To create and maintain lasting wealth, it is crucial to address the risks that could potentially derail life’s plan. As comprehensive advisors, our mission is to deliver a best-in-class experience to clients looking to protect their life’s work. Our independence allows us to take an unbiased view of the solutions available to find the appropriate fit for our clients.
Risk Management is a multi-step process. A risk management plan that simply identifies a risk and seeks to mitigate it via insurance is incomplete. Risks should be identified and measured, their impacts considered against an overall plan, an appropriate solution developed and implemented, and then be reviewed periodically or as circumstances dictate.
Determining an appropriate risk management strategy involves striking an efficient balance between the level of protection and expense. Flexibility is paramount since the risks that are faced today may be either magnified or mitigated tomorrow.
The first step in the risk management process is to identify and measure the risks our clients face. A significant part of the process is to obtain a complete background of our clients and listen to their concerns. This allows us to focus on our client’s primary issues and identify risks that may not have been considered. Knowing our clients financial background allows us to communicate risk into quantifiable terms as compared to their current financial situation. It also allows us to show potential exposure at various points in the future to determine if the risk is increasing or decreasing. Finally, it helps us gain insight into previous strategies that may have been implemented or abandoned.
Once our clients understand the size and scope of risks they and their families are faced with, we can focus on the solutions that are available. We educate our clients on the difference between accepting a risk, mitigating or avoiding the risk, or insuring the risk. We ensure that existing risk management strategies continue to meet their objectives and are considered against any fresh solutions. Strategies are customized to our client’s individual needs with a focus on efficiency and flexibility. Those strategies and their alternatives are discussed in detail so that our clients have a full understanding as to why one strategy is selected over another.
Finally, we work closely with our clients and their team of trusted advisors to create and execute an implementation plan. We will coordinate the many moving parts of a well thought plan on behalf of our clients. This includes coordination with our client’s attorneys regarding any necessary legal documents, such as Wills and Trusts, Buy/Sell agreements, and gifting and/or sale documents. Tax implications and filings can be discussed with our clients existing CPA. We will also coordinate and implement the financial instruments necessary to the strategy, including investment accounts or the appropriate insurance product.
Our Unique Approach to the Life Insurance Market
Life Insurance is one tool that may be utilized in a risk management plan. However, the insurance market can be a complicated and cumbersome area of the financial sphere to navigate. Not all approaches to the life insurance market are created equal. At Granite Harbor, we give our clients a competitive advantage over traditional methods of acquiring insurance coverage. Once the need for life insurance has been determined, we begin the process of implementing the appropriate strategy by:
- Understanding existing medical conditions before a client is formally underwritten to preserve the best possible offers.
- Customizing a funding design that fits the client’s specific facts and circumstances.
- Comparing possible product solutions with the objective, unbiased approachthat being an independent firm allows us to have.
- Evaluating the various underwriting offers, flexibility in funding strategies, and credit worthiness of issuing companies.
Ongoing Monitoring and Maintenance
As with any successful planning strategy, it is crucial to periodically review to ensure consistent alignment with overall goals and objectives. Once the plan has been successfully implemented, we will agree upon and set an appropriate review schedule. We review the risk management plan and its documents to account for legislative updates, changes to the tax code, or circumstantial changes unique to our clients. This involves a comprehensive review of the financial instruments utilized in the strategy, including performance monitoring and continued alignment with our client’s goals.
Finally, the review process provides a time to educate our clients about the strategies they have implemented and any changes that may be necessary. Once our clients are armed with the knowledge that they are well protected, they have the confidence to focus on the other important facets of their lives.