Financial planning process
Where do I start?
How many of us will just buy a ticket, hop on a plane and explore your desired vacation place (e.g Europe, USA, Japan…) for a month without first planning for it?
How many of us would buy a car or a house without first checking it out, assessing our cashflow or talking with a bank?
How many of us would take medicinal drugs or go for an operation without first having a proper diagnosis done?
Not many would, I hope.
Strangely, in the area of financial planning, many would commit their hard earned monies into insurance, savings and investment plans (all which required a long term commitment) without first having a good understanding of their current and future financial needs, and understanding what plans are suited to their needs. Does that make sense? Thus, financial planning is often done in a haphazard manner resulting in many not being able to achieve their financial goals in life. Who’s to blame?
The last I checked, we do not have a welfare safety net program to rely on in the land of the little red dot called Singapore. Think about it, if we do not take enough interest in our own welfare, who will?
To better our situation, it has to start with us. We have to adopt a more positive and proactive attitude towards our own financial plans simply because it’s in our very interest to do so. Next, find the right adviser who will provide you with the right coaching, deliver the right advise and equip you with the appropriate financial planning tools to help you achieve your financial goals.
How to go about it?
Just as a medical doctor would put you through certain medical tests to accurately diagnose any medical issues you may have, in financial planning, a similar process is used to diagnose your areas of financial needs, using a tool called Financial Needs Analysis.
A systematic and objective 6 step process :-
After discovering and quantifying my areas of financial needs, how do I prioritize my resources?
How many of us will place our families in a house built on sand?
How many of us will jump off a plane without first checking on our parachute?
How many of us will go on a cruise that’s not equipped with life rafts?
Strangely again in the area of financial planning, many would actually commit the equivalent of the above without them realizing it!
A financial plan is like a house and for a strong house that can withstand the elements and provide a reliable roof over your family, should be one that’s built on solid foundation, wouldn’t you agree? That foundation is none other than setting aside adequate contingency reserves & insurance.
While it’s understandable that many would shudder at the word ‘insurance’ or avoid it with a 10ft pole, it’s often due to our lack of understanding which creates that fear or avoidance. What we really need is just the right financial coach to help us decide on coverage needed and the most appropriate solution by guiding us though all the different types of plans, how they are meant to benefit us and help us understand all those insurance jargon, isn’t that true?
It’ll be beneficial for us to secure our insurances early in life as deteriorating health and rising premium will continuously work against us the longer we procrastinate on it.
Hence, if we’ve got needs in multiple areas, the priority is to channel more of our resources towards addressing our insurance needs. By securing our insurances early in life, we can then focus increasingly on wealth accumulation through savings and investment plans so as to achieve our child education funding needs and early retirement.
In life, we are faced with many choices to place our time and resources. How and where we prioritize our limited resources will certainly make a big difference in our lives. How would rank your priorities?
Next , select the right financial adviser for you.