Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 10th 2015 Contents MAY 10 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
PERSONAL FINANCE | SBG13
The question of whether or not
to obtain professional financial
advice may be lingering on the
minds of many persons who have
had to deal with the reality of a
fixed salary, rising expenses and
wading through the maze of sav-
ings and investment options
available. Since proper and consistent financial plan-
ning is the key to dealing effectively with these
realities, how can the services of a financial adviser
What is financial planning?
Let s begin by taking a look at what we mean by
financial planning. It s really about a process of
meeting your life goals through proper management
of your finances. And those life goals might include
buying a new car, home, marriage and college edu-
cation for the children. You may also have to deal
with a major medical issue for yourself or a family
member. The financial planning process consists of
six steps which will help you to work out where you
are right now and what is needed in the future to
help achieve your goals.
Key role of an adviser:
define your goals
The first step is to establish a relationship with a
financial adviser and agree on how you will work
together to achieve your life goals.
The financial adviser should clearly explain the
services to be provided and define both his and your
Secondly, discuss your personal and financial goals
with your adviser and understand that they will most
likely change over time. You and your adviser should
mutually define the goals, understand the time frame
for results and discuss your risk appetite.
Next, let your adviser evaluate your current financial
situation to determine what you must do to achieve
the goals you ve identified. Depending on what services
you request, this could include analysing assets, lia-
bilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage,
investments or tax strategies.
Once a clear picture emerges of what is needed,
your adviser will document it and provide recom-
mendations for your consideration. Ensure that you
are comfortable with the options presented.
cater for life's changes
Now that a practical approach to your planning is
established, look carefully at the implementation.
You should both agree on how the recommendations
will be carried you re your adviser may carry out the
recommendations or serve as "coach," coordinating
the whole process with you and other professionals
such as attorneys or stockbrokers.
And, finally, monitor the recommendations with
a periodic review of your situation to make adjust-
ments. This final step is very important, as it will
keep your financial plan current and will cater for
the life changes when they occur.
Professional advice: wealthier
For some persons this planning process may seem
quite complicated, but once you seek the services of
a knowledgeable financial adviser you d soon discover
that there is no mystery but significant benefits to
be derived. In fact, you d be taking a very important
step towards achieving your financial goals.
A study conducted in Canada by the Financial
Planning Standards Council in June 2010 revealed
that Canadians who rely on professional advice to
guide their financial decisions are wealthier, more
confident and better prepared for the financial impli-
cations of marriage, a new child, financing their chil-
dren s education, retirement and other life events
than those who do not have the benefit of advice.
The study also demonstrated that households with
financial advisers have substantially higher investment
assets than non-advised households, in each income
range and age group.
Rest assured, with your adviser s assistance your
current financial position will be reviewed to develop
a personalised plan recommending the most appro-
priate savings and investment vehicles, to maximise
interest income and capital appreciation while reducing
taxes so you keep more of the money you earn.
Together you will be able to identify other suitable
financial solutions such as insurance to help ensure
that what you value most in life is protected against
unforeseen events like property damage due to natural
disaster or medical care for critical illness.
While our experiences in life are somewhat different
and each individual is unique, we share similar life
Many of these events trigger the need for financial
advice and though we may share similar experiences,
our paths toward achieving individual goals and objec-
tives could vary dramatically. These are some of the
financial planning realities your adviser will be able
to bring sharply into focus.
But despite the most careful planning, our lives
change, and our financial plans may need to evolve.
Your adviser will help to revise your plan to reflect
significant events, including career changes, to keep
your strategy on track.
You can explore a wide range of financial goals
throughout your lifetime: from how to fund your
dream vacation, manage your mortgage or finance
your child s education.
Think about the limited time in the midst of a 40-
hour work week to dedicate to managing your finances
and consider the peace of mind gained from having
a well-developed financial plan with the assistance
of a trusted adviser.
Why not rely on the knowledge and experience of
a financial adviser to help make the decisions that
will work best for you?
into focus Unit Trust Corporation
Despite the most careful planning, our lives change, and our
financial plans may need to evolve. Your adviser will help to
revise your plan to reflect significant events, including
career changes, to keep your strategy on track.
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