A Different Degree of Wealth

Why Financial Planning is Your Investment Bedrock

Financial planning is often viewed as the bedrock of successful investment strategies, providing a structured approach to managing finances and ensuring that every dollar is working toward achieving your short-term and long-term goals. By creating a comprehensive roadmap, financial planning helps you navigate the complexities of saving, investing, and managing expenses, offering clarity and direction. Understanding how financial planning integrates with your investment goals is crucial for optimizing your financial resources and achieving lasting financial security. This article explores the core role of financial planning in investment strategies, breaking down its importance, benefits, and actionable steps you can take to secure your financial future.

Understanding Financial Planning

At its core, financial planning is a comprehensive roadmap that details your current financial status, your short- and long-term monetary objectives, and the strategies to attain these goals. It encompasses a range of fundamental elements such as managing risks, income, spending, and debt reduction. Whether you create this plan independently or with the help of a certified financial planner, the initial steps typically involve calculating net worth by subtracting liabilities from assets, understanding cash flow by analyzing your income versus expenses, and establishing clear financial goals such as buying a home, funding education, or planning for retirement.

The Components of a Solid Financial Plan

A well-rounded financial plan covers various aspects, including planning for a sustainable income during retirement by determining the necessary savings and investment strategies to support your lifestyle. Risk management involves identifying potential financial risks and mitigating them through appropriate insurance policies and other protective measures. Investment plans focus on strategizing investments to grow your wealth over time, balancing risk and return to align with your financial goals. Tax reduction entails implementing strategies to minimize tax liabilities, such as optimizing deductions and credits or utilizing tax-advantaged accounts. Lastly, estate planning ensures your assets are managed and transferred according to your wishes, protecting your legacy and providing for your beneficiaries.

The Role of Financial Planning in Investment Strategies

  1. Enhances Financial Understanding: A detailed financial plan enhances your understanding of where you stand financially and what actions are needed to meet your goals. By clarifying your financial picture, it helps you make informed decisions about savings, investments, and debt reduction.
  2. Aligns Investment with Goals: Financial planning aligns your investment strategies with your life goals. For example, if your goal is to retire comfortably at 65, your financial plan will outline the necessary savings and investment steps to reach that milestone. This alignment ensures that your investments are purpose-driven, reducing the risk of straying off course.
  3. Manages Risk and Uncertainty: Investing always involves some level of risk. A financial plan helps you manage these risks by diversifying your investments and preparing for market volatility. It includes strategies for dealing with inflation, economic downturns, and other uncertainties, providing a safety net that can protect your investments.
  4. Provides a Holistic View: Financial planning offers a comprehensive view of your finances, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. This holistic approach ensures that all aspects of your financial life are considered, leading to more cohesive and effective investment strategies.
  5. Facilitates Regular Monitoring and Adjustments: A financial plan is not a one-time document but a dynamic tool that requires regular updates. Periodic check-ins ensure that your financial goals remain aligned with your current circumstances and market conditions. This ongoing monitoring allows for timely adjustments to your investment portfolio, enhancing the likelihood of achieving your objectives.
  6. Boosts Confidence and Peace of Mind: One of the greatest benefits of financial planning is the confidence and peace of mind it brings. By avoiding unpleasant financial surprises and preparing for future obligations, you can enjoy the present without undue worry about the future. This peace of mind allows you to focus on other aspects of your life, knowing that your financial future is secure.


Steps to Create a Financial Plan

Creating a financial plan involves several steps:

  • Calculate Net Worth: List all assets and liabilities to determine your net worth.
  • Understand Cash Flow: Track income and expenses to identify savings opportunities.
  • Set Financial Goals: Define short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Reduce Debt: Develop a plan to pay off existing debts.
  • Manage Expenses: Create a budget to control spending.
  • Mitigate Risks: Purchase necessary insurance policies.
  • Invest Wisely: Choose investment vehicles that align with your goals and risk tolerance.
  • Implement Tax Strategies: Optimize tax planning to reduce liabilities.
  • Plan for Estate: Ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review and update your financial plan.

