Modern Financial Planning: Dealing with Documents

digital documents

Modern Financial Planning: Dealing with Documents

Due to coronavirus concerns and resulting safety orders, many of us have adapted to new ways of doing things. Even as some states begin to open back up, Coloradans are urged to stay “safer at home.” That means we, like many others across the country and beyond, will likely continue to find workarounds as we make the most of our time inside.

One thing we and many of our clients have adapted to — in addition to virtual meetings — is digitally creating, saving, sending, signing, and submitting documents. We’ve found that, even if you don’t have document-scanning hardware, going paperless is easy! So easy that you can say goodbye to that filing cabinet in no time. 

And, with more time at home, it just might be the perfect opportunity to add some new tech-tools to your belt. Let us show you how you can securely start converting your paper clutter into easy-to-save, easy-to-share files.

Making the Switch to Digital Documents

If your filing cabinet is bigger than your computer, your filing cabinet is too big. Let’s look at how you can securely turn your paper documents digital:

1. You can scan your documents with a dedicated scanner or all-in-one printer.

2. You can also scan — without hardware — using any one of the numerous scanning apps available for mobile.

Hint: If you have an iPhone, there’s a scanner already built into your Notes app.

3. You can photograph your documents with a digital camera or your phone.

Read on for some ways to save time, space, and frustration when saving and sending documents.

Best Practices

Use compression, character recognition, and the lowest thoroughly legible resolution possible so you can save, share, and find with ease. If any of that sounded like a foreign language, let me make it simple and share some best practices.

File type — After scanning or photographing, save your digital documents as PDF (portable document format) files. This file type is widely used, making it easy for your file recipients to open what you send — without having to download a PDF reader, in most cases.

Resolution — As you turn your paper files into digital masterpieces, keep in mind that you’re not preserving your family photos when you scan a document like a tax return or a W2 to save or send to someone (although you certainly can scan and send those, too!). A key to keep in mind with text documents is that maximum quality isn’t necessary. Higher-quality files take up more space and can make saving and sending them a hassle. In general, 300 dpi (dots per inch) is sufficient for text document scans. If you can read your scanned digital document without difficulty, you’re good. Not only can this speed up the time you spend scanning but it also helps keep file sizes small so they’re easier to save and send.

Black and white scanning — Since color usually isn’t critical for documents like it is for photos, it’s best to scan documents in black and white to reduce the file size. 

Compression — Already scanned your documents … but the quality is high and, therefore, file size is too large? Try compressing your file to a smaller size. Most PDF readers offer the ability to reduce the file size, and many online sites offer the same capability for free.

Character recognition — Wouldn’t it be nice if you could search for words or phrases in long documents without having to read or skim through page after page? Without character recognition, your document scans appear as images. But with the letters in your document identified, you can easily search using keywords. Recognize characters as you scan using your scanner software or through your PDF reader using an OCR (optical character recognition) feature. You can then search your document using “command + F” on Mac or “Control + F” on Windows. Keep in mind that OCR tools aren’t always perfect. If you’re copying and pasting text from a document with recognized characters, be sure to check what you paste against the original. 

File naming — Don’t forget about making your file names searchable so you can find documents before opening them. Find a naming convention that works for you. You may include the date and a keyword you can use to easily identify what type of document is in the file. If you’re also storing documents for a partner, family member, or friend, consider adding your names to the file name for easy identification.

One final tip: Some scanners can also straighten out skewed pages as they process scans, and many PDF readers offer the ability to do the same.

Document Destruction

Once you’ve scanned and saved your documents, it’s time to back up and shred! Make sure you’re preserving your documents locally and that you have them backed up to a separate secure location. Today’s technology permits you to do this securely for no to relatively little cost. A simple way is to save your files on your hard drive and also upload them to the cloud or to an external disk or hard drive. This way, you have a backup — or multiple backups — of the originals. Then turn your originals into confetti using a shredder.

If you’re wondering what to save and shred, check out Spring Cleaning for Paperwork Privacy.

With the right system, you never need to contemplate what to keep and what to pitch. You can preserve it all, indexed and ready to search. 

Not a client yet? See if our ensemble approach is right for you.

Head to our Comprehensive Services page to learn more about what we do for our clients.

Regina Neenan
regina@fpfoco.com

Regina Neenan is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and the Director of Cash-Flow and Insurance Planning at Financial Planning Fort Collins. With a lifelong passion for personal finance, they have been serving FPFoCo clients since 2018. You can learn more about Regina on our About page.



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ANNUAL FEE
1.00% of assets under management ($100 per $10,000 managed). Debited from your account(s).
FINANCIAL PLANNING
Strategy:FOCO financial planning services are ongoing, and include unlimited phone, email, web and in-person meeting and consultation time. Pricing is based on the unique circumstances of each client situation. Generally, there is a one-time plan development fee ranging from $500 - $2,000 and a monthly fee of $150 - $500; cancel anytime. Clients utilizing investment management services with portfolios of $500,000 or more will typically receive financial planning services for no additional fee.
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Assets Under Management (AUM) Annual fee as a % of AUM or flat-dollar
$0 - $249,999 (See Invest:FOCO)
$250,000 - $499,999 0.90%
$500,000 - $999,999 0.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,999 0.65%
$2,000,000 - $2,999,999 0.50%
$3,000,000 - $3,999,999 $15,000
$4,000,000 - $4,999,999 $20,000
$5,000,000 or more $25,000 + $2,000 per additional $1mm
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
There is a minimum initial investment of $100,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities.

