The steps that ensure you get your plan right.
In sales, they call it “buyers remorse”. You’ve got a strategy but there are lingering doubts. Working with my clients over the years, the one thing I find that overwhelms people is when they are faced with a plan and have to assess if it is right.But the reason you started this journey was to get organised for your family and achieve your financial targets, so the quickest way to know if you have the right strategy boils down to one question: does it achieve my goals?
The benefits along the way can often make it seem that the focus is on, for example, reducing tax – but how does that help you achieve your goals? The insurance seems expensive and although you know you need it – how does it help you achieve your goals? You can answer these questions by working on each element with your adviser.
Here’s some useful checks:
The key to any financial advice you’ll receive
If you’ve not made your goals clear to your adviser, then the strategy may not be the right one. You’ll often find that by talking these through with your adviser, it’s easier to set out what you want to achieve – and you may find you have a few more goals than you thought!
Has your Financial Adviser understood your goals?
If you’ve taken the time to explain your goals and the strategy you’re given doesn’t clearly address how they are to be achieved, speak to your adviser at once.
Do you understand the Strategies? And were others considered?
Often the research and strategy options your financial adviser has considered for you may not be in your Statement of Advice in detail, but in the working papers. The adviser may walk you through the other options considered and why they were not appropriate.
Ensure you ask about the other options that were considered. If they are not able to share this with you, it’s a warning for you to reconsider the strategy. You may need another opinion.
How will you keep to the strategy?
We all start off with good intentions and then life happens. How you track to the strategy is important to see if it’s the right one for you. We know we often have to change our own behaviour to achieve our goals. What support will you receive and how will your success be tracked? The relationship you build with your financial adviser is paramount to achieving your goals and the strategy is the path to getting you there.
Did you go through a budget and cashflow exercise?
We often avoid looking in detail at what we spend our money on, but this is an important part of building a strategy. If you’ve not reviewed your current expenses and the extra ones added on, it’s important to understand how the adviser suggests the new costs will be covered.