We are building a world where smart, creative people feel permission to enjoy today while providing a stable financial base for our future. We strive to help our clients use their money to build the life they want by engaging in Planning-Driven Wealth Management.  

We practice Financial Life Planning, which is a more robust approach to traditional financial planning, aligning our advice with your goals and values. Our onboarding process is quite extensive and can take 1-3 years to complete; it is comprised of multiple Discovery meetings as well as collaboration with trusted allies to address all aspects of your financial life. This encompasses everything from monthly cash flow management to estate planning, proactive tax planning and more. We believe in evidence-based investing, so we use only low-cost, tax-efficient funds, and have the option to build sustainability-conscious portfolios. 

For our high growth, creative entrepreneur clients, we offer Business Financial Planning.

We are a fee-only, fiduciary Registered Investment Advisor - this means we are only compensated by our clients and are legally required to put your interests first. Here's how we get paid for our work.

Q2 2017 INVESTMENT INSIGHTS

About Modernist [0:55]  Investing at Modernist [4:06]  Headlines: Passive Investing Hullabaloo [9:12]  Currency Impact on International Equity Prices [19:15]  Q2 2017 Performance [22:56]

 

MODERNIST'S INVESTMENT MANIFESTO

WE BELIEVE IN FINANCIAL SCIENCE.

WE BELIEVE IN STRUCTURE OVER TREND.

WE BELIEVE IN INVESTING FOR THE LONG-TERM.

WE BELIEVE IN CAPTURING THE MARKET, NOT BEATING THE MARKET.

WE BELIEVE YOUR PORTFOLIO SHOULD BE BUILT TO FIT YOUR PLAN.

WE BELIEVE IN EDUCATING YOU TO FEEL EASE IN FINANCIAL DECISION-MAKING.

WE BELIEVE THAT FINANCIAL PLANNING AND INVESTMENTS ARE A COLLABORATIVE, CREATIVE AND ITERATIVE PROCESS.

ENTREPRENEUR DIALS DOWN THE STRESS OF BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY

Diana’s design agency was taking off: 200% growth in year two, international awards and tons of press. It seemed ridiculous to complain, yet her life felt chaotic as she juggled her fast-growing business, dreams of motherhood and home-ownership, and an occasional date night with her often-traveling husband. Read how we worked with Diana and her husband to mobilize a team around their vision for growth and an inspiring new home for their new family.

 

AN INHERITANCE SPURS OVERDUE MONEY CONVERSATIONS FOR LONG-TIME COUPLE

Marc and Robert are in their 40s, raising two teenagers with college on the horizon. Robert’s mother recently died from cancer leaving Robert confused by an inheritance that feels heavy with grief. When they came to Modernist, they realized they had never established deep communication around their financial goals and values. Learn how we helped Marc and Robert build a financial engine that will fund their early retirement when the kids graduate.

 

RETIREES FIND JOY IN FARMING AND PAINTING (NOT WORRYING)

When Sam came to us, she knew it was time to retire from long hours as an architect, but she had no idea where to begin. She dreamed of moving to the country and living a slower life full of the things she loved: painting, cooking and caring for her relationship. Her partner, Kelly, had managed their investments, but 2008 really spooked her. Learn how we clarified a vision of their life in retirement and implemented an investment portfolio designed to last the rest of their life.

ONBOARDING IN YEARs 1 -2

 

Meeting 1: Goals Discovery

Clarifying Your Roots & Vision

Inherited beliefs and past experiences subconsciously shape your approach to financial decision-making. We lead you and your partner through short exercises that reveal your money stories and your aspirations.  Our process helps you view your money as a tool for reaching your goals. 

 

Meeting 2: Data Discovery

Clarifying Your Resources: Assets, Time and Human Capital

A tangle of old 401(k)s, inherited accounts and multiple money managers impede financial peace of mind. We consolidate and analyze your assets, quantifying the resources available to meet your goals.  

 

Meeting 3: Financial Plan: Change Recommendations

Envisioning Your Story, Completing Your Financial Blueprint

Using your values and goals as the backbone of the plan, we create a narrative vision for your financial future, a numbers-based plan and an implementation blueprint. These living documents are the foundation for managing your life transitions, like launching or selling a business, buying a new home, transitioning into retirement or beginning a new career with ease. 

 

Meeting 4: Cash Flow Planning

Developing Money Awareness

We explore your weekly & monthly cash flow, assessing whether it aligns with your values and vision. 

If your spending and saving habits lack structure, we help you implement a cash flow system that supports prioritization and communication while being automatic and easy to maintain.  Our aim is to help you feel permission to spend on pleasure today while putting money aside for your future.

