The Holistic Financial Plan

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Authored By: Kelly Adams, CFP®, EA and Ken Robinson, JD, CFP®


The past few decades have seen an increase in consumer awareness of the need for detailed financial planning. Typical sources of consumer financial advice are still segregated by subject, and rarely does one provider consult with other providers on behalf of a client.

The consumer’s all-too-common experience of assembling a financial plan as a series of ad hoc purchasing decisions leaves many with disjointed financial plans that often are ineffective and inefficient, and notably costlier than they should be. The client, intelligent and educated though he may be, typically isn’t sufficiently conversant with financial matters to be able to see when one expert’s advice conflicts with another.

These shortcomings can be overcome using a holistic financial planning model, in which the advisor has hands-on involvement with all areas of the client’s financial life.

This white paper explores the characteristics of a holistic financial plan, reveals its advantages and disadvantages, and compares the holistic approach to other existing models. It also considers the longevity and sustainability of holistic planning and reveals the added value that holistic planners can deliver to their clients.