The ABCs of cash flow planning: W is for Written

By Stephanie Holmes-Winton | June 9, 2014 | Last updated on September 21, 2023
2 min read

Each week, we look at the ABCs of cash flow management.

W is for Written

Due to the controversy surrounding advisors’ fee models, it’s important for you to illustrate your value to clients. You can do that in the following two ways.

Read: Transition clients to fee-based

  • Manage clients’ expectations. Ask new clients what services they find valuable and what they want to get out of working with you. Then, explain how you’ll help them reach those goals. You can also revisit existing clients’ preferences and expectations.
  • Create and revisit written financial plans. Once you’ve figured out people’s goals and discussed financial and cash flow plans, draw up actual documents of those plans. That way, you can go over the documents easily at meetings, as well as keep copies on file and send them to clients.

If you don’t offer to write up financial plans, it can be difficult to show clients the value of your advice. Slogans, marketing materials and testimonials may state your value and strategies, but written plans are physical, customized proof of your hard work.

Read: Clients need written financial plans

So, even if clients don’t ask for written plans or if you find they take extra time to create, don’t underrate their significance. Just as KYC and product-related documents are essential, so too are documents that show you’re offering clients added-value services.

Read: Prove you know your clients

Also, remember that the plans don’t have to be long and complicated. They just need to include summaries of goals, simple financial projections and jargon-free explanations of investment strategies. They should also be visually appealing.

Read: Down with jargon

If you integrate the creation and review of financial plans into your process, you’ll help keep clients on track and they’ll be reminded of your value every time they look at their financial plans.

Continue on to letter X.

Also read:

The ABCs of cash flow planning: Q is for Quantifiable

What services do clients want?

The ABCs of cash flow planning: T is for Trajectory

6 ways to improve your services

Stephanie Holmes-Winton

Stephanie Holmes-Winton is a Halifax based financial services educator/speaker who helps advisors find the money to help their clients fund their financial plans. She is the author of Defusing The Debt Bomb & $pent. Stephanie is also the founder and board chair of the Certified Cash Flow Specialist™ designation program. You can reach Stephanie at or