Haberling Financial Group | Wealth Management | Our Method

Planning vs. Products

As one of the region’s boutique wealth management firms, Haberling Financial Group (HFG) delivers a level of service that goes beyond what you would expect from commission based investment providers. This stems from a core difference between our planning-based advisory practice and the product-based practices of brokers. Advisory clients of HFG receive financial planning and wealth management that follows a repeating cycle of planning, implementation, and evaluation. What follows is a brief summary of our process.

Getting to Know You: The Initial Meeting

We believe that effective wealth management goes much deeper than a one-time event of simply recommending an investment or choosing an allocation. That is why we employ a continual cycle of examination, action, and performance evaluation. In these turbulent times it is important to have an advisor who takes the time to understand your needs and who provides ongoing oversight. Our team of experienced professionals draws upon more than 70 years of combined experience to help you formulate, manage, and achieve your financial goals, while giving you the peace of mind and the freedom to focus on what is important in your life.

For prospective clients, all decisions begin with a discovery process. Our advisors initially meet with you to discuss your current situation, your problems and your goals. Specifically, we may review some or all of the following subjects:

  • General objectives
  • Funding needs
  • Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Other planning topics specific to your needs
  • Portfolio management

Together, you and your advisor determine whether we are the right advisory firm for you. If a relationship is established, we encourage you to have a review with your advisor anytime there is a significant change in circumstances or personal goals. Your client review meetings will include what we call “On-Track” analysis – a quantified examination of your progress. Portfolio volatility and the complexities of financial planning can leave a person wondering if they are making adequate progress. Our “On-Track” review aims to provide you with answers to questions such as, “How much income can this portfolio provide if I retire a few years early?” or “Will there be enough for Maggie if I die and she loses my pension income?” Our goal is to simplify your life and it begins with helping you find answers to the tough questions.

Many Heads Are Better Than One: Our Advisor Forum

Prospective clients or existing clients with unique or complex planning issues are discussed in our weekly Advisor Forum. There, an advisor’s analysis and forthcoming recommendations are vetted through peer review. We collaborate as an advisory team to provide the planning advice and investment strategies we feel are most suited to your specific needs.

We Get To Work: Implementation

At this stage our advisors implement the appropriate investment strategy for new clients or make any needed adjustments for existing clients. Our investment strategies are specific and team-developed. We subscribe to the concept of risk management through carefully selected asset allocation. Each portfolio is managed with the objective of maximizing return without exceeding the appropriate risk-level for that client.

We Do Our Homework: Research & Our Investment Committee

Being an independent advisory firm, we conduct our research and investment selection in-house and add or remove investments from our approved list according to our own evaluation and judgment. In order to perform this function with skill, our advisors commit to career-long study and research in the fields of economics, investment valuation, and portfolio management. Each client portfolio is constructed using investments selected from HFG’s approved investment list. These investments are monitored and evaluated as part of a weekly Investment Committee review. Each approved investment serves a specific purpose in the construction of an efficient portfolio.

Allocation and Performance Review

Each calendar quarter we conduct an examination of all advisory client portfolios. In the first phase of this 90-day review cycle, portfolio performance is evaluated against benchmarks representing a similar overall risk-strategy. Portfolios deviating significantly from their benchmark are reviewed further to determine cause and corrective action is taken where appropriate.

Secondly, all advisory portfolios undergo a review of their asset allocation weightings. Over time portfolios naturally deviate from their allocation targets as the component investments expand and contract in different ways. When any asset class shrinks or expands outside the constraints of its target weighting, the portfolio is rebalanced. This process can sometimes be confusing to investors because it often entails selling some of an investment that has recently gone up in value and buying more of one that has not. In fact this process of portfolio rebalancing can increase returns over time because it is a systemized method of buying low and selling high.

What Qualifies Us To Handle Your Money?

HFG employs what we feel is the most qualified team of financial advisors in the region. It is our long-standing policy that all HFG advisors hold finance degrees. We also require our advisors to progress toward achievement of the Certified Financial Planner™ professional designation. This requires approximately 2,000 hours of coursework covering financial planning, investments, insurance, tax planning, retirement, employee benefits, and estate planning. Candidates must then pass a 10-hour board examination. Once certified, practitioners are required to complete continuing education requirements and adhere to an enforced professional code of ethics.

The world is in a constant state of change. We feel that to remain effective and competent at our craft, constant study and self-improvement is required. We embrace a culture of being life-long students of our profession.