Finding Financial Success

Financial planning is the cornerstone of effective investment strategies. By providing a clear roadmap for your financial future, it ensures that every financial decision is purposeful and aligned with your goals. Whether you are just starting your financial journey or looking to refine your strategies, a well-crafted financial plan can provide the direction and confidence needed to achieve long-term financial success. Take the time to develop your financial plan today, and lay the foundation for a secure and prosperous future.

If you have any questions, give us a call, or read Chapter 3 of “Wealth on Purpose” by Bryan Ballentine.

Have a great weekend!

Sources: Located at the bottom of the article.

Golf Tip of the Week

Lexi Thompson announces retirement

Lexi Thompson, who turned pro at age 15 in 2010 and joined the LPGA in 2012, will retire at the end of the year.

The news was first shared by the USGA on Tuesday ahead of this week’s U.S. Women’s Open, where Thompson, 29, will be making her 18th start in the tournament.

Thompson became the youngest player to ever qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, doing so in 2007 at age 12 (the mark has since been broken by Lucy Li, who was 11 when competing in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open). Thompson turned professional at age 15 and became the youngest winner in LPGA history when capturing the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic at 16 years old (the mark has since been broken by Lydia Ko, who was 15 when she won the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open).

Thompson won 15 worldwide tournaments over the next 13 years, including 11 on the LPGA. She has made more than 240 starts on the LPGA, earning more than $14 million in prize money. Her biggest career triumph came at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, when she became the second-youngest major winner in women’s history.

It would prove to be the only major winner of her career, although she logged 19 top-10 finishes at majors and eight finishes inside the top three. This included a runner-up in a playoff at the 2017 Chevron Championship, when she received a four-shot penalty for improperly replacing her ball after marking it and then signing an incorrect scorecard.

Last fall she became just the seventh woman to play on the PGA Tour, nearly making the cut at the Shriners Children’s Open with a 73-69. She made six appearances for the United States at the Solheim Cup and compiled a 9–7–7 record in 23 matches. She also appeared in the 2016 and 2021 Summer Olympics.

“While these achievements are remarkable in and of themselves, Lexi’s impact extends far beyond the golf course,” LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said in a statement. “She embodies the spirit and dedication of our founders—always showing up and engaging intentionally to help further the growth and impact of the LPGA. She is beloved by fans, consistently seen signing autographs and interacting with them no matter the result that day. … Lexi’s remarkable career and the way she has conducted herself both on and off the course have inspired countless girls around the world to pursue their goals with passion and perseverance.”

Thompson has also been open about her mental struggles with the game, once withdrawing from the 2018 Women’s British Open citing emotional and mental exhaustion. She’s also admitted that she hasn’t been feeling “100 percent” healthy in recent years as her performance has dipped.

Thompson is expected to address the media on Tuesday at Lancaster Country Club.

Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi

Recipe of the Week

Chopped Sandwich

4 Servings


  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 c.)
  • 4 oz. Black Forest or capicola ham, sliced
  • 4 oz. provolone, sliced
  • 2 oz. genoa salami
  • 2 oz. hot soppressata or pepperoni
  • 1 c. shredded romaine
  • 1/3 c. sliced roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 c. sliced drained pepperoncini
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. store-bought or homemade pesto
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • onion powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (10″) ciabatta rolls, halved, toasted


  • On a large cutting board, chop tomato, onion, ham, provolone, salami, soppressata, lettuce, red peppers, and pepperoncini with a sharp knife, tossing as you go, until bite-sized pieces form.
  • In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, pesto, vinegar, onion powder, and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add chopped ham mixture and toss with a spatula or spoon until coated.
  • Distribute chopped mixture between rolls. Cut each roll in half to serve.




