A Day in the Life – Part 2

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I previously shared an eye into a “typical” day in the life of a Senior Financial Planner at Woodward Financial Advisors in Part 1.  Since it was so well received and no day is actually “typical,” here is another sampling. It turns out this day doesn’t involve client meetings but instead a lot of behind the scenes research.

9:00 – 10:00 am – Analysis of client I-bond holdings

Mr. and Mrs. Adams emailed us last night to let us know they have some paper I-bond certificates and aren’t sure what to do with them. I do some research to confirm my understanding of these bonds, including taxation and interest rate details as well as how our client can convert these paper bonds to an electronic version.  That’s step one.  The next step will be to slowly divest of these bonds based on my knowledge of this client’s specific situation.

10:00 – 11:00 am – Cost basis analysis

Ms. Jefferson has asked for our help sorting out the cost basis for the numerous stock holdings that she accumulated over the years. Some of the holdings were inherited, some were gifted and some she purchased. We break out the spreadsheet and stock-split history to make progress on this initiative, which will take some time to complete.

11:00 am – 1:30 pm – Rebalancing of client portfolios

I’ve got several portfolios to rebalance today and a lot of information goes into the rebalancing thought process. I’m balancing in my mind a client’s tax situation, their cash flow needs, their target asset allocation and what the trading costs will be. I’ll follow our firm’s process to recommend trades, get them approved and execute.

1:30pm – 2:00pm – Lunch

I’m having lunch in the office today with my colleague, Allison. She and I are both senior planners here at Woodward so it’s great to chat and to share ideas about common client challenges we’ve encountered and solutions we’re currently implementing.

2:00 – 2:30 pm – Discuss Social Security claiming strategy with client

I have a phone call with Mrs. Washington to review the claiming strategy she and her husband will use when applying for their Social Security benefits. Every client is different – some clients will be waiting until they turn 70 to turn on their benefits while others will be collecting benefits earlier and potentially taking advantage of some advanced strategies like filing a Restricted Application.

2:30 – 3:30 pm Summarize Insurance quotes for client

Mr. and Mrs. Madison asked us to obtain some price quotes for both disability insurance and long-term care insurance. As fee-only advisors we don’t sell insurance, but we certainly help our client shop for policies. Once designed these policies will likely cost several thousand dollars per year. While expensive, the financial protection the policies provide is worth the cost.  I’ll write up a summary and send to our clients to see if they have any questions or if they’d like to move forward with obtaining either of these policies.

3:30 – 4:30 pm Long Term Care hybrid analysis

Mr. and Mrs. Monroe had some whole life insurance policies that they weren’t actively using to meet any of their goals. They didn’t particularly need the policies but the premiums were reasonable and the policies were paying a decent participating dividend. The Monroes wanted some long-term care insurance but didn’t want to buy traditional long-term care insurance. Instead they asked us to investigate some ways that they could obtain additional long-term care insurance but still retain some of the benefits of traditional life insurance. We looked at a few different options and were able to help them obtain a hybrid life-LTC policy that met their needs.

4:30 – 5:00 pm Annuity Analysis

Mrs. Jackson purchased an annuity from her previous financial advisor with various guaranteed income benefit riders.  We put in a call to that insurance company and spent some time understanding how the annuity works and what income options are available to the her. It turns out that since the annuity was purchased before the 2008 market downturn, taking advantage of the GMIB (guaranteed monthly income benefit) annuity riders is probably going to be in the best interest of the client.  I call Mrs. Jackson to deliver my analysis and make recommendations on how she should proceed.  Since this is a very confusing product, she was thankful to have this analysis performed.

5:00 – 5:30 pm Wrap-Up

I look over my inbox to see if there are any more follow up emails that need to go out today, then I look at my calendar for the following day and the rest of the week to see what’s on the docket. I can see upcoming meetings, more analysis work and investment related projects. The biggest things I see are more opportunities to help serve our clients and help them simplify their financial lives.



Disclosure:  All names of individuals used in this post are fictitious.  Any resemblance to actual clients is purely coincidental.


About Joseph Marques

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