About Financial Planning
Financial Planning DefinedFinancial planning is a process, not a product. It is the long-term method of wisely managing your finances so you can achieve your goals and dreams, while at the same time negotiating the financial obstacles that inevitably arise in every stage of life. In order to create a sound financial plan, goals must first be established. Data is then gathered to analyse and evaluate your financial status. Once complete, your plan can be developed and implemented. Monitoring the plan on an ongoing basis is essential in order to make necessary adjustments to reach your goals.
The financial planning process follows the below Six Step Approach:
Step 1 – Establishing and defining the professional relationship (the first appointment)
Step 2 – Gathering information (Including your goals, timeframe and attitude towards risk)
Step 3 – Analysing and evaluating your financial status
Step 4 – Developing and presenting the financial planning recommendations or alternatives
Step 5 – Implementing the financial planning recommendations
Step 6 – Monitoring the financial planning recommendations
Benefits of Using a Financial PlannerHow do you know if you could benefit from the services of a financial planner? You may not have the expertise, the time or the desire to actively plan and manage certain financial aspects of your life. You may want help getting started. Some reasons for seeking professional financial planning guidance might include:
- Making sure your money will last during retirement or rolling over a retirement plan
- Handling the inheritance of a large sum of money or other unexpected financial windfall
- Preparing for a marriage or divorce
- Planning for the birth or adoption of a child
- Facing a financial crisis such as a serious illness, layoff or natural disaster
- Caring for aging parents or a disabled child
- Coping financially with the death of a spouse or close family member
- Funding education
- Buying, selling or passing on a family business
Procrastination is the greatest enemy of financial independence, and using a financial planner will keep you on track.
Why a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Professional?CFP® professionals are dedicated to using the financial planning process to serve the financial needs of individuals, families and businesses. Most CFP professionals have earned a four-year college degree in a finance-related field, and have completed a course of study in financial planning approved by CFP Board. To earn the prestigious CFP® certification and remain certified as a CFP professional, individuals must meet four main requirements.
- Examination: Certified Financial Professionals must successfully complete CFP Board's comprehensive certification examination, which tests an individual's knowledge on various key aspects of financial planning.
- Experience: Certified Financial Planner Professionals must acquire three years of financial planning-related experience before receiving the right to use the CFP certification marks.
- Ethics: Certified Financial Planner Professionals must voluntarily ascribe to CFP Board's Code of Ethics and additional requirements as mandated. CFP practitioners who violate the code can be disciplined, including permanent loss of the right to use the CFP certification marks.
- Education: Certified Financial Planner Professionals must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to stay current in financial planning knowledge, including ethics.