Recipe adapted from Delish.comii

Travel Tip of the Week

Where (and What) to Eat on Martha’s Vineyard


Divided into six towns over 100 square miles, Martha’s Vineyard has a restaurant scene more accurately described as “charming” than “bustling.” High-end eateries abound, of course, but the Vineyard doesn’t have the same buttoned-up vibe of its Nantucket counterpart.

Rather, the Vineyard is cool and casual, which is exactly what makes it so appealing to the celebrities and socialites who flock there each summer (among them, the Obamas, the Clintons, and Oprah). Foodies take note — sustainable agriculture is deeply embedded in the local ethos, a principle buoyed by the island’s farms that supply produce to markets and year-round residents. The ocean itself is a source of constant inspiration for island chefs and food purveyors in the form of fresh-off-the-boat fish and seafood from local fishermen.

Put simply, people living on the Vineyard eat well — really well — especially in the summer when the island’s bounty is at its peak. For those visiting, this guide offers the lowdown on the best eats in all six towns. (Just don’t tell the locals we said so.)

Larsen’s Fish Market, Menemsha

Larsen’s Fish Market, a seasonal staple, hands down takes the top spot on this list. Located up-island in the storied fishing village of Menemsha, this charming little locale encompasses all that’s magical about Martha’s Vineyard: beautiful views and amazing food served in a modest setting. Everything is cooked to order, with lobsters being the star of this show, alongside a raw bar of oysters, littlenecks, and cherrystone clams.

Opened in 1969 by Louis and Mary Larsen, this family-owned business also has a Vineyard Haven location called The Net Result. The picnic-table seating is usually maxed out during the lunchtime rush, but if you get your order to go, take your food across the lot for lagoon-side views and a little seclusion.

Insider Tip: Larsen’s is BYOB, so bring a bottle (or two) of your favorite rosé and sit at one of the makeshift lobster-trap tables to watch the fishermen deliver their catch to shore.

Red Cat Kitchen, Oak Bluffs

With a rotating menu that offers a variety of locally sourced dishes, Red Cat Kitchen is in a league of its own. From sweet corn risotto to fried shrimp and grits, the food is as eclectic (and delicious) as it sounds. Treat yourself to cocktails like a fresh basil gimlet or a John Daly.

Insider Tip: For a preview of what’s on offer any given day, keep an eye on the restaurant’s Instagram. They often post photos of their latest menus.

Grace Episcopal Church Lobster Rolls (Fridays Only), Vineyard Haven

There’s something sinfully delicious about getting down and dirty at Grace Church’s Friday night lobster roll dinner. The rolls — packaged with chips for a bargain price you won’t find in restaurants — are the star of the show, but clam chowder, hot dogs, and pie are also available. These sizeable takeout meals are by far the best deal in town, and, sweetening the deal even further, a portion of their sales are donated to the island’s community organizations and nonprofits.

Insider Tip: Get there early to avoid the line, and, once you’ve got your roll, enjoy it at Owen Park Beach, just five minutes away. The dinner is held every Friday in the summer through September, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Back Door Donuts, Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs is home to what is arguably one of the best bakeries on the planet. Located next to the post office, the Front Bakery Café is a great place to grab a quick cup of coffee and an old-fashioned doughnut during the day. Then, at night, take a walk around the corner to the back of the shop and behold Back Door Donuts.

The queue starts around 7 p.m. and closes around midnight, keeping true to the bakery’s historical tradition of serving late-night doughnuts. Mostly known for its king-sized apple fritters, the nocturnal shop also earns rave reviews for customer favorites like Boston cream and maple bacon doughnuts. (And if you can’t make it out to the Vineyard soon enough, a second Back Door location opened in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood in 2023.)

Insider Tip: Everything is good here, especially the fritters. Bring your own hand wipes — you’re going to need them!

