DIY financial planning thoughts from a financial planner
Financial planning is a mystery to the bulk of Australians, but it is possible to embark on the DIY financial planning journey yourself. A bit of patience and some investigation will soon see you planning for your financial future.
I’ve linked to an article from Vanguard, which talks through the essential elements of an investment plan. It is a great place to start. Setting out an investment plan can help you keep a cool head while others are losing their self-control. It can help in difficult markets like those encountered during the Global Financial Crisis or the more recent Corona Virus market disruption.
When you’ve finished your investment plan, it’s worthwhile taking a moment to think of your broader financial position. Here’s a shortlist of areas to consider:
- Have you laid out a disaster plan?
- Can you make better use of ownership to improve your tax position? How about trusts or companies?
- If you have children, what financial plans do you have for their future?
- Are you likely to encounter big changes to your work or career?
- Are you expecting or planning for relationship changes? If you are, how will these changes impact on you financially?
- Do you have a plan for coping with unexpected opportunities?
- Is your insurance over-insuring you? Are you under-insured?
- Have you worked on your estate? If you were to die, what happens to your assets, your liabilities and your unfulfilled financial plans?
- If you are part of a couple, are you maximising the tax and legal options available to you?
- Is your super investment aligned with the levels of risk you want to be taking with your money?
- When you you plan to take advantage of all this planning? How will you know you’re on track? Are your objectives clear enough that you will know when you’ve achieved them?
- Who will keep you on track? Are you self-directed? If yes then who will you report to, if anyone?
That’s a shortlist. There’s more you could consider and there are plenty of self-help books out there willing to offer advice.
If all of that fails or simply gets too hard then book an appointment with a financial planner. Share your plans to date and see if a planner can help fill in the gaps.
Regardless of whether you see a planner or not, it will always be worthwhile to spend a little time on your own DIY financial planning.