Trail Financial Planning, LLC is a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm located in Bellingham, WA




We have two services:  financial planning and investment management.  This page is a summary of what each service is, and how each service is delivered.  

Financial Planning – what is it?

Financial Planning is the art and science of aligning your financial resources with your values and goals.  We help you answer questions like:

  • How can we pay for our kids’ college?
  • Do we have enough to retire?  When?
  • Are we managing out taxes right?
  • Are we invested appropriately?
  • Or…  Aarrrggh?!  The world is crazy, how do I simplify my financial life??!!

We do comprehensive financial planning, covering all areas of your financial life:  your income, expenses, assets, debts, investments, risk exposure, insurance, and taxes.  We help you establish goals, create a plan to use your resources effectively, then put the plan into action. For a more detailed description of financial planning, and what the process can do for you, click the button below:

Investment Management – what is it?

Investment management is the process of… managing your investments! Our process for investment management starts with “why?”  We want to understand the purpose for your invested dollars. Are you investing to pay for retirement?  college?  charity?  a down payment on a house? We identify key requirements for you and your investment portfolio including when you will need the money and your capacity for risk.  We prepare an investment strategy that matches your needs and your values.  Then, we put it into action. For more detail on our investment philosophy, methodology and strategy, click the button below:

How do people engage our services?

For some people, we do only financial planning, while others only use us for investment management.  Most people engage us for both in some capacity. We have both ongoing and project-based services. We recommend that everyone develop a financial plan.  Typically, it is a comprehensive check-up of all of the financial areas of a person’s life.  However, not everybody is ready, or is in a place that requires a comprehensive approach.  Thus, there are different ways to engage with us. For a more detailed description of our service models, and how clients typically engage us, click the button below:

How much do our services cost?

The fee for financial planning services is based on our hourly rate(s), and the time we spend:

  • analyzing a client’s finances
  • preparing intelligible reports of our analysis
  • creating actionable tasks
  • meeting with clients directly

The fee for investment management is based on Assets Under our Management, and is typically deducted from clients’ investment account(s).

Wealth Management services include both financial planning and investment management services within a single Investment Management fees structure, but there is a minimum account size.

For details, please click on the button below:

If you would like to see an example product from any of our services, please send an email request through our contact page.