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Holistic Financial Planning: From Vision to Reality


In our recent podcast, we spoke with guest Kristen Moosmiller, EA, CFP®, founder and managing partner of NorthAvenue Financial Advocates. She described the journey that's led her and her business partner to the kind of financial planning practice many professionals wish they had.

At NorthAvenue Financial Advocates, Kristen and her colleagues offer holistic financial planning services. Rather than focusing solely on investments, holistic financial planning takes a broader perspective and includes elements of financial planning such as tax planning and preparation, retirement planning, insurance needs, estate planning, and budgeting and saving.

What is holistic financial planning?

Holistic financial planning is a big-picture approach that takes into consideration all aspects of a client’s financial situation. 

Describing her approach to holistic financial planning, Kristen explains, “As advisors, we’re focused on doing what’s in our client’s best interests,” which means serving as a resource for clients when it comes to a disparate array of financial topics. 

This comprehensive approach to financial planning enables advisors to form deeper relationships with their clients and more effectively help them plan for the future in both the short term and the long term.

Aspects of holistic financial planning

Traditional financial planning focuses primarily on investments, leaving clients to look elsewhere when it comes to tax planning and preparation, saving and budgeting, purchasing insurance, and other issues. 

In contrast, holistic financial planning can seamlessly incorporate all of these elements, drawing on the expertise of a community of advisors to provide clients with comprehensive advice.

Some common aspects of holistic financial planning include:

  • Tax-focused financial planning
  • Tax preparation
  • Retirement planning and goals
  • Saving for college
  • Purchasing insurance
  • Budgeting and money management
  • Estate planning
  • Investments

Ultimately, holistic financial planning can touch on any aspect of a client’s financial situation. Since individual clients typically have varying needs specific to their particular situation, a holistic financial plan may look very different from client to client. Holistic financial planning also incorporates personal elements, such as a client’s personal goals and lifestyle as well as their plans for the future.

Advantages of holistic financial planning

There are many benefits to offering holistic financial planning services to your clients. Not only can you serve as a helpful resource when it comes to a wide variety of financial topics, but you can also strengthen your relationship with clients by obtaining a better understanding of their unique financial situation.

Serve as a one-stop-shop for financial planning

Many clients are accustomed to working with multiple financial planning professionals for investment planning, tax preparation, insurance, and more. By providing holistic planning services for your clients, you can incorporate elements of all of these services into your practice. Even if you’re not able to offer a specific service, such as tax preparation, yourself, you can refer your clients to trusted colleagues.

Strengthen your relationship with clients

Because holistic financial planning encompasses so many different aspects of personal finance, taking a holistic approach to financial planning helps you to strengthen your relationship with clients by gaining a fuller understanding of your client’s finances on a granular level. This can not only help you to save your clients money but can also help you to tailor their financial plan toward their specific goals and priorities.

Uphold your fiduciary standard

As financial advisors, it’s important to uphold your fiduciary standard by always acting in your client’s best interest. A holistic approach to financial planning enables you to make intelligent and informed decisions that take into account a wide variety of financial factors. It can also help you to demonstrate your value to clients by acting as a knowledgeable resource for any questions or concerns they might have.

How ACP can help

Because a holistic approach engages with so many different areas of financial planning, individual advisors and financial planning practices that occupy specific niches may not always have the necessary expertise in every area. For example, a financial planning practice with a strength in retirement planning may not be as familiar with tax planning, while a practice with detailed knowledge of investment management may not be as familiar with insurance.

ACP helps members to supplement their own expertise by enabling them to take part in an innovative and collaborative community of their peers. As Kristen shares on the podcast, “The reason we keep coming back to ACP is the community.” 

Membership with ACP allows her team to provide added value to clients even in areas they are not as familiar with. Kristen notes that, “To be able to say that we have a community of very competent holistic advisors across the country, who are more than willing to lend their insights and their personal experiences is invaluable.”

ACP members also have access to a variety of tools and resources that enable them to grow and develop successful fee-only financial planning practices. 

Joining ACP can help members launch new businesses or grow existing practices with help from a supportive and knowledgeable community of like-minded colleagues. Schedule a call with us today to learn more and explore your options.