Successful Financial Planning

Successful Financial Planning Is More Than A Written Document

o successfully address accumulated wealth with a financial plan requires more than an analysis with recommendations or an assembled report. Often a person that is close to retirement, will have a written plan created and shortly thereafter, store it away and not look at it again.

As a great contributor to the financial profession, Dave Ramsey, once stated, that financial planning is 20% planning and 80% behavior. There is a lot of truth in this statement as planning not only involves the behavior of the individuals or family doing the planning, but also the advisor who may be engaging them in putting together a financial plan.

Financial planning is very much a process and not an event. Planning includes specific goal identification, exploration of individual and family values and purpose, the establishment of a team of trusted advisors, careful construction of a strategy, tactics and selection of tools, implementation, and careful monitoring. Each of these areas requires careful consideration and understanding.

Establishing goals and what is Important to you- It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to spend plenty of time in this very first step in the financial planning process. Although this step is standard within the financial planning process, it often requires more emphasis than actually occurs. Ample time needs to be taken in planning to correctly identify goals that are the most important, and assure that accumulated wealth is being aligned with purpose and values in a way that creates fulfillment in the future.

Careful selection of your team of advisors – Selecting advisors is like assembling an award winning sports team or business team. Not only should you select advisors of the highest competence, objectivity, and reputation, but also a team of advisors that are willing to communicate with each other and work together. One of the challenges that an individual has in forming a team of advisors, is the disconnect that commonly exists between the financial advisor, CPA, estate planning attorney, business attorney, etc. It is important for success that a team of advisors are willing to communicate with each other and work together on your behalf.

Developing the Financial Plan – This step involves construction of a written plan that is coordinated with your team of advisors and involves careful consideration of planning strategies, development of the tactics and careful selection of the tools for each area of your plan. Whether a financial plan involves the design of investment portfolios, a plan to successfully exit a business, an estate plan, legacy plan, or all of these areas in one comprehensive plan, a plan needs to be designed in a way that connects your wealth with your purpose, values and stated goals.

Implementation of a financial plan – This step requires teamwork and communication. A detailed action plan needs to be published and followed by you and your family as well as the advisors that are involved. It is recommended that a system is in place that enables you to follow through with the required action steps. The action steps need to be specific and have precise dates for accomplishing them with communication for tracking the status.

Monitoring your results – This step often causes a plan to fall apart. Regular monitoring is required, frequent communication is important, but most of all commitment from you and your advisors to follow through and work towards achieving your goals. It’s like running a business, in that having the proper systems in place, discipline and focus becomes vitally important to successful results.

This is a short description of a successful financial plan. Although, there are many details that need to be considered, it is important to realize the various steps and how to follow through with these steps to help assure your success.

Effective Financial Planning

Effective Financial Planning For Businesses

Financial planning is paramount to the success of any company, whether that business is just starting up or well established. An organization or corporation can have a solid objective and a good idea about where their business is headed, but until these goals are affordable enough to pursue, growth will be at a standstill. Financial planning allows businesses to assess their vision and reorganize their goals in order to achieve success.

Financial planning is imperative for the success of any business – at every level of operation. Whether a person is running a lemonade stand or managing the financial department of a Fortune 500 company, sound financial planning can make or break the success of a business. Unfortunately, a clever motto and a rock solid business plan can only get you so far. If your business goals aren’t actually achievable, your company will run out of funding and eventually jobs will be lost and growth will become stagnant.

However, you can eliminate the guesswork when it comes to business financial planning. There are services offered by reputable companies that specialize in helping start-up businesses get off the ground and helping experienced companies optimize their financial plans. These financial service providers have accountants that work directly with each client, allowing for streamlined communication and the development of a solid financial plan. In this way, financial advisors help companies of all sizes maximize profits and successfully achieve their business goals.

Experienced financial planners can also help solve existing problems a company may be facing. Whether a company is in debt or on its way into debt, financial planners can create forward-looking proposals that span years in advance to help businesses formulate the best plan possible given the company’s unique financial circumstances. A proven financial advising firm can also help set up an in-house accounting system and even offer helpful investment and tax advice. When seeking the right financial advisor, however, it is essential to look for accountants that have a positive track record of success and can offer affirmative feedback from past and current clients.

Financial planning for businesses is a vital element for success. A sound business plan can be created and amended at any point in a company’s lifetime and can be used to guide the company through constructive changes and positive growth. Most importantly, plans can help corporate executives make future decisions when it comes to business agreements and expansion in an evolving market.