 

change implementation MEETINGS, as necessary

 

Cash Flow Planning meeting

Developing Money Awareness

We explore your weekly & monthly cash flow, assessing whether it aligns with your values and vision. 

If your spending and saving habits lack structure, we help you implement a cash flow system that supports prioritization and communication while being automatic and easy to maintain.  Our aim is to help you feel permission to spend on pleasure today while putting money aside for your future.

 

Gathering your Financial Team

Connecting you with our trusted colleagues or working with your established partners, we play the role of maestro, coordinating your Financial Team and keeping them invigorated around your vision. Your team members may include your tax advisor, bookkeeper, mortgage broker, realtor, banker, estate planning lawyer, insurance agent, favorite charities or personal assistant.

 

Tax Planning Meeting

Proactively Managing Taxes

We meet annually with your CPA or Tax Advisor to outline a tax plan aligned with your short and long-term goals. We bring financial planning and tax planning together to work towards predictable outcomes when tax time arrives.

 

Risk & Transition Planning meeting

Preparing for the Future

In collaboration with your insurance provider, we develop a plan that will help you carry less stress around unexpected events such as disability, premature death, and caring for you and your family during elderhood.  We clarify how much cash you should have for emergencies, medical deductibles, long-term care, and short-term unemployment. 

 

Estate Planning & Aging meeting

Honoring Death

One of the greatest gifts you can give your family is clarity about what you want as you age and when you die.  We collaborate with your estate planning lawyer to review or implement Estate Documents (Will, Powers of Attorney, Beneficiary Designations, Advanced Directives and Trusts) that articulate what you want and make it easier for your loved ones to carry out your wishes.  

 

Philanthropy & Charitable Giving Meeting

Understanding Plenty & Enough 

Charitable giving can fund your most cherished beliefs, open a powerful conversation with your family about financial values, and be a practical aspect of your tax planning. We help magnify your vision by collaborating with local philanthropic organizations.  We explore whether annual giving, capital contributions, a Donor Advised Fund or a family foundation could maximize your impact. 

 

ONGOING IN YEARS 2+

 

Spring and Fall review Meetings

Monitoring your Financial Vital Signs

We meet twice a year to incorporate recent life changes into your plan and celebrate your progress. We review your financial narrative, investments, cash flow, insurance, estate and charitable giving to make sure your financial life continues to reflect your deepest aspirations.  

 

On-call & email support

we'VE GOT YOUR BACK

We are your first call when you’re making big financial decisions, whether it’s a new job or your (grand)child’s acceptance to their dream school. As you need support throughout the year we are available by phone or in-person and respond to email within two business days. 

 

If you are an entrepreneur, your personal and business financial lives are deeply intertwined.  After completing the work of personal financial planning, we will begin building a bridge that connects them.  We provide the following services, as needed, to ensure your personal and business financial success:

 

ASSEMBLING YOUR TEAM

Just as your personal financial team is key to achieving your goals, we believe entrepreneurial success requires the same support. When we provide financial planning for your business, we grow your team to include your business manager, CFO, business coach, etc. and ensure we are all working together towards your vision. 

 

QUARTERLY MEETINGS

The team will review financial statements, cash flow & debt, resource allocation, tax planning and owners’ compensation and benefits. We can create a cash flow plan to ensure stability during ebbs and flows, so you can continue to build your business when time is plentiful but income isn’t. We provide follow-up after each meeting and hold all team members accountable to the tasks that will move you and your business forward. 

 

401K MANAGEMENT FOR OUR SMALL BUSINESS CLIENTS

401(k) plans are an important tool for retaining key employees and helping owners reach their tax and retirement savings goals. When it is time to think about implementing group benefits we will analyze your options & support you during implementation. 

 

SUPPORT DURING CHANGES

Financing rounds, mergers or purchase offers, or simply fast growth can be pivotal points in the life of your business. We are always available to discuss, meet and provide support as you make big decisions. We help you reflect on how these important business decisions could impact your personal financial goals.

 

WE’VE DESIGNED OUR LEGAL STRUCTURE TO MINIMIZE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

WE ARE A FEE-ONLY, REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISOR AND A FIDUCIARY.

WE are PAID VIA A PERCENTAGE OF THE ACCOUNT BALANCES WE MANAGE or a flat monthly fee.

We are compensated only by our clients.

 

Due to the time-intensive, comprehensive, accountability-focused nature of our work, new clients must have investable assets of at least $1,000,000. When new clients don’t meet our investable asset minimum, they have the option to pay $1250/month in year one and $800/month in subsequent years (until they meet the minimum).