Financial Planning

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Financial Planning

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Our financial planning process

Our three step plan for success is super simple: It’s about getting to know you; building a financial plan to achieve your objectives; and keeping you on track. That’s it.

This is your financial plan; it’s about your life, your family and your long term goals. We set up conversations to understand your objectives and your motivators, built around a process called Life Goals®. This step is about asking questions and identifying the things that matter most to you.

Straightforward fees for peace of mind

Our fees are simple, fair and easy to understand. No hidden costs, no nasty surprises. See what your investment could cost with our fees calculator.

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Indicative fees for the first year only. Fees are payable monthly in arrears. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. The investor might not get back their initial investment. This information is based on our fees and charges as at July 2021 and may change from time to time. There may be additional or different fees depending on your chosen solutions. Your adviser will confirm all the applicable fees and charges prior to you proceeding with any solutions.

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Questions we get asked a lot

Financial planning is the process of helping you decide what you want to achieve and balancing those plans against your financial responsibilities.

It covers the short, medium and long term, and begins with simple questions such as: what is important to you in life, where do you want to get to and how can we help you get there?

The idea is to help you think about your goals. Often, these will be personal and will be about improving your life – pursuing a passion or planning for retirement, for example.

Or they might involve others – planning for your partner and children. If you own a business, you want to be certain it will thrive if something happens to you.

This brings in other considerations: how much can you exit your business for, how do you take care of your employees and how do you get value out of your business into your name? The ultimate goal of financial planning is to ensure your financial security, whatever life brings.

Most of us are optimists by nature, but we also need to plan for the unexpected, and you’re far more likely to be successful in business and life if you have a plan in place. 

Think about your business. Are you funding your pension to the maximum to ensure you’re getting as much tax relief as possible? Do you have the correct insurances in place? 

If something happens to you, will other shareholders have sufficient capital to buy your shares? 

Then there’s intergenerational planning: If something happens to you, what about your family? 

Financial planning is about us asking you the questions you may not have thought about. Even if you’re busy, you still need financial peace of mind. 

A good financial planner is someone you can pick up the phone to who can be your voice of reason – ultimately, a good financial planner is your trusted confidante. 

For business owners, financial life and business life is inextricably linked, as are their associated goals and responsibilities. You will be relying on your business to deliver on your future. There is risk involved in that. 

If your business doesn’t work out and you have everything tied up in that business, then it’s a binary outcome. So, there is a lot to think about: What is the business, what are the plans? When do you want to exit it? How do you want to use the business to help you live your lifestyle and achieve your personal objectives? How to you best create personal wealth from your business along the journey? How does your business help you achieve your life goals?  

At First Wealth, we often talk about ‘de-risking’ when it comes to business. You need to know that whatever happens to you, your business is going to be all right. 

There is a lot to consider: If you’re a business founder and something happens to you, is there a shareholder agreement in place that allows others to buy the business out? 

You also need to think about your team: how do you remunerate them around pensions and benefits to make sure they stay? There are also tax planning implications. 

If the business fails, have you taken money out of that business to secure your own financial future? 

Business owners and businesses go hand in hand, but you can de-risk by moving assets from one to the other. It’s always best to plan for the worst-case scenario. 

The ultimate purpose of financial planning is to help you establish what your future looks like and what you want to achieve in life. 

Good financial planning is an ongoing conversation between us and you that helps you achieve your goals while prioritising your responsibilities. 

The first step in this process is deciding what matters to you – establishing your life goals. These can vary hugely, from starting a new business to retirement or going back to further education. 

Once we have established what’s on your mind, we can then begin a conversation about your future. Ultimately, with our help, you will be able to establish a clear path towards the future you want. This is where we begin to consider what you can change in order to reach your goals. 

It’s important to remember that goals and responsibilities are very different things. You need to balance the two. Good financial planning is achieving goals while considering your responsibilities. 

By having a financial plan in place, and expert help on hand, you’re more likely to be financially successful. 

First Wealth’s financial planners make sure you’re doing everything at the right time, from having wealth in the right place to making correct use of tax allowances. 

It’s also important to have a sounding board – a person you can trust when you need advice about a big financial decision. 

Ultimately, spending less time worrying about your financial situation opens up more time for you to spend in other areas of life. 

Financial planning is particularly important during times of transition when stress and anxiety can be high and can affect decision-making. Examples of this include: 

Retirement planning – issues to think about here include how long until you stop working, whether you’ll stop completely and how you’ll manage your time when you do stop. Generally speaking, the further in advance you plan for your retirement, the better. 

Business planning – How do you make sure your business is successful? Considerations here include deciding how to get assets from the business into your name if you’re the owner, ensuring your employees are looked after and planning for your exit and succession. Read our guide for Business Owners here.

Estate planning – This usually revolves around the intergenerational passing of wealth to children or grandchildren and mitigation of inheritance tax, where appropriate. 

Divorce planning – If you’re going through a divorce you may need to consider your options after a settlement, for example, a property or an asset. At First Wealth, we are often involved before the divorce goes through, but we can help at any stage. 

Financial planning focuses on you, whereas wealth management focuses only on your money. 

Financial planning is about your hopes, fears, aspirations, responsibilities and goals. 

Wealth management funds your financial plan, addressing where your money is invested, whether you’re utilising tax opportunities and how you want to pass assets to your next generation. Financial planning helps you live the life you want; wealth management allows you to fund it. 

The simple answer is: always. A good financial adviser will add huge value over time. Ultimately, you want a financial adviser to make you money and there’s never a wrong time to choose one. 

There are so many benefits to having a financial adviser in terms of setting your goals, tax planning and investment. More broadly, it’s about making you secure financially – removing any feeling of financial vulnerability that could affect you or your loved ones. 

So it is always something we would recommend. The key question for you to think about, is will the benefits of having a financial adviser outweigh the costs? It’s important to note that every financial adviser will have different fees and costs. 

We’re always happy to have an initial chat about the services we offer and the value we can add. 

Take a look at our calculator and read more about our fees. 

The key difference between a financial planner and a financial adviser is that a financial planner focuses on you and your goals. Meanwhile, a financial adviser will take a more transactional approach to your money and investments. 

A financial adviser may highlight the best way to save money, a financial planner will take to you about the goals of investing money and the longer-term plans for that money. First Wealth financial planners find out about you and what is important to you in life – what are your aspirations and what are the things that challenge you or worry you? 

From there, we use our expertise in taxes, budgeting, pensions, and investments to create an overarching strategy and build a financial plan around your life goals and objectives. 

At First Wealth, our team of Chartered financial planners take pride in delivering a personal, award winning, service to every client. 

To a limited extent, yes. Although not qualified tax accountants, a good financial planner will have a good knowledge of tax and the way it affects investment, pensions and estate planning, so they can give advice in relation to pensions and investments. They will also work with your accountant to ensure a smooth relationship between your finances and tax. 

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