Minimums do not apply to inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.
ANNUAL FEE
Assets Under Management Fee as a % of AUM
$100,000 - $249,999 1.00%
$250,000 - $499,999 0.90%
$500,000 - $999,999 0.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,999 0.65%
$2,000,000 or more 0.50%

inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,000/year or $100/month
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
There is a minimum initial investment of $100,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities.

Minimums do not apply to inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.
ANNUAL FEE
Assets Under Management Fee as a % of AUM
$100,000 - $249,999 1.00%
$250,000 - $499,999 0.90%
$500,000 - $999,999 0.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,999 0.65%
$2,000,000 or more 0.50%

inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,000/year or $100/month
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
The minimum initial investment for the Invest:FOCO platform is only $5,000 per account. This minimum can be met via transfer of an existing account or with new funds. Invest:FOCO is currently available for Individual, Joint, Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA registrations.
ANNUAL FEE
0.65% of assets under management ($65 per $10,000 managed)
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
The minimum initial investment for the Invest:FOCO platform is only $5,000 per account. This minimum can be met via transfer of an existing account or with new funds.
ANNUAL FEE
0.65% of assets under management ($65 per $10,000 managed)
TAX PREPARATION
Invest:FOCO clients are eligible for a 10% discount on income tax preparation services offered through Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC. This discount applies to the base cost for return preparation as well as Schedules B & D. More details can be found here.
MINIMUM RELATIONSHIP SIZE
There are no minimums when utilizing inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.

When investment management services are desired, there is a minimum initial investment of $125,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities. inStream proactive financial planning is then included at no additional cost.
ANNUAL FEE
inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,250/year or $125/month

Assets Under Management Fee as a % of AUM
$125,000 - $249,999 1.00%
$250,000 - $499,999 0.90%
$500,000 - $999,999 0.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,999 0.65%
$2,000,000 or more 0.50%
TAX PREPARATION
Strategy:FOCO clients are eligible for a 50% or 100% discount on income tax preparation services offered through Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC. This discount applies to the base cost for return preparation as well as Schedules B & D. More details can be found here.
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Monthly Economic Update
Stay in the loop with our Monthly Economic Update. It's a great way to catch up on the things effecting your financial plan in an easy to read and relatable format.

We promise to only use your name and email address for sending our Monthly Economic Update. We will not sell, rent, lease, loan, or use your name or email address for any other purpose, internally or externally. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
Minimums do not apply to always-on, real-time financial planning as a stand-alone service.

For investment management services there is a minimum initial investment of $125,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. Investment management fees are generally debited from the accounts to which they apply. Financial planning services are included for Strategy:FOCO investment management clients at no additional charge.
ANNUAL FEE
Always-on, real-time financial planning as a stand-alone service:  $125/month or $1,250/year

Assets Under Management Fee as a % of AUM
$125,000 - $249,999 1.00%
$250,000 - $499,999 0.90%
$500,000 - $999,999 0.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,999 0.65%
$2,000,000 or more 0.50%
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FINANCIAL PLANNING
Financial planning services are ongoing, and include unlimited phone, email, web and in-person meeting and consultation time. Pricing is based on the unique circumstances of each client situation. Generally, there is a one-time plan development fee ranging from $500 - $2,000 and a monthly fee of $150 - $500; cancel anytime. Clients utilizing investment management services with portfolios of $500,000 or more will typically receive financial planning services for no additional fee.
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Assets Under Management (AUM) Annual fee as % of AUM or flat-dollar
$0 - $249,999 1.00%
$250,000 - $499,999 0.90%
$500,000 - $999,999 0.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,999 0.65%
$2,000,000 - $2,999,999 0.50%
$3,000,000 - $3,999,999 $15,000
$4,000,000 - $4,999,999 $20,000
$5,000,000 or more $25,000 + $2,000 per additional $1mm
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Your fee is determined by the complexity of your needs and situation. The primary proxy we use for complexity is your investable net worth, which is generally your total net worth, excluding your primary residence. Your investable net worth includes the value of cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, rental real estate, and other business or financial interests. This aligns with the holistic nature of our comprehensive services. You can use the chart below to estimate your fee based on your investable net worth. In some circumstances, your fee may be more than the minimums in the chart below.
Annual Fee Investable Net Worth (INW)
$4,000 (minimum for an individual) Up to $500,000
$6,000 (minimum for couples) Up to $1,000,000
$8,000 Up to $1,500,000
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ESTIMATE YOUR FEE
Your fee is determined by the complexity of your needs and situation. The primary proxy we use for complexity is your net worth, which is the value of what you own — including cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and other business or financial interests — minus what you owe. Our transparent, flat-dollar pricing aligns with the holistic nature and value of our comprehensive services. You can use the chart below to estimate your fee based on your net worth. In some circumstances, your fee may be more than the minimums in the chart below.
Annualized Flat Fee Net Worth (NW)
$6,000 (our minimum fee) Up to $1,000,000
$8,000 Up to $1,500,000
$10,000 Up to $2,000,000
$12,000 Up to $3,000,000
+ $1,000 per additional $1,000,000 of NW
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Unless there is truly unique or extraordinary complexity associated with a client’s situation and financial circumstances, our fee will be based on the market value of the assets under management (AUM) for investment management services, subject to a minimum fee of $500 per month. The fee is blended and calculated using the following schedule. We do not require a minimum investment of any amount.
Assets Under Management Annual Fee
$0 - $1,000,000 0.60%
$1,000,000 - $3,000,000 0.50%
$3,000,000 - $5,000,000 0.25%
$5,000,000 and above 0.10%
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