Created: May 29, 2020
Modified: January 3, 2023

Four Core Financial Planning Philosophies

What You’ll Learn:
After the COVID-19 shutdown, people were curious how the planning process might be changing. While some things might shift, our four core philosophies remain entrenched in everything we do.

It’s important to begin with our behaviors following a financial crisis. No matter what we go through, we forget about the crisis way too quickly as a country. And after all we’ve been through this year already, you’d think there would be more worry when talking about financial planning. We’re not seeing that though.

But that doesn’t change what we do when working with clients to build a financial plan. Everything we talk about is based on these four core philosophies:

  1. Safety first – Have some money that can’t go down when the market goes down.
  2. Reasonable rate of return – Most clients aren’t looking to us to make them rich. They want us to keep them from being poor.
  3. It’s all about income – We want to make sure you have income created in retirement that isn’t dependent on someone’s job, Social Security, pensions, or so on.
  4. Keep it simple – Making sure clients understand their plan and their investments.

It doesn’t matter who you are and how many assets you own. This process is the same for everyone is that’s why we want to reiterate that on this episode.


We’ll close out today’s show with a few mailbag questions from listeners so thanks for sending those in. Let’s start with someone that is thinking about beginning their own business but would need to pull money out of an IRA. By doing that, they’ll be paying taxes and penalties but still feel confident about their ability to be successful. The answer for this is going to be different for everyone but Joel will share some considerations to make and things he would ask her.

The second question comes from a listener that just received an inheritance in the form of a $350K IRA. With the SECURE Act wiping out the Stretch IRA, let’s talk about what he needs to know about this account and withdrawing money. Then we can discuss where to invest it.

Finally, we have a listener with two 20-something children that are living at home and were recently furloughed. Unfortunately, this is probably a common situation around the northeast right now. He wants to support them financially as best he can and is considering ways to do that. Joel, however, doesn’t recommend doing this and he’s going to explain why.

0:34 – Joel and his team back in the office again.

1:46 – Are people shaking the complacency and ready to get going again?

2:56 – How is the financial planning conversation different now than it was before?

5:46 – The four core philosophies we preach

9:36 – How are these philosophies woven in to conversations with clients?

14:23 – Mailbag Question #1: I’m thinking about starting my own business but I would have to pull money about $75,000 out of my IRA, which would require paying taxes and penalties. I’m not scared of those penalties but interested to hear your take on it.

17:09 – Massive wealth is built without diversification.

19:09 – Mailbag Question #2: My mom passed away and left me about an IRA of about $350,000 in it. What do I need to know about this account and how should I invest it?

20:44 – Mailbag Question #3: My kids are both in their 20s and have been furloughed. They live with us so expenses are limited, but I’m wondering how to best help them financially during this time.

  • Sandy and Thomas C.
    Sandy & Thomas C. are clients of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “We always felt our financial needs were in very capable hands. Alex Angst is great to work with. Our advisor always made us feel he had our best interests at heart and explained things so we could understand them.”

  • Lisa D.
    Lisa D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Working with Johnson Brunetti has had a positive impact on my life by providing me with the knowledge, confidence, and peace of mind to move forward with my retirement plans. The process of getting to this point, through their guidance, has been informative and pleasurable.”

  • Ken D.
    Ken D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for his statement.

    “I view your company as one that puts my interests first. I think that is very uncommon and very refreshing. “

  • Jeanne P.
    Jeanne P. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Matt does an awesome job! So easy to understand and he listens to our concerns and addresses them! happy I chose your firm!”

  • Anonymous
    This testimonial was provided by a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “I have been pleased with the help and service I have received from the company. I have met several team members on Eric’s team and have found all of them very well prepared to meet with me when reviewing my portfolio. I always feel that I am an important customer and appreciate that very much. I hope the firm continues to focus on the customer and maintains its great service. I think you do a great job for someone like me!!!! I’m happy I chose your firm!”

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