How do we tie it all together?

“We think we’ve saved enough. Our investment accounts are spread out among several different brokerage firms and we also have a few 401k accounts from past employers. We realize that we may not be managing our accounts well, but we just don’t have time to figure out a plan. We need help.”

– David and Jennifer

This hypothetical case study represents a combination of client experiences and issues. Read this story to learn how a wealth management firm like Brilliant Advice can work with you to give you a better financial future so you can confidently live your life.

The circumstances vary in each case but the outcome is the same – expert, valuable and trusted advice.

Getting to know David and Jennifer – we heard their concerns.

David and Jennifer are raising their two children and are looking forward to enjoying their retirement years together. They realized they hadn’t spent much time managing their retirement accounts and they knew they needed to start pulling everything together so they could have a better understanding of what their retirement lifestyle would look like.

David loves his job and wants to continue to work but needed reassurance that if he had to stop working they would be okay financially. While Jennifer worked part-time and managed the household bills, David managed their investment accounts. Jennifer wanted to make sure she was going to be secure if something happened to David. She certainly didn’t want to become a burden to their children in the future. They knew it was time for them to get their affairs in order.

Together we crafted a plan – we organized, then optimized their financial lives.

We organized: The team at Brilliant Advice began by learning about David and Jennifer’s assets and liabilities. We then created a personal net worth statement. Next we conducted a complete review of their employee benefits, life insurance needs, retirement accounts and taxable investments. We analyzed their Social Security filing options and discussed their future Medicare costs.tie-it-together-inset

We found ways to consolidate their retirement accounts by rolling over their eligible 401k accounts into IRAs, giving them better investment options and reducing investment duplication. By identifying lower cost investments we were able to minimize the fees they were paying which allowed them to keep more of the money they worked so hard to save.

We reviewed their tax returns and devised a tax loss harvesting strategy to minimize their taxes.

We discovered that their account beneficiaries were not consistent with their wills and estate documents and we made the appropriate updates. Their estate documents had been created when their children were born and needed to be revised. We worked with their attorney to update their documents to reflect their current situation.

We optimized: By using an intuitive method of assessing their risk tolerance, David and Jennifer determined the amount of investment volatility they could live with to sleep at night. They learned what portfolio “Speed Limit” they desired – minimizing the risk that they might one day abandon their plan and be tempted to make costly investment choices at the worst possible time.

We showed them that by consolidating and coordinating their accounts they could reduce costs and improve the diversification of their portfolio. This allowed us to include investments that they previously did not have access to, and it made their portfolio better positioned to weather market volatility.

Once we consolidated their accounts and lowered the fees they were paying, we worked with them on a comprehensive financial plan and investment strategy that showed them the income stream they could expect to receive during their retirement years.

We put their money into action – giving them a plan that makes sense.

We designed a portfolio plan focused on earning the investment returns David and Jennifer need to achieve their retirement lifestyle goals, while making sure we adhered to their desired portfolio Speed Limit.

“We make sure you are taking the appropriate amount of risk you need to reach your goals. You’ll be able to measure and track the risk you are taking across all of your accounts. And, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you are on track to achieve your retirement lifestyle.”Cern Basher, President

We reduced their exposure to the areas in the market that were expensive and offered low future returns, and we increased their investments in other areas that offered higher return opportunities.

We committed to actively rebalancing their accounts to ensure their portfolio stays within its Speed Limit target.

David and Jennifer confidently live their lives – their affairs are in order.

We guided David and Jennifer through our comprehensive process and now they are confidently living their lives knowing that they have a cohesive plan.

David and Jennifer meet with us regularly to talk about the changes in their lives so that we can update their financial plan and review their progress towards their retirement goals.

David sees that he has the flexibility to continue working, or that he can retire now if that feels right. Jennifer knows that she will be financially secure since they have a sound plan that addresses their most significant risks.

Most importantly, we put a plan in place that gives them the security to know they can achieve the retirement lifestyle that they have worked so hard to achieve.


We’ve worked too hard to mess things up now.

We’ve done well saving for retirement but what happens if market returns are lower than expected? Will we have enough to maintain our lifestyle? Will we have to work longer?
James & Mary’s story…


How do we know who to trust?

We’ve built our business and worked hard. How do we get our money to work as hard as we have? There are so many different types of advisors, how do we know they are looking out for us?

Mike & Kimberly’s story…


Can we do it all?

Everyone depends on us – our children and our parents. We want to make sure our family is provided for but we also need to make sure we have enough as we age. How will the choices we make today impact our future?
Tony & Jackie’s story…

These case studies are hypothetical in nature, for illustrative purposes only, and should not be considered investment advice. The information is intended to illustrate services available at fiduciary investment advisors, and is not intended as a testimonial or endorsement of Brilliant Advice. These case studies do not necessarily represent the experiences of other clients, do not reflect actual investment results, nor are they a guarantee of future results. Actual clients of Brilliant Advice may have had results and experiences different than those provided above. The investment strategies discussed are not appropriate for every investor. They do not take into consideration clients’ individual investment objectives and financial needs.