In both hiking and sailing, conditions can change rapidly and for the worse, and it is not uncommon for disorientation to set in and give way to poor, fear-based decisions.

It’s no different in the real world. As one of the strangest years in recent history draws to a close and many clients are unsure of what 2021 and beyond may bring, we believe “easy does it” is sound counsel.

Two things set apart the most seasoned adventurers, who possess the freedom and capability to be the masters of their fate regardless of the genuine dangers they may face.

First, they know where they’re going. Second, the North Star.

Sailors and outdoor enthusiasts spend ample time learning to identify the guiding light, so when things do not go as well as they should, they can easily recenter their focus and continue toward their goal.

At LotusGroup, we believe a sound financial plan can serve the same purpose. All at the same time, many clients are grappling with concerns and fears about the coronavirus pandemic, the outcome of the presidential election, or how the changing economic reality from either may alter the landscape in the years to come.

While it’s natural for issues like these to rattle us because the range of outcomes is broad, real, and unknown, a strong financial plan can serve as a refuge.

A robust financial plan accounts for things like the loss of income or new expenses. It can safeguard your children’s and grandchildren’s education and prevent an unexpected tax bill from throwing a wrench into your plans.

There are six components at the core of every financial plan, and you should speak with your advisor if any of these seem like holes in your family’s situation:

  1. Budgeting, along with annual spending knowledge, is the cornerstone of every solid financial plan. Without this one essential figure (i.e., your annual expense number), you cannot possibly know when you’ve reached financial freedom or even IF you can ever get there. Our advanced software and assistance allows you to determine this quickly and easily.
  2. Insurance planning is necessary, for most of us are unable to self-insure for catastrophic events. At LotusGroup, we review the most common areas that can put you at risk: homeowner’s or renters, auto, excess liability, life, disability, and long term care coverage.
  3. Debt inhibits many people from being able to save and grow their financial assets. We can review your debt and help to consolidate it or find better interest rates. We also offer guidance on when to make debt reduction a priority and when it can take a back seat.
  4. Taxes are a part of life, but most people are unaware of the many tax savings vehicles available. We can suggest accounts that may be more tax-advantageous than those you are currently using and recommend various charitable vehicles that may enhance your giving, even though your donation amount will remain the same.
  5. Estate planning isn’t just about completing a will – documents can and should be created to ease your family’s burden at your passing. We can suggest ways of accomplishing this to help make sure you have all of your estate documents in good order.
  6. Investments are the last piece of the puzzle to help you form your North Star. Once you create a plan, we can figure out what return rate is needed to reach the goals for you and your family. This way, no undue risks are taken if they are not required.

A good financial plan can only help navigate through uncertain times when the destination is known. We believe in taking the least amount of risk possible to achieve our clients’ goals.  And to do this, we believe a destination or goal must be known.

At LotusGroup, we understand that while returns are important, they are only one of the many facets of the financial advising process – and not the most important. When you have goals set and a plan in place, you need not worry about what the market is doing day-to-day. Your financial freedom is the destination, and your financial plan is the North Start guiding you there. This allows you to focus on what you can control and not what you can’t (i.e., the market).

If you’re looking to either build or revisit your financial plan or goals, give us a call. We’d love to help.

And remember, easy does it.

Cheers and Happy Holidays,

Matt Woolbright and Devonee Kershner

This blog expresses the authors’ views as of the date indicated, and such views are subject to change without notice.  Investment advisory services are offered through LotusGroup Advisors, a federally registered investment adviser. LotusGroup transacts business only in those states where it is appropriately registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. The information contained within is believed to be from reliable sources.  However, its accurateness, completeness, and the opinions based thereon by the author are not guaranteed – no responsibility is assumed for omissions or errors.   The views expressed herein reflect the author’s judgment now and are subject to change without notice and may or may not be updated.  Nothing in this document should be construed as investment, tax, financial, accounting, or legal advice. Each prospective investor must make their own evaluation and investigation of any investments considered or of any investment strategies described herein (including the risks and merits thereof), should seek professional advice for their particular circumstances, and should inform themselves as to the tax or other consequences of any investments or services considered or described herein. LotusGroup’s advisory clients will be required to execute an Investment Advisory Agreement and related Account opening documents (collectively, “Agreements”).  If any of the terms or descriptions in this presentation are inconsistent with the terms of the Agreements, such Agreements shall control.  Prospective investors should maintain the financial capability and willingness to accept the risks associated with any investments made, and should consult the relevant investment prospectus or legal documents, and should their Advisor Representative before making investment decisions (including but not limited to an examination of the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of any investment product(s) considered).  Past performance does not indicate future returns, and all investments involve significant risk, including the risk of a complete loss of capital and conflicts of interest. To better understand the nature and scope of our advisory services and business practices, readers are encouraged to review via the SEC’s website @ www.adviserinfo.sec.gov, the adviser’s Form ADV Disclosure(s), and the Form ADV 2B Brochure Supplement of each LotusGroup Investment Professional.  Additional important disclosures can also be found at www.lgadvisors.com, by calling us at 361-834-6181, e-mailing us at [email protected], or by visiting us at our offices located at 1005 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO 80206. This blog, including the information contained herein, may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or posted in whole or in part, in any form without our prior written consent.