deliver the recommendations we make.
For more information on the second proposal meeting of the Financial Health Assessment, check out our second article in this series: “What It’s Like to Work With EP Wealth Advisors – Completing Your Financial Health Assessment.”
To talk with an EP Wealth Advisor today, visit our contact us page or directly reach out to an advisor via their bios.
*The meetings referenced here do not represent the sequence, chronology, order, nor are they a guarantee or warrantee, of what every client or prospective client will be offered or provided. Each client is assessed uniquely and the number of meetings and what information is exchanged or presented will vary and will be tailored to the unique needs of that specific client. This is not indicative of the experience every client or prospective client will encounter. In many cases, a client may choose to engage us for Financial Planning or Financial Planning services. Furthermore, EP Wealth Advisors does not mandate that their clients complete a Financial Plan.
The EP Wealth Advisors financial planning process starts with the relationship between you and your financial advisor. How do you value a financial coach? Developing a partnership that ensures we understand your goals lets us help you prioritize and organize your financial decisions—so you can achieve peace of mind and live your life.
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