The process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances. The financial planning process involves the following steps:
Establish the Relationship: Define the Terms of Engagement
The client and the advisor will define and agree on the scope of the financial planning engagement. Details about each party’s responsibilities, applicable engagement time frames, compensation considerations, and potential conflicts of interest should be reviewed and fully understood by both parties. This process can be formalized using an engagement letter that summarizes the important elements described above.
Gather information, discuss goals and objectives
The process of gathering your personal data and financial information to determine your current fiscal position. An examination of your cash flow, net worth, insurance profile and other important financial considerations (investment goals, objectives, time frames and risk tolerance) provides the details needed to develop a personalized financial plan.
Analyze financial situation
Once your financial goals and objectives have been identified, the next step is to analyze your financial condition and wealth characteristics to determine if your goals and objectives are realistic given your current circumstances.
Develop and present a financial plan
Your advisor can develop and present a personalized financial plan that provides strategic recommendations to achieve your specified goals. The advisor will review the plan to ensure the suggested path forward is fully understood. This exercise may highlight the need to adopt new spending habits and financial strategies to support the recommendations of the financial plan. Your advisor will make note of any concerns you may have, and revise recommendations if deemed appropriate.
Put your plan into action
Once you understand and have agreed to the recommendations of the financial plan – the time has arrived to put your plan into action. Your advisor will help you prioritize the actions, appropriate next steps and any relevant paperwork to support the implementation of your financial plan.
Monitor your plan
Financial planning is an ongoing process. Together, you and your advisor can establish a schedule to review and assess the progress of your “plan” towards your specified goal. Regular meetings will help identify potential changes (financial circumstances, objectives) that may require important amendments to your financial plan.