A few questions answered

What is Financial Planning?

A financial plan is a technical plan for your life that falls within the definition of financial.

Financial plans are used to develop a strategy for living into a coherent proposal, to communicate ideas and concepts, to convince clients of the merits of a strategy, to enable the client to construct it or to be kept as a record of the completed work.

Why Is Financial Planning Important?

Trust Is Important

According to the annual survey from global leading PR firm Edleman, financial services remains the least trusted of all industries in all countries year after year. What matters most to customers of these institutions would seem to matter least to the institutions themselves. When it comes to money, what matters most above all else - above independence, professionalism, service quality, range of products - to the holders of "the promise to pay the bearer on demand", is TRUST! Without trust, nothing else matters.

 

See full Edleman Report for 2019 CLICK HERE

Financial Intermediation is Slow to Change

Six years ago financial intermediary firms were given the opportunity to move to fixed fees under the UK Retail Distribution Review, which resulted in banning commission on investment products. All firms resisted change and instead renamed "commission" as "contingent adviser charges". The fee is still taken from the product, and still relates to size of sale. Vertically-integrated firms such as St James' Place were exempted and practices there remain reletively unaltered. Few firms, if any, are prepared to sign up to fiduciary duties on behalf of clients.

 

It could be decades before our tireless campaigning for significant change has any impact.

Only 5 in every 1,000 people have a Financial Plan

Since the Retail Distribution Review, 95% of the population no longer have access to financial intermediaries on account of their limited wealth. Only 10% of financial intermediaries provide their clients with a lifetime cash-flow forecast, with 'what-if' scenarios. In other words, only 0.5% of the population have access to a financial plan. And, even those that do ... those plans are set against the financial intermediary's goal to grow their assets under influence (on which their fees are taken) rather than your goals of greater security and financial freedom.

 

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Plan to find freedom, don't plan and find regret

The Five Visions of Freedom

Being with family and fiends.

Expressing your creativity.

Developing your spirituality.

Making a contribution, making a difference in the world.

Travel, a sense of place.

The Five Regrets of Condition

Not living life true to yourself and instead as others want you to live.

Not keeping in touch with friends.

I worked too hard.

I never got the chance to say what I really wanted to say.

I never really allowed myself to be happy.

Financial Freedom

You run on the treadmill of work existence for the best part of 50 years - handing over the wealth you create to those who would manage it -  on the bet you can buy freedom in your last 16 years; Without knowing for certain whether that's a bet you will win or lose. That's TRUST!

Why Make A Financial Plan Now?

There are fewer and fewer 'intermediary financial planners'

A couple of decades ago there were hundreds of thousands of intermediating financial planners. Today there are 26,000 in the UK. Many close to retirement. The number of financial planning firms is declining faster. There are now just 5,200 firms. As costs of insurance and compliance are rising, profit margins are declining. The small high-quality boutique firms are disappearing rapidly, with advisers moved to larger commoditised firms. The financial intermediation approach to financial planning is failing fast. Leaving a vast void - called the advice gap!

 

What is happening now is that 'fiduciary financial planners' are taking their place.

Income inequality and financial insecurity is at its highest

Three fifths of all UK Adults have no savings or savings of less than £5,000, and roughly one third of all UK Adults have no private pension. Furthermore, two-thirds of UK Adults have no life insurance or other protection cover. Unsecured household debt will soon reach 50% of household income. Credit card debt takes over 25 years to repay at minimum repayment levels. There are over 1,000 adults made redundant every day. There are over 4,500 debt problems reported daily to the Citizens Advice Bureau, with over 1,700 County Court Judgements daily. A property is repossessed every hour. There is an insolvency or bankruptcy every five minutes.

 

Could it get any worse?

 

Months fly by, yet we live for just 979 of them!

We live on average in the UK for 979 months. 200 in our youth. 200 retired. Many behind us. Months fly by quickly. I'm sure you would agree. A month doesn't seem like a very long time at all. Every month that goes past ... compound interest has less time to work its magic in the financial plan. The cost of delay is significant. The sooner you start your plan the better.

 

So, that's why now!

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© Academy of Life Planning Limited 2012