When you engage the services of a certified financial planner, you can expect to go through a specific process so that the planner can identify and meet your goals.
Steps in the Financial Planning Process
Be prepared for the following process when you engage the services of a professional financial planner:
An initial meeting:
This is where you will talk about your financial objectives and requirements to decide the way forward.
Identifying your goals:
The financial planner will ask questions and discuss your planning needs with you.
Assessing your financial situation:
A thorough analysis of your existing financial situation is important to design a meaningful plan for you.
Preparing a financial plan:
Your financial planner will provide you with written recommendations or a proposal about how to invest or insure yourself, based on your needs.
Once you’re happy with the financial planner’s recommendations, he/she will implement your financial plan with the investment, savings or insurance-based solutions you agreed on.
Your financial needs will change as your life changes. You may get married, have children, lose a spouse, or lose your job. You and your financial planner should have an agreement to regularly review your financial plan regularly.
What You Can Expect a Financial Planner to Ask You
A good financial planner will consider your financial well-being in all aspects of your life. This way they will ensure that your needs are not addressed in isolation.
Make sure your financial planner discusses the following with you:
Your short-, medium- and long-term savings and investment needs
He/she needs to understand your hopes, dreams and fears so that your financial plan can reflect your perception of success.
Your income and expenditure
A financial planner has to understand where and how you currently spend your money, and what you can afford to save or invest.
Your appetite for risk and how it can impact your savings
We all have a “money” personality. Some of us are more conservative than others and don’t want to take risks with our money. Your financial planner should guide you through the pros and cons of less or more risk, while taking into account your personality and your ability to absorb risk.
Your understanding of what your financial plan will cost you
You need to be comfortable with the costs of what you will be buying, including the cost of the advice itself.
Your expectations about future contact
You and your financial planner share the responsibility for future contact. Ensure that you can meet your planner on a basis that suits you. Make sure that you schedule a conversation at least once a year and definitely whenever a key event in your life occurs, such as getting married or having a baby, as this may impact your financial planning.