Financial Planning

Financial planner and wealth advisor Stephen Grochol of SGC Financial Services presented at the Executive Forum Silicon Valley in 2021 about all major six areas of financial planning: Current financial position, retirement planning, insurance protection planning, investment planning, estate planning and tax planning. 

To put all pieces together AND to accomplish one’s retirement goals, these steps need to be taken:

  1. Identifying goals
  2. Gathering data
  3. Analysis and planning
  4. Develop solutions
  5. Implement strategies
  6. Review (quarterly)

Current financial situation

“You don’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you are…” said Mr. Grochol.  Whether an individual or a couple, the first place to start is a current year’s balance sheet that breaks down assets and liabilities, as well as percentage for asset types such as cash, taxable investments, qualified retirement, life insurance and real estate. This first step is to:

  • Determine current income and expenses
  • Determine current and projected net worth
  • Establish an emergency fund

Retirement planning

To prepare for retirement, you need to 

  • Estimate retirement income and expenses
  • Determine retirement savings needs
  • Determine how to distribute your retirement funds

To determine if an individual or a couple have enough funds for retirement, projections will be made for possible retirement preferences such as 

  • When you can retire: early, late, or on time
  • Spending levels during retirement
  • Risk analysis for various market conditions
  • Remaining assets for your estate

Insurance planning

The purpose of insurance planning is for

  • Providing for your family in the event of death
  • Protecting your income in the event of disability

For most of the aging retirees, long term care costs can be significant without adequate long term care insurance. In the event of disability, not only will there be substantial draining of wealth, but there is also the opportunity cost as the lost investment growth on the money used for paying for care from income or from existing investments. It is important to do the following planning long before retirement:

  • Longer term care insurance planning
  • Life insurance effect on protection planning and estate transfer
  • Long term disability
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance

Investment planning

One important way of wealth accumulation is through investment, which requires one to 

  • Assess your risk tolerance
  • Design an asset allocation strategy
  • Evaluate investment strategies
  • Fund college education or a home purchase

Asset allocation depends on each person’s risk tolerance. Mr. Grochol presented this question for members of the Executive Forum to determine their own risk tolerance:

Which of the following statements would best describe your reaction if the value of your portfolio were to suddenly decline by 15%?

  1. I would be very concerned because I can’t accept fluctuations in the value of my portfolio.
  2. If the amount of income I receive was unaffected, it wouldn’t bother me. 
  3. Although I invest for long-term growth, even a temporary decline would concern me.
  4. Although I invest for long-term growth, I would accept temporary fluctuations due to market influences.

Estate Planning

The purpose of estate planning is to:

  • Transfer your estate according to your wishes
  • Minimize estate taxes and expenses
  • Fund estate taxes

To avoid costly and prolonged probate, these documents need to be prepared in advance of one’s death:

  • Trust
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Directive
  • Charitable Remainder Trust

Tax planning

  • Project federal income taxes
  • Evaluate tax-minimizing strategies
  • Investigate tax-favored investments

With every financial decision and recommendation in a financial plan, tax planning needs to be strongly considered in all areas and at every phase.

Please email Stephen Grochol at stephen.grochol@sgc-financial.co, or call: (650) 227-0380

===============================================================

At Executive Forums Silicon Valley, selected business owners and leaders work together to gain clarity, insight and accountability to ignite their leadership engines, grow their businesses and improve their lives. If you are interested in learning more about Business Owner Advisory Boards, Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), Stages of Growth, Value Builder System or becoming a member at Executive Forum Silicon Valley, please contact Glenn Perkins gperkins@executiveforums.com or call 408-901-0321. For more information visit http://www.execforumssv.com/.

Read More

Avoid the Mile-Wide Trap in Your Business COVID 19 Response

What is the difference between a mile-wide versus a mile-deep approach to building your business? And why does it matter?

As many companies’ growth has stalled due to Covid-19’s shelter-in-place, unemployment, reduced consumption, workplace protection and other changes and limitations, some are looking everywhere for new businesses, even scrambling to diversify by adding new products and services to sell.

However, before a necessary pivot, it is important to make sure that you don’t fall into the “Mile Wide Trap” as you look to diversify your business.

The Mile Wide Trap

The Mile Wide Trap first starts to ensnare you when you do an excellent job serving a small number of great customers and they ask you to handle more of their DIFFERENT TYPES of work. You keep delivering, and they keep broadening the list of products and services they want you to supply. Your company is wildly profitable serving the expanding needs of this small list of “great customers” so you keep falling deeper and deeper into what eventually becomes “the mile wide but an inch deep” trap. 

Pretty soon, you’re an inch deep and a mile wide in offerings and the only person in your company with the depth of industry experience to deliver all of the services is you. But you’re trapped because your expenses have crept up as your revenue has increased – leaving you dependent on the sales you get from a small group of demanding customers. And the chase never ends.

Another example of the Mile Wide Trap is when there is a disruption in the market, and you look to capitalize by doing something your company has not done before. This may be particularly attractive during this time of economic upheaval caused by Coronavirus.

A Mile Deep is Better Than a Mile Wide

Instead of selling more things to a few customers, first concentrate on understanding your company’s core focus – the intersection of your passion and your expertise, then sell a few things to a lot of customers. 

In order to scale up a company, employees, not owners, need to be able to execute work with quality and speed. This is much easier to accomplish repeatedly when the company operates within its core focus where everyone is already trained to do their best. 

As an extreme example, Ferrari represents a high-performance racing type automobile. Ferrari’s core focus is: “We build cars, symbols of Italian excellence the world over, and we do so to win on both road and track.” They are a mile deep in what they do – high performance Italian cars. They know that the gold is buried deep. One might think they could go wide and diversify into high performance motorcycles, snowmobiles or even airplanes, however, they stay close to their core focus and avoid the Mile Wide Trap.

When the markets seem to be in turmoil, it is easy to fall into The Mile Wide Trap that will eventually choke off your growth.   Do pivot when necessary, but more often than not, doubling down on your core focus will provide the long term, scalable growth you are looking for.

If you’re curious to benchmark your company on growth potential and the other seven factors that drive your company’s value, take 13 minutes and get your Value Builder Score here:   https://bit.ly/36nPCKn

=================================================================

At Executive Forums Silicon Valley, selected business owners and leaders work together to gain clarity, insight and accountability to ignite their leadership engines, grow their businesses and improve their lives. If you are interested in learning more about Business Owner Advisory Boards, Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), Stages of Growth, Value Builder System or becoming a member at Executive Forum Silicon Valley, please contact gperkins@executiveforums.com or call 408-901-0321. For more information visit http://www.execforumssv.com/ .