How we plan your future

What is financial planning?

F

inancial Planning is not just about recommending financial products or investment vehicles. It’s a detailed, holistic process designed to help you make informed decisions about your assets, so enabling you to achieve your goals in life in the required time period.

Above all financial planning is not a “one-off” event; it is a continually evolving process, and most clients require their situation to be regularly reviewed to take account of realignments in their personal circumstances and objectives or regulation changes.

Importantly, it’s there for those whose situation is relatively complex, or perhaps have competing needs to meet… and need guidance on how to achieve positive outcomes that balance their needs.

If this sounds like you, we know we can help you. Our understanding of people who have been in situations just like yours will enable us to objectively assess and prioritise your objectives.

We have access to an extensive network of third party professional experts to ensure that your plan is as comprehensive as possible, and co-ordinates with all other aspects of your life.

The stages of financial planning

Generally when embarking on an individual’s financial plan, we adopt the continually revolving six-step process designed by the International Financial Planning Standards Board. It’s logical, straightforward and also allows for a plan to be revisited at any time in the future.

1. Establish your goals in life over the short, medium and long term – and assign them an order of priority, recognising the need to strike a balance between sometimes conflicting aspirations;

2. Gather data about your current circumstances and financial position and any foreseeable changes to either;

3. Analyse that data and evaluate your current financial position – and establish how close you are to achieving your goals;

4. Create a plan – this is a route map of actions that we develop, and which is designed (as far as is feasible) to achieve your different goals. This will generally involve some degree of Cashflow Modelling and access to a specialist Investment Service;

5. Implement your plan – we then discuss this plan with you, make sure it meets your requirements, adapt it if required and put the agreed plan into action – working as required;

6. On an ongoing basis, meeting with you to discuss matters at least yearly and adjusting the plan as required to make sure it stays on track.

Our overall aim is to bring you peace of mind that your finances have been properly organised and will be continually overseen to give you the best possible chance of achieving your goals.

It is important to note that The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some aspects of our holistic financial planning services including Cash flow modelling, Tax, wills or estate planning.

Cashflow modelling

The financial plans we develop are generally based upon cash flow models. These set out your current and forecasted incomes, expenditures, assets and liabilities and enable us to create a picture of your finances over the rest of your expected lifetime.

All forecasts are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions about elements such as inflation, investment returns, your health, life expectancy, eligibility for state funding towards care costs and future incomes, expenses and tax rates. Nevertheless, by applying our knowledge, experience and caution to assess these variables we believe that scenario-based modelling creates a much more secure foundation for future planning than sheer guesswork.

Cash flow modelling helps us recommend the optimum course of action and determine aspects such as liquidity requirements, the best options to minimise tax, the way your capital should be invested and so on. We can also prepare a range of different models to explore various scenarios to help you identify the plan which best achieves your goals.

The end result is a year-by-year forecast of your personal financial position against the objectives which you and we together have quantified and prioritised.

Obviously, your circumstances and your objectives can change over time, and the assumptions we have made constantly need to be reviewed and updated. In this way we can identify any potential issues and need for action well in advance.

The aim throughout is to avoid any crises and keep your plan firmly on track.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Cash flow modelling.