Financial Planning Myths

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Our aim as Financial Planners is to help people take action to improve their financial ‘fitness’. There are certainly lots of things you can do to help yourself. Many of these are discussed each week in this column, but when your money and your future are at stake, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help too, by working with a professional Financial Planner.

Unfortunately there are some myths about financial planning that may be stopping you seeking professional advice for your own money goals.

Myth No. 1: Only the rich need financial planners.

Financial planning is for everyone. And whilst a DIY approach may suit some people, a financial planner can add value in many different ways. In some cases a professional financial planner may not seem affordable for those with smaller amounts of money to work with but there are different ways you can pay for the professional services of a financial planner including hourly or on a fixed-fee basis. After discussing an adviser’s fee structure and learning how a financial planner can help, you may be surprised how beneficial an adviser could be to your financial health.

Myth No. 2: My finances are simple – I can do it myself

Everyone’s finances are different, and can often be more complex than you may think, especially if you have a family. You may need to consider life insurance to provide for anyone who relies on your income, and income protection to protect from any time when an accident or job loss could derail your plans. What about the benefits of writing your life insurance in trust, have you considered this?

A financial planner can offer these kinds of insights, get your affairs organised and streamlined, and bring up options you may not have discovered on your own, especially when it comes to more complicated things like taxation. Financial planners can also provide much-needed accountability as you progress with your goals.

Myth No. 3: Financial planners help people only with investing.

While investing will likely play a key role in building your portfolio, a good financial planner should be able to help you with your whole money life—including budgeting, insurance, estate planning and retirement planning, among other areas.

In fact, if you find that you’re working with a financial advisor who isn’t providing enough comprehensive advice, don’t be afraid to consider someone new.

Myth No. 4: You don’t need to pay attention to credentials.

On the contrary, the letters that follow a financial planner’s name can be critical. In general, look for a Chartered Financial Planner and/or a Certified Financial Planner™, or CFP®, designation. The exams required to achieve these credentials are comprehensive and cover a whole range of financial planning topics. Of course, book knowledge is no guarantee that you’ll work well together but it can be a good indication that the individual possesses the training to help you handle your whole financial life.

I hope this information will give you a good start on planning your financial future.

*The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Tax and Estate Planning.”