Even if you currently have an advisor, sometimes a second look can help address frustrations and concerns you may have when it comes to your finances and plans for the future.

The Scenario:

A 43-year old airline pilot contacted us seeking a portfolio review and looking for answers about legacy planning for his children.

This pilot and his family had been working with an advisor at a large brokerage firm for many years. However, there was no financial plan in place, the family wasn’t sure what they could leave to their children (or how to reach that goal), and were frustrated with the lack of communication. Additionally, the pilot felt his portfolio wasn’t invested according to his risk tolerance, but he couldn’t define or quantify what he was truly willing to risk.


As we met with the pilot and his family, we explained our planning process and how we craft financial plans to help answer whether clients will have enough to enjoy the lifestyle they want. More importantly, we explained how we develop solutions and checklists to get clients on the right track… and keep them there.

By placing a numeric value behind the family’s risk tolerance, we were able to create illustrations of how their portfolios may perform under certain market conditions. Defining risk as more than “moderately aggressive” and developing goals beyond “growth and income” helped the client see what exactly the family was saving for, the risk they were bearing, and provided a probability of success.

We also showed how asset location — or where you place certain assets based on tax efficiency — could help manage the pilot’s tax burden. Our portfolios were constructed with tax-efficiency in mind.


  • Comprehensive planning looks at more than just asset selection.  It includes employer benefits, retirement goal-setting, tax strategy, education funding, insurance coverage, contingency or “what-if” plans, and other facets of a client’s financial life.
  • Quantifying the family’s risk allowed us to make investment recommendations across all accounts — including the pilot’s 401(k) — that are tuned to an expected risk and return.
  • Integrating all accounts into our client portal allows the family to keep track of their savings goals and expenses.  This provides a better picture of the household balance sheet.
  • Low-cost investments are a key to success alongside tax-efficiency.
  • Ongoing collaboration and communication help keep the plan on track — especially as the kids approach their college years.