Financial Planning

Financial Planning – A Road Map to a Secure Financial Future

Would you leave on a trip to a new destination without a map? What if your destination is a successful financial future? Without a map, would you know how to get there?

Financial planning provides a road map for your financial life. It can make the journey less stressful, more fun, and more successful. And, you can start right now – even if only a few steps at a time.

In today’s uncertain economy, financial planning has become increasingly important. With an overwhelming number of options for saving and investing, managing your finances can be difficult. Creating a financial plan helps you see the big picture and set long and short-term life goals, a crucial step in mapping out your financial future. When you have a strategy and a financial plan, it’s easier to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet your goals. Working with a CFP CM professional can secure your financial wellbeing and give you peace of mind and help you reach financial planning success.

Some people decide to do their own financial planning, but you may want to seek help from a Certified Financial Planner CM professional if you:

Want to better manage your finances, but aren’t sure where to start.
Don’t have time to do your own financial planning.
Want a professional opinion about the plan you’ve developed.
Don’t have sufficient expertise in certain areas such as investments, insurance, taxes or retirement planning.
Have an immediate need or unexpected life event.

Destination: Setting Goals
Financial planning starts with setting goals. After all, you need to know where you want to go before you can decide how to get there. Your goals can be short-term – for example, paying a credit card debt in six months; medium-term – such as saving for a down payment on a house in two years; or long-term – such as sending your kids to college in 15 years or your retirement. Write your goals on paper, including rupee terms and dates. Keep the list in sight so you can refer to it for motivation as you keep working toward your goals.

Starting Point: Where Are You Now?
Next, get a realistic picture of where you are financially. List everything you owe (liabilities) and the value of everything you own (assets). Also, track your monthly income and expenses in a notebook or on a budget form. Even if it’s not a pretty picture now, that’s OK. You’ve faced your financial situation, and financial planning will help you improve the picture.

Avoiding Potholes: Insurance, Debt, Job Loss, Taxes and Estate Planning
Financial potholes will inevitably come your way – stock market downturns, recessions, losing a job, wrecking the car, paying for an illness. You may not be able to avoid these potholes, but you can minimize their financial impact. Here are a few suggestions:

• Have adequate insurance. Insurance prevents financial catastrophes, so don’t put off getting it. Insure what you cannot comfortably afford to replace. For most people, that means having the following insurance: auto, renters or homeowners, liability, health, disability and life insurance (if someone depends on you financially). Take advantage of insurance offered to you at your job and supplements it with insurance you buy on your own. Shop for the best price, but make sure you buy from a reputable, financially sound insurance company.

• Control debt. Having a lot of debt puts you at financial risk. If you’re spending more than you earn, start using a budget to plug spending leaks, and make paying off your credit cards a top priority.

• Job loss. You can’t control the economy or a company layoff, but you can control how much time you invest in keeping your skills sharp and in meeting people who may help you find a job in the future.

• Taxes. Computer software can help you find deductions on your tax return. However, if your financial situation is complex, you may benefit from working with a tax or financial professional who can suggest tax strategies and make sure you are getting all of the credits and deductions due to you.

• Estate planning. Every adult should have these four basic documents: will, general durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney and a living will (also called a medical directive). A financial planner can guide you and refer you to an estate planning attorney to draft these documents.

There are many benefits of financial planning. If any of the above questions apply to you, it may be time to call a Certified Financial Planner CM professional to help you reach your financial goals and achieve financial success.

Financial Planning Advice

Financial Planning Advice

If you want to enjoy a better level of financial security, good financial planning is essential. Knowing what to do with your money to get the best results and how to implement a solid planning strategy can be difficult, so it’s a good idea to employ the services of a financial advisor.

Advisors can offer guidance on any financial planning matter, with many of them specialising in a certain field. While you can find information about wealth management online or in books, getting qualified advice from someone in the financial services industry makes much more sense. You can’t always be sure that what you read online is up to date or entirely factual, so it’s better not to risk it.

Choosing a Financial Advisor
When looking to approach a financial advisor you should always make sure that they are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (in the UK), or the relevant authorising body in the country from which they operate. Using regulated financial advisors means that if something goes wrong, you have an avenue for an official complaints procedure and potentially even compensation. Always check the financial authority’s database of registered users before you commit to a product from any financial advisor or financial planning company.

