Clay Budach, CFP®

Clay is a Wealth Management Advisor for Custom Wealth Planners. Clay enjoys writing on topics of retirement planning, taxes, and industry related news. Learn more about Clay here.

In my role as a financial advisor, I’ve been privileged to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, each with their unique values and aspirations. As a certified financial planner, my commitment is to help clients prepare for life’s unpredictable twists, offering a comprehensive approach to financial planning.

Financial planning, at its essence, is a collaborative journey aiming to maximize a client’s potential in achieving life goals through integrated financial advice. This holistic guidance spans vital areas such as tax planning, investment planning, retirement planning, income planning, estate planning, and insurance planning.

When I sit down with a client to delve into these critical areas, our focus is dual. We not only assess whether we’re on course to realize goals during prosperous times but also ensure a robust plan is in place for the unexpected deviations life may throw our way.

While we cannot foresee specific events like COVID, 9/11, or financial recessions, we can meticulously plan to be prepared for the unforeseen. The common thread among impactful events isn’t merely their economic effects but the element of surprise. Life’s unpredictability is a constant, demanding our financial plans to be resilient and adaptive.

A vivid illustration of this unfolded during the COVID shutdowns. From February 12th, 2020, to March 23rd, 2020, the Dow (US Market) witnessed a historic 37% loss—the fastest 30% drawdown in history. Panic rippled through a world in lockdown, jobs vanished, and businesses shuttered. Investors faced the daunting reality of watching their retirement savings dwindle in a matter of weeks.

In this unprecedented crisis, even the most seasoned long-term investors felt the tremors of uncertainty. Clients rightfully concerned about their life savings inundated us with questions. Our response resonated with simplicity and strength: “We planned for this.” Our strategy not only allowed clients to weather the volatility but also positioned them to seize opportunities presented by depressed asset prices and take part in the record recovery.

While guiding clients through the planning for the good times is undeniably rewarding—whether it’s reaching retirement, funding education, or acquiring a second home—the true impact of financial planning manifests when life takes an unexpected turn. Whether delivering a death benefit check after an unexpected passing or providing reassurance to a client facing a career ending disease, these moments, where worries dissipate due to meticulous planning, underscore the profound fulfillment of financial planning. 

Engaging with a financial planner goes beyond surface-level advice; it involves leaving no stone unturned. Our role is to reside at the intersection of your life and resources, revealing strengths, and optimizing areas that need enhancement.


In conclusion, the value encapsulated in the words, “We planned for this,” cannot be overstated. It signifies the resilience of comprehensive financial planning—a dynamic strategy steering clients toward their aspirations during good times and standing as a steadfast companion during life’s unforeseen challenges. As you embark on your financial journey, seek an advisor versed in this approach, committed to navigating the complexities of life with you.

Compass and Map

Welcome to Custom Wealth Planning’s blog where founders Travis & Clay share their thoughts on topics that cover Money, Mindfulness, & History.

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