Understanding Goals-Based Planning

Understanding Goals-Based Planning

by Jurgen Simons, VP – Manager Advisory Services and Project Management

When you think about your investments, do you know what you are saving for? Your answer might be something like, “I’m saving for retirement,” or “I need to save money for my daughter’s college education.” While these are worthwhile goals, it is important to step back and take a comprehensive look at all of your financial objectives. Do you have a plan that allows you to set and achieve all of your goals in the appropriate timeframes?

A financial planning approach called goals-based planning may allow you to build a more comprehensive plan to help you successfully target your objectives.

What is goals-based planning?

Goals-based planning is an approach that encourages individuals or families to first think holistically about and focus on prioritizing their financial goals. Once clearly defined goals are determined, the investors work with a financial advisor to create a unique investment strategy to help them achieve their objectives.

How does it differ from the traditional approach to investing?

The traditional approach to investing generally places an emphasis on how your investments are performing against a benchmark, like the S&P 500. Goals-based planning is more of a top-down approach. Your advisor has a meaningful conversation with you to gain an understanding of what motivates you and what you are trying to achieve by investing. Then an investment strategy is determined and implemented. Once it is in place, the emphasis is on whether or not you are on track to achieve your financial goals.

Is goals-based planning for me? What are the benefits?

Regardless of your stage in life, goals-based planning can help you clarify your goals and understand what you are trying to accomplish with your investment strategy. It is an important tool to help you save for and achieve your financial goals. It also allows you to plan and save for multiple objectives at the same time, helping you stay on track with all of your funding priorities. And while performance remains an important part of the discussion with your advisor, it is done in the context of how it fits with your larger goals. Ultimately, it should provide you with a strategy for having the financial means to live your life the way you want to live it.

Are you interested in learning more about goals-based planning? Contact a HilltopSecurities wealth management financial advisor.


Suitability of products mentioned herein must be determined on an individual basis. Not all products are suitable for all investors. Additional investor education is available through: FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) at www.finra.org; Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) at www.sifma.org; and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) at www.msrb.org, EMMA (Electronic Municipal Market Access) System at www.emma.msrb.org, or DPC Data’s MuniFilings at www.munifilings.com.


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