Financial Planning is for Everyone
Along with polo, fine wine and opera, financial planning is often mistakenly regarded as the preserve of a certain demographic: the wealthy, socially elite, privately educated and those aged over 50. This rather archaic view is grossly erroneous; it’s also incredibly damaging, as it is putting an invisible barrier between the benefits of financial planning and those who would actually gain the most from it. The truth is, financial planning is for everyone and the sooner you embrace it, the more you can benefit.
Financial planning offers a whole host of advantages, most importantly giving you the ability to live more comfortably and confidently, which, I’m sure you will agree, are values we all strive towards. That’s why everyone should adapt financial planning.
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s start by considering exactly what financial planning is. At Efficient Portfolio we define this term as ‘a mechanism that enables people to clarify and realise their goals and dreams’. We equip our clients with expert knowledge, give them access to a range of tools and services to support them on their journey and continually review and assess their position, to make sure they’re on track. You’ll note that there’s no mention of wealth, age, social position or educational background.
To use a rather apt simile, financial planning is like compound interest: the sooner you start, the more you will get back. More than that, the earlier in life you start to save, the less you have to regularly put away in order to achieve your desired goal. The same analogy can be applied to financial planning in general. USA based Chartered Financial Planner Tom Pemberton sums this up best when he says ‘The sooner you start making smart decisions, the sooner you know where you want to go, and if you have a plan to get there, the more likely you are to attain it. The longer you wait, the more you have to save to make that goal.’ (Forbes Magazine Online, August 2013)
I can almost hear some of shouting ‘that’s great, but what if I haven’t got any money in the first place?’ To quote Pemberton again ‘The way you get into the higher income bracket is to have a financial plan’. (Forbes Magazine Online, August 2013) If you don’t have a goal, aim or ambition have can you ever achieve it? Sitting down to write your goals will give you clarity on what you need to do to reach your target. Whether that’s done on your own or with a qualified professional, it’s essential that if you want to make a change then you have to plot out the steps you need to take and act upon them. Whether your goal is small, like go on holiday next year, or huge, like being financially free by the age of 40, by planning you will see what you need to do to get ahead. For those without any spare income, planning, using money management systems, could also show you how to reduce your outgoings and maximise your saving potential. So initial lack of wealth is absolutely not a reason against financial planning!
Hopefully you can see that my point is quite simple: financial planning is not just for the wealthy and it’s certainly not reserved for people over a certain age. In fact, financial planning is for everyone and can benefit all and sundry. And, in my opinion, there has never been a better time to start encouraging the population, at all levels, to tackle their financial concerns.