Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why use a financial planner?

Financial Planning is the process of determining how an individual can meet their unique life’s goals through the proper management of his or her financial resources.

A good financial planner takes a "big picture" view of a client's financial situation and makes recommendations based on their needs in areas such as budgeting and saving, investments, insurance, and retirement.

Ensuring financial independence at retirement age is increasingly in high demand especially when 91% of Singaporeans do not know how much money they will need for retirement. Additionally, retirement planning is even more critical for today’s young investor as it is plainly obvious that relying on CPF alone will not allow you to continue your lifestyle after you retire.

My job is to manage cash flow risks as I seek to provide sound risk management and insurance techniques to help you avoid common pitfalls.

People simply don’t have the time to really understand the right course of action, the right products for the right time in life.

The financial planner’s job is ultimately helping you to manage and attain your dreams.

People appoint the advice of a financial planner mainly because of the complexity of many countless financial products on the market today. At the same time, personal life situations affect your financial situation too.

For example, how well do you understand the available investment portfolios or a University Savings Plan or do you know how much money you will need for retirement? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What should you do to save for both your children’s education and your retirement?

I as a financial planner will determine how you can meet their lifelong financial goals through management of resources. I will constantly examine your financial history, past and current. Then I will study your assets and suggest exactly what steps you need to take in the future if you want to achieve those goals.

I need to do this to more fully understand your financial goals. This is because the last thing I want to do is create a plan that might not be in alignment with investments that their client may have undertaken. I will be a good steward of all your financial interests so that I can ensure all ladders are on the right wall.

How I do it
The process generally contains the steps outlined below in one form or another:

1. Goal Setting and information gathering
The idea is to identify what is important to the client and what is their personal vision for their life and finances through questions asked that will help to design a successful financial plan. I will make it as interactive as possible so information can flow freely from you, quantifying your financial in terms of assets and liabilities.

With all the information collected, I will need to ask you to prioritize your goals. This way I will help assure that, at the very least, the most important ones are achieved.

2. Putting it all together-Analyzing the information
Once I have the information gathered analyzed, I will identify your strengths and weakness so that your situation is comprehensively understood. This includes determining whether there are sufficient resources to achieve the client's goals.

In this phase, it is important to identify and have a clear understanding of what those resources are and what shape they are in.

3. Constructing a financial plan
Based on the understanding of what you want in the future and your current financial status, I will create a strategy to accomplish your financial goals. These strategy acts as solutions to your needs and prioritized objectives.

4. Strategy Implementation
Armed with a well crafted and though out financial plan, the strategies outlined in the plan are implemented by carefully allocated the client’s resources.

5. Period Review, monitoring the plan
The implementation process will be closely monitored by me. To do so, periodic reviews are necessary to check for misalignment and change as well as changes in your situation to evaluate your progress toward reaching your objectives and to decide whether a given plan continues to meet your needs.

Any significant departure from your last personal situation could dramatically affect the strategies and goals in the financial plan. This would need to be revised accordingly. By going through the entire process, I will be in a much better position to correctly diagnose your concerns and apply appropriate solutions directly to those needs.

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