Six Step Financial Planning Process

The Personal Financial Planning Process

To allow for the protection of your wealth and the creation of financial freedom, it is crucial to follow a clearly defined financial planning process. This process is detailed as follows.

Establishing and defining a professional relationship:

  • Your first meeting should be dedicated to establishing a clear understanding of your immediate needs and/or concerns as well as getting a firm grasp of what professional services your financial planner provides including their competencies and experience. Discuss how the financial planning process will unfold if you are new to the process and clarify the roles and responsibilities of both you and your financial planner going forward.

Understanding your unique objectives and needs:

  • Once you have established and defined your relationship with your financial planner, it is essential that you allow them to gather as much data and relevant information to enable the construction of a comprehensive financial plan unique to you. This will involve sharing not only accurate factual data, dreams, goals and aspirations, but also providing an indication of your values, priorities and attitude towards your financial wellbeing and defining timeframes for outcomes.

Analysing and evaluating your financial status

  • With your financial information at hand, the financial planner is then able to analyse your current circumstances and establish where you are in relation to your goals and objectives. Various components of financial planning should be analysed during this process, including: personal financial management, risk management, retirement planning, tax and estate planning, investment management and business financial planning. Should it be determined that you are not on track, your financial planner will explain why and recommend solutions to assist you in this regard.

Developing and presenting financial planning recommendations

  • Once your financial information has been analysed, the financial planner will present their findings to you and guide you through the various financial solutions available, making recommendations accordingly. It is at this stage that other specialists from within the Hereford Business Units may be called upon to render specialist advice, such as investment management. The outcome of the plan is to ensure that you have a strategy in place to take you forward with confidence and to provide certainty regarding your financial future.

Implementing the financial planning recommendations

  • Once you have agreed to the recommendations presented, it is crucial that your plan be implemented. This process may involve some responsibility on your behalf as well as the financial planner, or the co-ordination with other specialists. It is here when your financial planner will also present the products suitable to address the shortfalls in your planning or required to help you achieve your goals. As it is common place that not all recommendations can be addressed at once, time frames will need to be agreed upon to ensure you ultimately reach your goals.

Monitoring and reviewing your financial plan

  • A financial plan must be reviewed on at least an annual basis or as your circumstances and needs change, this to both monitor progress and to confirm it is still meaningful and relevant to you. Discuss with your financial planner when this should take place and how often, but don’t hesitate to contact them prior to the review date if there has been a change in your personal or financial position.


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