1. Achieve your goals
A financial plan is a road map to your future; it tells you where you are today, where you are going and what steps you need to take to get there. Our ‘Basic Plan’ will let you know if you are on track to achieve your goals, whether they are buying a car or house, funding your child’s education, your own retirement or even saving for a dream vacation.
If you are heading in the right direction, our ‘Basic Plan’ will tell you so. If not, you may need to readjust your goals, timeframe or other factors
Developing a financial plan is one of the most important steps you can take towards achieving your goals. It will tell you how much you need to save, invest or borrow and how long it will take to save enough to obtain what you want.
2. Prosper in good times
Good investments, solid planning, and diversification: these are the hallmarks of a good personal finance portfolio. When times are good, sock it away. We will let you know the appropriate debt/equity ratio for you and how much you should be saving for your. When you fill in your expenses, take a minute to evaluate if you are spending the right amount for your situation. Can you afford to save more?
3. Protect yourself in bad times
Life is not always a bed of roses. Be sure you are properly insured for medical, life and property when things don’t go as you plan. Our ‘Basic Plan’ can help you identify how much insurance you need to protect your family. Many people buy Insurance either to save tax or as an investment without knowing the quantum of insurance they actually need for protection.
It is important to have an emergency fund, an integral part of any financial plan. And if you planned right when things were good and have a balanced portfolio, it should help you get through the tough times and come out just fine.
4. Earn more from your investments
Make sure you have the right debt/equity balance. If you have too much in savings, fixed income and bonds, you may be losing money if inflation is outpacing these instruments. If you have put everything in equities, you may be setting yourself up for losses in a down market.
5. Free up your time
Stop worrying about your money and get a ‘Basic Plan’. It will tell you your financial strengths and weaknesses, if you are meeting your goals, and more. If there is something you need to do, you will find out. Otherwise, relax and know your finances are fine.
It is always good to see it in writing: How much are you worth? What is your cash flow like? Where is your money invested? Is it scattered in 10 insurance policies you may not need or tied up in accounts you had forgotten about?Just filling out our Financial Planning Profile will give you a better idea of where you are and help you get all your documents together. Once you view our ‘Basic Plan’ you will have it all spelled out on paper for you.
7. Be prepared
Knowing where you stand helps you be prepared at the drop of a hat for emergencies and opportunities. Is someone in your family suddenly selling a choice piece of land you would like to acquire? Does a special niece need money for a wedding? Did you just win the lottery and you don’t know where to put all this newfound money? Be ready.
8. Manage Cash flows
A good financial plan helps you to manage your cash flows in the most efficient manner. It also allows one to track net-worth, loan payments; and identify the best way to manage these effectively. Some people spend more than they earn with credit cards and easy availability of loans, and tend to lose focus on future needs. It is always better to be aware of what you need in the future so that you can balance your cash flows accordingly. Many of us have complex financial lives and lack time, expertise, discipline and objectivity to put our financials in order. Financial planning allows you to stay on track.
9. Manage change in your goals
As your needs and financial goals change over time, a financial plan gives you the flexibility to alter your financial strategy to meet new objectives. Therefore a review of your financial plan on a regular basis is very important. To be effective, you and your planner must weigh several factors like your objective, time frames, cash flows, and the potential for taking risk based on the goals.
10. Give your financial life focus, direction and organization. Get a financial plan today!
Becoming rich is all about starting early, better planning and being disciplined.
This article is written for InvestmentYogi by Shweta Jain, Certified Financial Planner, IMM.