Some Planners make financial planning far too complicated and try to blind clients with their technical knowledge rather than offer straightforward advice.
We firmly believe financial planning is simply the process of giving comprehensive, unbiased advice to help clients meet their financial goals.
No matter how much wealth the client may have, the financial planning process covers the same six steps.
Step 1: Finding out about you
We follow a strict code of conduct that means unless we sit down and get to know our clients, we will not give the advice they need.
To get to know clients and their financial aims, a one-to-one meeting is needed to discuss your current financial strategy to benchmark your current saving; pension and investment performances to see which are making the grade and those that are not and why.
The intention is to identify your aspirations in life, and for many of they come down to simple wants, like a good education for your children, savings for a worry-free retirement and perhaps some savings for that rainy day and to help children get a decent start in life.
At some stage, everyone has doubts about their mortality and realises we are not going to live forever and want to make provision for those we love by making a will and seeking to keep our wealth together for our family's future.
Step 2: Identifying financial concerns
This is learning your attitude to risk, ethical investments and your financial concerns like what happens if you fall ill and can't work or will your partner and family have enough money to survive should you die.
The idea is to identify the areas of personal concern and to tailor a personal strategy that deals with the issues you raise.
Every client is different and has different financial concerns based on whether they are married or living with a partner, whether they have children and the amount of money that would maintain their lifestyle in retirement.
Of course, many clients may have a financial status that needs a different level of advice - from the well off to those on a more modest income. We have the experience and resources to help every client make the best of their financial circumstances, whatever they be.
Step 3: Goal setting
This is where clients sit down with us and discuss the figures. Goals are no good if performance can't be measured against them, so your hopes are turned in to realistic and achievable amounts of money within a given time frame.
A goal that can be measured is like wanting a pension fund worth Rs. 1 Crore in 10 years.
That is measurable, but you also have to balance whether it is achievable in respect of how cash in the fund is invested and whether you are topping up the fund with any more cash.
Step 4: Preparing written options and recommendations
This is where we work our magic, because from previous meetings, we know you, your financial objectives and your attitude towards money and investments.
You have highlighted when you want to retire and the lifestyle goals that you are aiming to achieve.
This is where working with a whole-of-the-market independent financial advisor pays dividends, because we have the contacts and experience to look for the best products to suit your circumstances.
Step 5: Implementing your decision
Here we will draw up a bespoke strategy for you and then sit down with you to discuss the options.
Once you agree a strategy that meets your goals and budget, we will draw up all the necessary documentation and liaise with the financial providers as your agent.
Rest assured nothing proceeds without your formal permission and signing off.
Step 6: Reviewing the plan
Once you have a financial strategy in place, the worst thing you can do is just leave it sitting there. Here we will build in to the strategy a regular review meeting to measure performance against goals and to deal with changes like tax rate revisions, new laws and more up-to-date and effective products coming on to the market.
Part of this plan should also include making a will that may need revising if you have any major life changes like marriage, child birth, etc.
At Save n Protect Financial Planners, we give independent, unbiased whole of the market advice whether you live in the India, or are an expat or international worker who has left the country to live permanently overseas.