Who Should I Talk To?
With the name Meridian Financial Partners, folks reach out to us seeking guidance in any and all financial matters.
Here at Meridian, we are financial planners and investment managers. Every person’s financial needs are unique and often a successful financial plan is supported by other professionals who offer different services and expertise.
Knowing what each of these professionals focus on may help ensure that you are working with the right person to meet your goals.
A financial planner is a professional who helps individuals and organizations create a strategy to meet their financial goals.
There are no specific ages, career points, salary levels or bank account values that indicate the need for a financial planner. Whether you are just starting to invest, planning for retirement, experiencing a major life change, paying for education, or hitting another financial milestone, a financial planner can help you hone in on your goals and help you map out a way to achieve them. Here is how:
- Reviewing your current financial picture: As financial planners, we will review all your current financial documents, including but not limited to investment accounts, retirement plans, credit card statements, mortgages, 529 plans, etc. Analyzing all your current financial picture will allow us to advise on the factors that are working and know where to make recommendations for the future.
- Understanding your financial goals, time horizon and risk tolerance: To create a financial strategy to achieve your goals, we will take the time to understand what your personal goals are and the timelines you have for those. We also want to learn your comfort levels when it comes to investing in order to create a plan that can be successfully achieved.
- Creating a financial plan: The financial plan Meridian creates is a living document that incorporates your current position, goals, time horizons and risk tolerance with recommendations for a path to achieving your financial goals. We will build a custom financial roadmap representing the clearest path to that future. This plan may also include things like tax planning, estate planning, education savings and charitable giving.
- Updating your financial plan: We meet with our clients on annually to review their financial plan, discuss life events (career moves, family changes, new goals), and revise the plan to reflect these realities.
An investment manager is a person or company that manages an investment portfolio on behalf of a client. As both financial planners and investment managers, Meridian is able to provide a complete set of services to our clients by:
- Building the right portfolios for our clients: Drawing on Nobel prize-winning research and proven investment theory, we build a smart, diversified portfolios that takes the dimensions of return and puts them to work for you. We manage your portfolio with an eye to minimizing expenses and mitigating tax impact, letting you keep more of what you earn.
- Actively studying the ever-changing market: We study the markets, track economic trends, and prudently manage your portfolio’s risk, all to help you weather potentially volatile investment environments and stay on track with your master plan.
- Monitoring your portfolio: On an ongoing basis, we monitor your portfolio for unanticipated results, and we evaluate your asset allocation when new economic data is reported. We match your portfolio to the goals and time horizons in your financial plan to ensure that your accounts are aligned with your requirements.
While financial planners and wealth managers can help create tax advantaged strategies for investments, accountants are the experts when it comes to taxes. They provide consultation, analysis, and are more qualified to advise on tax matters.
- Preparing and filing tax returns: Accountants play a big role during tax season. Their expertise helps minimize tax liability, determine the correct amount to pay in taxes, and ensures everything is filed correctly. Working with an accountant lessens the chances of getting audited by the Internal Revenue Service for a tax-filing error.
For small-business owners, a bookkeeper may be an important financial professional to record transactions and keep the business organized on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis. Examples of bookkeeping tasks include:
- Recording financial transactions
- Posting debits and credits
- Producing invoices
- Managing payroll
- Maintaining and balancing ledgers, accounts, and subsidiaries
Estate planning is often a part of a financial plan to ensure that loved ones are taken care of and that finances are set up to minimize stress after an individual’s passing or incapacitation. Working with a skilled attorney on the creation of an estate plan ensures your wishes are followed. Consulting an attorney is important when:
- Creating wills and trusts: Having an attorney create a will, trust or both will ensure that your wishes will be executed and that all the documentation is properly completed and filed. An attorney can also advise on the type of trust that is best suited for your estate.
- Establishing a POA (Power of Attorney) and Durable Medical POA: Designating another to make personal, financial, business and medical decisions in the event of incapacitation is another important part of estate planning. An attorney can advise on those choices and assist in filing and notarizing paperwork.
We work with and can recommend accountants, bookkeepers, attorneys and other professionals to help ensure that financial goals are achieved. All you need to do is ask!