About five years ago, after another spring full of sneezing and allergy pills, I got allergy tested. The tests, not to my surprise, showed that I had a good number of allergies. For the next four years, I decided to take allergy shots which consisted of me going to the doctor’s office weekly to receive two shots. The shots were supposed to help my body build a tolerance to the various things I was allergic to. A little over a year ago, I decided to stop taking the shots as I really did not know if they were having much of an effect.

For the first few months after I stopped taking the shots, everything seemed fine, with no major issues. It was not until earlier this year when I started to notice my prior symptoms returning. With everything occurring, I finally went back to the doctor’s office this past month and got retested. Out of the seventy-five different items the doctor tested me for, I am lucky enough to be allergic to approximately sixty of them. I am back to getting the shots and now get three shots instead of two each time I visit the doctor’s office. During my conversation with the doctor, I asked him about taking one allergy shot every few months and he said it is possible, but it is a steroid and for the long term, it would not be the best solution for me.

So, what do allergy shots have to do with anything that is going on and why do I bring this up at the beginning of October? October is National Financial Planning month and I thought there were similarities between my allergy shots and financial planning. By working with my doctor, he and I have created a plan to help me try and accomplish a lifestyle where I am not constantly sneezing, getting sinus infections, and having itching eyes. The goal is to live an overall healthier life. This is similar to our relationship with each of you as we try to help you accomplish all that is important to you. While I am taking allergy shots, you are experiencing wealth management. As you may recall from a prior letter, wealth management to us is:

Wealth Management= Investment Consulting + Advanced Planning + Relationship Management

While we are certainly managing your assets, a significant portion of our time is spent trying to find solutions to your advanced planning needs. The advanced planning for each of you is specific to your life and your goals. This is like the serum used for my allergy shots, specific to me and my allergies.

Just this week we spent time discussing various advanced planning topics with various clients. For example, one of our business owner clients is having a record year and we are working on strategies to mitigate his taxes. Another client had some happy additions to her family and needs to update their estate plan. Finally, a client has seen their professional liability insurance rates increase and we are looking to see if she might be able to get additional coverage at even a lower rate. These are just a few examples of what we have worked on in the past two days.

We realize it takes time to see the outcome of the advanced planning we are completing with each of you. Advanced planning is not like the markets where you get an update on the ups and downs daily, rather it is a collection of many different discussions and choices to help you try and accomplish what is most important to you. As we go through October remember the different components of advanced planning; wealth enhancement, wealth transfer, wealth protection, and charitable giving. It is these components that form the backbone of the planning we are doing with each of you.

While the leaves are changing in some parts of the country, in Arizona we are happy for the cooler mornings and can see the next seven months of beautiful weather on the horizon.

Have a great weekend.

Chris