Scottish Bakehouse, West Tisbury

The gluten-free crowd can rejoice: Scottish Bakehouse in West Tisbury has your back. With a wide variety of gluten-free options, along with heartier meals like burgers and quiche, this place has something for everyone. Even their fabled breakfast sandwich — loaded with a fried egg, melted cheese, spinach, a beefsteak tomato slice, red onion rings, and crisp bacon — can be made without gluten. It’s no surprise this sandwich landed the runner-up spot in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine’s 2021 Best of the Vineyard list.

Insider Tip: Grab a seat on the front deck and ham it up with the locals, ideally eavesdropping on the town gossip.

7a Foods, West Tisbury

Good things are happening at 7a Foods, making it hard to pinpoint the best one. ​​Let’s start with the Liz Lemon sandwich — complete with hot housemade pastrami, turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, Russian dressing, and potato chips on rye bread — a mouthful that would render Liz herself speechless. (And that’s hard to do!) An idea born out of a small farm stand, this restaurant’s farm-to-table menu changes daily, reflecting the locally sourced ingredients available. All its meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free, and all dishes are made from scratch.

Insider Tip: From locally produced sea salt to a wide variety of island-made jams, 7a Foods sells an abundance of foodie souvenirs to take home.

The Newes From America Pub, Edgartown

Dark and utterly delightful, The Newes From America Pub is a seasonal favorite, serving up hearty dishes like poutine potato tots, lobster penne pasta, and flatbreads with a plethora of toppings. Nothing beats its signature fish and chips (fried haddock, kale slaw, and tartar sauce), especially when washed down with one of the many regional microbrews on tap.

Insider Tip: Call ahead to ask about their live music schedule. Local artists often play for the late-dinner crowd.

Chilmark General Store, Chilmark

So, here’s the thing with the Chilmark General Store: Yes, it’s iconic, and yes, it has been frequented by Larry David when he’s in town. But this stomping ground is not just a general store; it’s also a local gathering place. Hang out on the wraparound porch with a good book and bottle of wine, and let the dog days of summer pass you by. The Chilmark General Store also serves delectable pizza, ​​complete with imported meat toppings. The meat-averse should try the White and Green pizza, topped with kale, spinach, and fresh mozzarella. Carnivores should head straight toward the sausage- and pepperoni-topped Stonewall pie.

Insider Tip: If you want to make friends with the lifeguards who patrol the area’s secluded beaches, a slice of pizza from the store just might be your ticket. ​

Little House Cafe, Vineyard Haven

The quaint Little House Cafe boasts one of the boldest menus in town. Located off State Road in the business district of Vineyard Haven, the cozy and convivial atmosphere will make you feel like you’re in your aunt’s favorite dining room. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike. Lunch specialties include the curried mango chicken salad sandwich and the muffuletta pressed sandwich, with mortadella, peppered salami, olive tapenade, goat cheese, and mixed greens. The cafe also serves a wide variety of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

Tip adapted from travelandleisure.comiii 

Copyright (C) 2021.  Ballentine Capital Advisors.  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:  

Ballentine Capital Advisors
15 Halton Green Way
Greenville, SC 29607


6 surprising benefits of having a financial plan

Financial Plans: Meaning, Purpose, and Key Components

What is financial planning?

Benefits of working with a financial advisor


Ballentine Capital Advisors is a registered investment adviser. The advisory services of Ballentine Capital Advisors are not made available in any jurisdiction in which Ballentine Capital Advisors is not registered or is otherwise exempt from registration.

Please review Ballentine Capital Advisors Disclosure Brochure for a complete explanation of fees. Investing involves risks. Investments are not guaranteed and may lose value.

This material is prepared by Ballentine Capital Advisors for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation or any particular security, strategy, or investment product.

No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve future profits or losses similar to those shown. You should not assume that investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable or equal the investment performance of the past. Past performance does not indicate future results.

Advisory services through Ballentine Capital Advisors, Inc.


Share This Article


Newsletter Signup

* indicates required

Newsletter Archive