Professional advisors are well trained and qualified to give you all of the most current planning advice across a wide range of areas. You might be looking for financial planning advice to help you set aside a lump sum to help you in the future. Your financial advisor will be able to tell you about the different products and services that you can use to ensure that your money is safe and well invested. They will discuss different options with you such as savings plans or lump sum and offshore investments – an independent advisor will be able to source products from across the whole marketplace ensuring that you get impartial advice with your best interests in mind.

Financial Planning For A Variety Of Purposes
Among the other financial planning matters that a professional advisor can help you with are things such as retirement and pension planning, education fees planning, life assurance/insurance and medical insurance policies. A good financial advisor will never try to force you to invest in something or purchase a specific product. If you feel that you are being pushed into a financial planning direction that doesn’t feel right for you, it may be a good idea to walk away and try to find a more reputable financial company to help you with your requirements.

The Power of Financial Planning

The Power of Financial Planning

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” (Warren Buffet)

As a financial life planner, my underlying assumption is that planning is a “good” thing. Planning is widely acknowledged to be a pre-requisite for business success. However, Benjamin Franklin’s advice that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” frequently falls on deaf ears in the personal environment.

This is usually, in my experience, because people feel they have neither the time nor the skills for personal financial planning; nor do they want to spend money on hiring a professional financial planner. And a few people I have met have such confidence in their ability to make and retain significant fortunes that personal financial planning is deemed unnecessary, even spineless.

So this article is about why financial life planning is important. I will share with you some of the current approaches to planning, show you how to plan in practice and highlight the outcomes.

To plan, or not to plan?

I am passionate about planning because it leads to success. I recall my first sales job in financial services, cold calling to make appointments to sell insurance. I had an excellent manager who made me plan my target market, pitch, call strategy, everything. The first call I made was spot on, leading to an appointment in minutes. I knew it was going to work, my manager knew, my colleagues knew. And it did.

So why should we plan our lives and money? In my view, for four reasons:

1. To develop a practical framework for running household finances

2. To achieve profound goals as fast as possible

3. To ensure long term financial security

4. To deal with life’s setbacks

Lets look at each of these in turn.

1. Financial framework

Many people today lack a financial framework or system. When it comes to expenses, the core of financial planning, we often enter a fantasy world. Even if families can give a reasonably accurate set of current financial statements (assets, liabilities, income, expenditure and estate), they are rarely able to project what those statements will look like ten years, or even five years into the future.

Financial planners will usually tell you that clients come to them for these reasons:

‘We are not fully in control of our finances’
‘I don’t understand money; all I feel around money is fear and anxiety’
‘We don’t know where we are now or where we will be in the future’
‘We seem unable to live the lifestyle we aspire to’

When families do achieve clarity it usually provides great relief, even if the picture does not look good. They at least know where they stand and can take appropriate action.

2. Goals

Unfortunately, we live in an era where wealth is frequently generated for its own sake, rather than as the means to live a fulfilled life. Money is used to make more money – it becomes a proxy for the ego, and financial decisions are often made to protect or massage our egos, not to support the achievement of our deepest life goals.

Life and money are deeply intertwined. Identification of clear life goals is essential to provide direction, and enables sound financial decisions to be made. So when asked to comment on an investment someone is considering, I always pose another question: “Will investing in this product enable you to achieve your goals more quickly and efficiently?” Very often the answer is that it won’t.

3. Long-term security

The impact of increasing longevity on family finances is profoundly important. The keys to addressing this are the Three Drivers of Financial Freedom: savings, compound interest and asset allocation. While saving implies a reduction in spending, and potentially the hijacking of those important and immediate life goals, financial life planning can help to resolve these difficult conflicts between the short and long term.

4. Dealing with the unexpected

Life will have kicked you in the teeth in the past and it will do so again in the future. Accept it, and plan for it. Life can throw a huge range of fastballs at us, from the irritating yet not too serious car breakdown to the death of a close family member. Put in place contingency plans centred around a Security Fund and insurance. No one likes insurance (though I have yet to meet a widow who complained her husband was over insured).

Freedom

What you are really going to achieve from well-formulated goals and a structured, considered life and financial plan to achieve those goals can be clearly expressed in one word – freedom.

Freedom is a central theme of my work, so what exactly is it? True freedom comes from defining and setting boundaries and living a life dedicated to achieving your goals within those boundaries. Greater freedom comes from personal growth, the means by which we can expand our boundaries.

Lianne’s story illustrates this perfectly. A mother of two on a modest salary, Lianne had gone through a difficult divorce and wh