Financial Planning Methodology

Financial planning is an ongoing process of creating, implementing, and updating the means for individuals to get from where they are now, financially, to where they want to be. Since everyone has unique financial needs, we take the time to get to know each of our clients and understand their financial goals. Ongoing communication is encouraged so that changing financial conditions can be addressed in a timely manner. As an exclusive independent financial planning firm, we get to know each of our clients personally and work to provide a non-threatening atmosphere where clients actively solicit our financial advice.  We not only manage our clients’ financial assets and provide on-going tax advice, we work to become their most trusted and reliable financial resource.  

Galligan Financial Advisors seeks long-term client relationships and is not necessarily concerned with “strict minimum account size criteria” that many financial services firms impose.  It is more important to us that we establish a mutually acceptable professional relationship with each of our clients. Small accounts can expect the same level of service that large accounts have - large accounts can expect discounted fees for additional services rendered.   There is never an obligation to remain with our program or to subscribe to an unneeded service; a client can subscribe to, or can terminate the relationship, at any time by notifying us immediately.  

We recommend that each client participate in a formal, objective financial planning exercise before any investment advisory or tax related services are rendered. The planning exercise can be comprehensive in nature or piecemeal, depending on an individual’s needs.   The financial planning and investment advisory methodology used by Galligan Financial Advisors is derived from Prudent Investment Practices, a fiducial handbook co-produced by the Foundation of Fiduciary Studies and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.   It was developed in a generalized form and is typically tailored based on the complexity and needs of each client. 


Below are the basic steps we take for investment advisory clients:


1.        Collect background financial data, document client financial objectives and identify specific client financial goals. 

·        This is achieved by reviewing completed client questionnaires (provided in the Client Center section of this web site) along with other relevant financial planning documents such as tax returns, insurance policies, &/or trust or estate planning documents that can be used to assess a client’s current financial condition and relate it to the stated lifetime financial objectives and goals.

·        An assessment of a client’s current financial condition is usually confirmed with one or more financial planning exercises, such as retirement, tax &/or college planning.  The financial planning efforts can be comprehensive in scope or can focus on one or two specific problem areas. 

·        The financial planning results are used to identify principal hurdles that act as obstacles to achieving a client’s stated financial goals, such as retiring with a certain income in a desired timeframe or funding a dependent’s college education.  Alternative approaches &/or restated financial goals are often the results of a financial planning exercise.

2.        Assess the client’s current allocation of financial assets for investment potential and determine tolerance for risk.

·        Galligan Financial currently uses the Morningstar Principia program to assess a client’s financial assets and estimate expected investment returns and risk.  Risk, in this case, is the probability of losing money over a one to three year timeframe.

·        The Morningstar Principia program highlights three, five and ten year investment returns.  These are used to determine if the investment results are adequate to meet a client’s financial objectives.

·        The Morningstar Principia program highlights expenses and fees associated with individual holdings that can impact investment results.  

3.        Review financial asset allocation options, and incorporate tax and on-going financial planning to best achieve financial goals.

·        If a client intends to withdraw funds within a three year time frame and their current portfolio indicates that there is a substantial probability of losing money in this timeframe then adjustments are recommended to mitigate the risk factor.

·        If long-term investment returns are such that stated financial goals will not be achieved, then adjustments are recommended so that financial goals can be achieved.

·        In all cases, alternative investment options are presented that can potentially provide similar or better long-term investment returns and lower risk whenever possible.  We objectively select, implement, update and monitor investment strategies based on client defined success levels.

·        The expected long-term investment returns, short-term risk potential, tax considerations and performance monitoring procedures collectively constitute an Investment Policy for each client that is communicated to each client and is updated as needed. 

4.        Implement revised portfolios with desired overview controls.

·        Galligan Financial invests in broad based asset classes to achieve diversification and tax efficiencies.  We have no bias with regard to any asset class or investment vehicle and routinely work to provide consistent investment results with the lowest expected risk:

o        Domestic no-load mutual funds and exchange trade funds (ETF’s)

o        International no-load mutual funds and ETF’s

o        Balanced no-load mutual funds 

o        Sector Specific no-load mutual funds

o        Bond & Income no-load funds

5.        Monitor results and provide client performance reviews on a monthly basis.

·        Monthly investment advisories are provided to all Galligan Financial clients that highlight our perspectives on the economy and the markets.

·        Monthly investment performance reports are provided that highlight one-month, year-to-date, and one-year investment results and compares them to industry standard benchmarks: 

o        the S&P 500 index;

o        the Wilshire Total Market index;

o        the Balanced index (60% stocks, 40% bonds);

o        the Europe and Far East (EAFE) international index, and

o        the Global Bond index. 

6.        Re-allocate financial assets and holdings based on economic market conditions, client financial status, and tax changes.

·        We are active money managers, which is to say that we do not lock into a fixed allocation and “put our heads in the sand” expecting that all markets will go up all the time.  We take our fiduciary role seriously and always act in the client’s best interest.

·        “We plan, We act, and We react”, which is to say that we reallocate invested funds periodically depending on global economic trends, personal changes that suggest reallocation (loss of employment, divorce …) and to avoid sudden losses if and when they materialize. 

·        Monthly Investment Advisories, which can be viewed in the Client Center in this web site, and e-mail alerts are used extensively to communicate upcoming changes when they materialize.  Updated Morningstar Principia snapshot assessments of a client’s current holdings are provided periodically to apprise a client of changing conditions as they materialize. 

·        Clients are always in control of their funds and are encouraged to visit our office several times a year to review their holdings and discuss their financial condition.