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Description of the AFG financial planning and wealth management process

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The Artifex Process

What to expect as a new client of Artifex Financial Group

For many people, this is the first time they've considered hiring a truly independent, fee-only financial advisor to help them with their financial matters.  We certainly applaud your decision and know in our hearts that this is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family's future.  Hopefully you know by now that Artifex Financial Group is a fiduciary (client-first), fee-only (we receive no other compensation than that received from you as our fee), and totally unconflicted advisory firm.

Our focus is to maintain and build the net worth of our clients, and at the end of their lives, assist in an orderly transition to the next generation and to implement any after-life wishes. The one thing that is constantly at the forefront of our thinking is "Will this decision enhance and / or protect the net worth of our client?"

Making the decision to hire us is certainly a big one.  You have agreed to compensate us for our time and expertise.  You most likely are expecting value in return.  This value may take many forms, such as:


Enhanced investment performance


Cost savings over traditional asset management, accounting and legal fees

Limiting the downside risk of investments

Making sound capital allocation decisions (where to invest your money and how best to spend it)

Limiting, to the greatest degree possible, your exposure to taxes

Making sure you are insured properly, with the right type of insurance and that you are not spending too much for the coverage you have, whether it's home, auto, life, health, disability, long-term care insurance, etc.

Making sure your estate plan is up-to-date and accurate.


Having an effective and sustainable retirement income plan.

Perhaps most of all, sleeping well at night knowing there is a team in place to serve your financial interests first and foremost.

We will design your planning engagement to address your priorities. Your interests will always come first, and we will consider your success to be our success.


That said, how do we accomplish this?


It's important to know that our process is unique within the financial planning and wealth management profession. Most of our competitors either focus solely on investment management, or on one or two areas of financial planning.  Or, they may provide a brief, general "financial plan" positioned as more of a product so that they can quickly get to selling you a mutual fund, investment portfolio, annuity or life insurance.


We have a real philosophical problem with this "Standard Industry Approach".  First of all, it's not really financial planning or an integrated wealth management process.  It's a sales process.  In our opinion, firms that employ this strategy shouldn't be allowed to call themselves financial planners.


Our philosophy is that financial planning is a process.  Sometimes that process is in-depth and ongoing, and sometimes it is brief - addressing an immediate problem.  Our firm is equipped to address any and all personal financial planning needs.


For the client who desires and needs comprehensive advice, we have structured an effective process to make sure that everything gets covered and coordinated into one, easy-to-manage process, maintained and advised by our staff of experienced and credentialed advisors.

Step 1:  A thorough cash flow and lifestyle needs review.  

This is a necessary exercise and one that we and our clients find to be very valuable.  It includes a discussion of personal financial values and desires.


Step 2:  Development of ordinary and unique future cash needs.  

Typical areas covered in this step are discretionary and non-discretionary expenses.  Education for children, car purchases, business purchases, real estate (income-producing, vacation, and retirement), weddings, trips, future health care, etc.


Step 3:  Analysis of current asset position and projections.  

Review of how assets are currently invested, expected returns and risk, and the sufficiency of funding future needs.  Taking into consideration current and future cash inflows and outflows, how should these assets best be positioned?


Step 4:  Asset repositioning and ongoing management.  

This is where the asset strategy is implemented.  For retirees, our unique "asset dedication" approach may be utilized.  Income and growth are considered, as well as potential tax exposure.  Artifex has very effective model portfolios (click here for more information) which the client may use for their advantage.  Our solutions are very customized and tailored to the needs of the individual plan. We do not rely on Modern Portfolilo Theory or "risk tolerance questionnaires" to guide us in our solutions.  Those techinques are ineffective at best, and provide a false sense of security to investors.

Step 5: Review of risk exposures

Analysis of necessary amounts of life, disability, malpractice, umbrella insurance, etc.  Deductible levels and retention amounts.  Long term care strategy development, future health care strategy. Comprehensive property and casualty insurance review - auto, home, liability, business, rental properties, etc.


The rationale for spending time on this step is that the normal and typical risks that most individuals need to manage should be considered as a possible impairment on assets or income.  In many cases, having proper and cost-effective insurance in place is the best way to handle these risks.  We also want to be aware of any deficiencies, or "unplanned" exposures.


Step 6:  Estate Plan Review

Review of current wills, trusts, powers of attorney, durable health care powers, living wills, guardianship and executor provisions, etc. Recommendations and possible redesign in concert with legal counsel if necessary.


Step 7:  Tax Planning / Strategy 

Review of personal tax returns and trends.  Coordination of current and future tax exposures.  Take appropriate steps to minimize exposure to taxation.  Plan for immediate and future actions to implement the agreed-upon recommendations.


Step 8:  Tax preparation (optional)

 Our in-house tax specialist, who is an Enrolled Agent, will prepare personal tax returns as requested.  This includes Federal, State and local tax and the associated schedules as well as trust tax returns, if required.



Step 9:  Annual review and goal setting for the upcoming year.  


This is where we make any adjustments to the plan and take steps to fund varisous short-term goals and income needs.  A look-back over the previous 12 months to ensure that the client's planning goals have been met.


It's important to know that not all of these steps are required, and we do not always follow the order represented here.  As our client, you help determine the actual order of the process and the priority they play in your life.  We customize our process to meet your needs.


Our process is TRUE wealth management, and we welcome you to the "Art of Effective Financial Planning"




Artifex Financial Group



Dayton Regional Office

The Oakwood Building

2305 Far Hills Avenue, Suite 206

Dayton, OH  45419


Cincinnati Regional Office

201 East Fifth Street

Suite 1900

Cincinnati, OH  45202


Columbus Regional Office

545 Metro Place South

Suite 100

Dublin, OH  43017 


Cleveland Regional Office

600 Superior Ave East

Suite 1300

Cleveland, OH  44114


Northwest Ohio Regional Office

Maumee Arrowhead Park

1715 Indian Wood Circle

Suite 200

Maumee, OH  43537


Send us a request to contact you