What is the essence of good financial planning?

By FMB on 

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The good-old days. Some things never change.

When clients hear that I have been in the profession for 42 years, they sometimes ask, "How did you manage without computers?"
How could you tell them what their investments were worth on a daily basis?
How did you know if they should switch 5% of their portfolio from Emerging Markets into Property?
How did you cope?
The answer overall is, we coped pretty damn well, and for questions 2 and 3 no one really ever cared!

Really? You may ask, in this age of laptops, iPads and instant global news? Absolutely, because if the client sat with their planner and the planner had used their God given tools of two ears and one mouth and asked ‘big’ question’s, then I truly believe that that is what is important to achieving a great outcome for the client.

Times change, and yes we now have some sophisticated tools to help us, but the big questions that clients want answering never change:-

• How much do I need to earn, save or sell my business for, to give me what you want out of life?
• How much protection do we need to put in place just in case we die when the family is still dependent on us?
• When, precisely, can I afford to stop doing the things that have become a drag...and start doing the things I really enjoy?
• What do I have to do to ensure I NEVER run out of money?
• Exactly what level of investment return do I need to achieve my objectives?
• How do I retain control of my money whilst I am alive, and reduce the impact of Inheritance Tax after my death?

It’s the answers to these questions that always have, and always will be the core to Financial Planning, not whether Fund A has performed better than Fund B over the past day, week or month. Whilst this may have relevance, over a longer period of time, this is managing funds, not proper Financial Planning. If you would like some good old fashioned Planning, please feel free to contact us.

Andrew Laisby

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