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Ask five different people ‘what is financial planning?’ and you’ll likely get five completely different answers. It’s this very confusion that often puts people off the idea of financial planning altogether – so this week we thought we would break down the FoxPlan model of financial planning to the very basics.
Before we even sit down and look at your data, we have a conversation with you to understand what your short, medium and long-term goals are. This creates a clear understanding of what your financial plan needs to achieve.
Spend Vs. Save
With your goals understood, we need to create the foundation to get you there. This starts by understanding your spending habits. If you spend more than you earn, there is no way of reaching your goals.
We then create a budget with you so that there is a surplus. We do this by taking three months of your spending data so we can give you a 360-degree view of your finances. We use the surplus to first build an emergency fund so that when the car gives out or the dog requires an emergency trip to the vet, you are not thrown off course by the unexpected.
Once the emergency fund has reached its goal (generally three to four months of spending), your surplus can then be invested.
You can put your money in a term deposit and save it over your lifetime, but the reality is the nest egg you will have built at retirement based on bank interest rates will more than likely have only grown a small amount above inflation. Investment is about putting your money to work for you more efficiently.
We work with you through sharemarket, property, business and some speculative investment to build your wealth. We only recommend speculative investment if it suits your risk profile and never to constitute more than 5% of your portfolio.
The final piece of the plan is risk management. Risk management constitutes of insurance (to protect your income and ensure that if the unexpected happens from sickness, injury or death you and your family are still kept on track) as well as estate planning.
Unlike some planners, KiwiSaver is not a core part of our financial planning model. We see KiwiSaver as an additional insurance policy. If over the lifetime of your plans, your investments do not perform at expected levels or there are issues with income, KiwiSaver can act as a top up. And if everything has gone perfectly, it gives you a great bag of cash for the best possible lifestyle at retirement.
• We work with you to build a budget so that you have a surplus of cash with every pay
• We build a reserve fund to ensure you are not thrown off track
• We invest the surplus for greater returns
• Insurance protects your plan if something goes wrong
If you would like to have a conversation about financial planning, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting with one of our planning staff.