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Financial Planning

What is Financial Planning? Financial Planning is the process of meeting life goals through the proper management of finance. Financial Planning provides direction and meaning to financial decision. Planning for finance is bringing the future into present.

Financial Planning Process The financial planning process is described in six broad steps.

1) Define client’s requirement: First understand financial requirements and explain the financial service to be provided and responsibilities on both the parts. There after identify areas where one require assistance and areas where you can look after on their own. Then decide on the frequency of portfolio review and the fee structure.

2) Identify client’s goal: Together with the client define the goals to be set and the time frame to achieve the same.

3) Analyzing and evaluating a Client’s financial situation: Require the details of the fixed and financial assets, debts and loans along with cash inflows and cash outflows to construct the current balance sheet. Also require the client’s current insurance coverage, investments or tax strategies.

4) Developing and presenting Financial Planning recommendations: Identify the areas that need attention and then provide recommendations that address one's goals, based on the information provided by the clients. Listen to concerns and revise the recommendations as appropriate.

5) Implementing the Financial Planning recommendations: Carry out the implementation of the finalized plan for the clients or serve them as a guide.

6) Monitoring the Financial Planning recommendation: Agree upon who will monitor the progress towards the goals and accordingly review the recommendations as and when required.

Common mistake clients must avoid:

  1. Often, “measurable financial goals” are not set.
  2. A financial decision is often made in isolation, without understanding its effect on other financial issues.
  3. Financial Plans are neglected and not re-evaluated periodically.
  4. Financial Planning is considered relevant only for the wealthy.
  5. Clients think that financial planning is for when they get older.
  6. Financial planning is confused with investing. Financial planning comes before investing. Investment decisions are to be taken later.
  7. Financial planning is considered to be same as retirement planning.
  8. Clients wait until they face a financial crisis, to begin their financial planning.
  9. Clients expect unrealistic returns on their investment.
  10. Clients think that financial planning is primarily tax planning.
  11. Clients think that using a financial planner means losing control.

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