What to do? You know you need to have a financial plan but creating one seems so difficult and daunting!
On the one hand you think “I’m intelligent enough to work this stuff out and it’s my money we are talking about so I should bite the bullet and take the DIY approach.”
On the other hand you think “I’m not in school anymore so it’s not cheating if I get some help. After all that’s why professional financial planners exist. I’d be better off investing some of my money in getting a professional to develop my plan.”
There is no right or wrong answer and either approach is certainly much better than doing nothing! You could also choose a combined approach, doing the basics yourself and using the services of a professional for some of the more complex areas.
Just remember, using a professional doesn't remove all the heavy lifting from your shoulders. They are simply advisors and you still have the responsibility of understanding what a financial planner is recommending so you can ultimately make an informed decision on how to proceed.
Just as in developing your own personal plan, using a financial planner will require you to be able to understand and articulate your:
- goals and objectives
- current financial situation
- current personal situation
- retirement hopes
- estate planning situation
Not only will you have to answer these types of questions for yourself, you will have to explain them in detail to someone else!
And you may pay handsomely for the privilege. Good financial planners will charge sometimes substantial fees for developing your personal financial plan. This may be warranted if you have large amounts to invest but cost is another factor you will have to consider. Other planners may provide the advice for free but get their remuneration from commissions on the products they sell.
So the use of a professional isn’t necessarily as ‘hands off’ as many people think.
MaM’s 9 Step Money Program can help you develop your own financial plan and, in cases where you choose to use a professional, provide guidance to help you:
- find a financial advisor
- assess the services they offer
- maintain control of the process
- listen to the advice you are given
- weigh advice to determine if it is right for you
- carefully consider the costs involved
- ensure that you are getting value for money from the advice you are provided.
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