I think that a reasonable place to start with these articles is to discuss what financial planning really is. The main issue that we are trying to resolve is that very few people have a connection between the way that their money is managed and the lives that they want to lead. The job of a financial planner is to make this connection and to ensure that you have the right amount of money available at the right time in order to do the things that are important to you. One problem is that very few of us have sat down and worked out what we want to do with the rest of our lives and what our regrets are likely to be. Time flies by and we are all so busy with day to day living that we are unlikely to take a step back and have these discussions on our own. There may even be conflicting priorities and views within the same household so these discussions can be difficult. However, we need to know what we are trying to achieve within a financial plan. We wouldn’t dream of getting into our car for a long journey with no idea of where we are trying to get to.
Time flies by and we are all so busy with day to day living that we are unlikely to take a step back and have these discussions on our own.
We can then start to calculate the cost of your desired lifestyle and see whether you are on track. If not, what has to happen to rectify this? This is an interactive process where we can model various scenarios, making amendments in ‘real time’ until we have a financial plan that we are happy with. Then and only then will we start to think about financial products. Our view is that the products are just tools in order to make the financial plan work. The planning always comes first.