Stage 2 Planning Partners

Value Creation Blog

Thinking About Investing – Start With A Financial Plan

financial_planningI’m always amazed when people come and ask me to help them with investment management.  They almost always forget the first part of the equation.  The first step is having a financial plan in place.

Financial planning doesn’t give you a final answer.

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Topics: financial planning, investment management, creating value

Why Customer Service Matters?

customer_serviceI know this isn’t a big surprise.  I’m a huge fan of Apple.  I’ve been a customer since 1978 when I bought my first Apple II.

One of the things that keep me as a customer is their technical support.   They’ve thought through the process of support from their customer’s point of view.  And in the process they’ve decreased their cost.

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Topics: Customer Service, repeat customers, customer delight

Wealth Management Tips VT: 5 Reasons A Thinking Partner Is Important

thinking_togetherOne of my favorite terms is one I learned from my friend Susan Bradley at The Sudden Money Institute.  It’s the term thinking partner.  A thinking partner is someone who helps you think through problems.  It’s not someone who gives you the answers.

A thinking partner allows you to be the expert.

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Topics: passive ownership, thinking partner, team work

My Ongoing Argument With My Father

cash_flowsActually this argument stopped about twenty-five years ago.  But, for the first ten years I was in business I focused on growth and my father kept saying that was the wrong metric.

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Topics: wealth management, Cash Flow, creating value

It’s Not What You Say That Count’s

communicationHere’s a statement for you to consider….the meaning of your communication is the way it’s received.  This is not a new age statement for you to ponder.  It’s a simple statement that just says it doesn’t matter what you think you said, it only matters how the person you’re speaking with heard it.

A personal story with my family.

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Topics: communication, communication skills, personal growth

Understanding Our Alignment Conversation

Towards the beginning of this year (2014) I started using a process with clients and potential clients that has had more power than anything I’ve introduced in years.  It’s called the alignment conversation.

During this conversation we take a look at how you’re aligned with yourself.  This means are you really doing the things that you want to be doing?  In ever instance there has been a gap.  If we can help fill the gap, we have a conversation about what our relationship might look like.

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Topics: wealth management, alignment conversation

Do Your KPI’s Make Sense? Wealth Management and Financial Planning: VT

Wealth Management in Burlington, VTKey Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are all over the place.  You read about having good metrics in your business.  Great measurements help you move forward.  Lousy metrics just give you information and the information is often more confusing than helpful.

If it’s simple it’s clear.

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Topics: key metrics, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), measurement

5 Reasons Hubris Gets In The Way Of Your Business

change-1I find there are two general types of business owners.  The first is a business owner who is sure that everything they do is right.  It’s hard for me to have a conversation with them about change.  Since everything is perfect, there’s no need to question premises they have.

The second is a business owner who I hope is like you.  This business owner is always asking questions.  She is wondering if there is a better way.  He is willing to pivot if and when it becomes possible there is a better way. 

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Topics: Change, op ed, hubris

Pay Off Your Mortgage Before You Retire: Vermont Retirement Planning

mortgage_paymentsIf you own your home it’s probable that you have a mortgage.  How often do you think about paying off the mortgage and being debt free?  If you’re not doing this you might find that reaching retirement will be hard.

Not having a mortgage reduces your overhead.

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Topics: retirement, financial planning, mortgage payments

Creating A Shareholders Agreement That Works

blog_july_23I’m often asked to help business owners add another owner to the mix in their company.  Sometimes this person has worked in the company for years and sometimes it’s someone from the outside they want to add to the ownership group.  In either case having a shareholders agreement with an exit clause is a crucial part of the transaction.

You never really know who you’re getting.

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Topics: exit planning, shareholder agreement, exit clause

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