That’s right, you can get free Financial Planning no strings attached! What’s the catch you may ask? There is none. Hundreds of financial planners up and down the UK are offering a financial planning surgery free of charge as part of Financial Planning Week running from 3-10 October 2018.
Here’s a QA for those itching to find out more.
What is financial planning?
Financial planning is about understanding your life goals and developing a plan so that you can have the finances available to reach those goals. Unlike financial advice, financial planning is less about selling or finding a specific product to meet a financial need (though the roles are often combined). Financial planning is a more holistic look at your finances. It looks at where you are in life, where you want to be and how to get there. There are six steps in financial planning:
Step 1 – Identify your goals
We tend to stop asking ourselves what we want to do with our lives once we leave school (“what do you want to be when you grow up?“). The first step is thinking about what you want to achieve over the short, medium and long-term. It’s a difficult question and brings in lots of psychological and emotional elements. When you have an idea of your goals, it’s a good idea to try to order them in priority.
Step 2 – Identify where you are
That’s by working out what money you have, what money you owe. It’s also an opportunity to review your current income and expenses to find out where your money is going (how we track our expenses).
Step 3 – Evaluate your position
Are you on track to meet your goals? How close are you from achieving your short, medium and long-term goals?
Step 4 – Building your plan
How are you going to get from A to B. From where you are now, to where you want to be. What life and financial actions do you need to take to get there?
Step 5 – Implement the plan
Start working through your plan, taking following those actions.
Step 6 – Review
Review your plan each year. Are you on track? Have your goals changed? Adjust your plan as needed.
Why should you create a financial plan?
I think there are three big reasons. Firstly, it’s an organised way to start a lifelong conversation with yourself and family about your goals and aspirations. Secondly, it puts into practice very beneficial financial behaviours such as tracking your net worth, tracking your expenses and reviewing your financial and life changes. Thirdly, it’s a great opportunity to learn how to manage your money and finances in a positive way – rather than letting money dictate what you can and can’t do in life, let life dictate what you can do with your money.
What does the free financial planning entail?
It will usually consist of an hour-long financial planning session. Depending on the financial planner, there are face-to-face meetings or Skype or telephone sessions. These sessions typically cost up to £500, but you’d be getting one for free!
Why are financial planners doing this?
Some may see it as an opportunity to start long-term relationships with customers who might otherwise have been put-off creating a financial plan. However, I think a lot of financial planners believe passionately in helping everyone in our society to lead more fulfilling lives and they strongly believe that financial planning is a great way to do it. This is a great initiative to increase the profile of financial planning
Why am I writing about this?
Nobody has told me to write anything. The Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (one of my professional bodies) recently rang me to ask me what I was doing for Financial Planning Week. I’m not an active financial planner (though I am qualified). I thought I would use my blog to publicise a good cause.
Where can I find out more?
You can find out more at the CISI website: https://www.cisi.org/cisiweb2/fpweekmicrosite/financial-planning-week-2018
The website has more information about financial planning, an interactive map for finding your nearest financial planner, as well as several great tips and tools.
Spread the word.
All the best,
Young FI Guy