Financial planning aims to give you objective assistance in organising your finances to more readily achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.
It will result in the production of a plan devised specifically for you, focusing on strategy and goals.
After assessing your needs by completing a fact-finding questionnaire, your adviser will produce a needs analysis, a summary of areas of potential exposure and a list of recommendations, all with the sole aim of helping you accomplish your financial and lifestyle goals.
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Initial meeting: assessing your current situation
The first step for us will be to gather information about your current position. This will enable us to start preparing a financial plan tailored to your particular requirements and situation. The starting point is to create a profile of you, covering your personal circumstances, current financial situation, and how you have arrived there. It is essential that we get as clear a picture of your current position as possible – the more detail, the better. We will consider your family, your work or business, your tax position, commitments, current holdings and your investments so we can appraise their appropriateness in relation to your financial plan.
Setting out your personal goals
We will spend some time talking with you to identify your goals over the short, medium and long term. After that, we will establish details about your specific circumstances and build up a comprehensive picture of your situation. We will clarify where you would like to be financially, your objectives, concerns and aspirations, as well as your attitude to investment and other risks. This is especially important, as it will be critical to your portfolio construction. We take investment risk extremely seriously, as we know we are dealing with your financial future. Therefore, we ensure that we truly understand your willingness and ability to tolerate risk through the use of our risk profiler.
Preparing your plan: analysis
This leads on to the formation of an action plan on how you can best reach your stated goals. Our report will explain the approach we have taken. We will analyse your current position and consider your objectives to determine the ‘gap’ between the reality of your financial situation and your goal. The analysis and planning stage involves the creation of a plan that communicates the most efficient route from the former to the latter. The plan will analyse your financial arrangements and make recommendations as to how your existing finances can be utilised. This will cover your assets, investments, liabilities and income. The way in which you spend your money is also a vital aspect of the analysis. Therefore a review of your expenditure, in both the short and long term, will help to establish how robust the overall financial plan is.
Presenting your plan
The plan will identify the cost of achieving your objectives, analyse your financial independence and prepare for any disasters that may arise. Your plan will also include any family considerations and can cover the effective and efficient distribution of assets on death, in accordance with your wishes.
The fifth stage of the process is to implement your plan. This may involve setting up a product and completing forms, or simply being given confirmation of what action you may need to take to start achieving your financial goals.
Potentially the most important stage is to regularly review the plan and make modifications where required. It is vital to ensure that your financial plan is on track. Goalposts may move and, if they do, modifications may be required. Your adviser will discuss with you the choice of review strategies that are available. The overall aim of the financial planning process is to help you reach your financial goals and to develop or maintain your desired lifestyle in the most efficient way possible. Financial planning gives consideration to strategies for the creation, distribution or protection of wealth specifically to meet your financial objectives.