This week I was invited to join a panel discussion with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) to promote financial planning week 2019. During the discussion, we dug quite deep into the difference between financial planning and financial coaching. This is a topic that I’m really passionate about; many people believe that financial planners and advisers just deal with managing money. In some instances, that’s exactly what they do. But in many cases they do so much more.
There’s a 3 step journey that is important;
- Managing the emotions around money
- Managing the behaviours around money
- Managing the actual money
For me, the end result of financial planning is to help you make a plan that enables you to make better decisions with ease. What matters is who you want to be, not the figure in your bank account. Financial planning is about so much more than selling financial products and services.
The Financial Planning Week 2019 Panel Discussion
The Financial Planning Week 2019 experts;
Kalpana Fitzpatrick – Finance editor for Hearst Magazines.
Catherine Morgan – Founder of The Money Panel, Qualified financial planner.
Chris Morris – Deputy head of financial planning at the CISI.
Claire Phillips – Financial planning director at First Wealth.
Dilwar Hussain – Marketing manager at the CISI (representing the public).
The difference between financial planning and advice.
Catherine: The difference is for me is that advice is when you’ve got a specific need for a product, and planning is about creating better habits and behaviours around money to help you to make better decisions, save more money, and then understand how to invest it.
Simple tips to start financial planning
Claire: It’s never too soon to start financial planning. A lot of people think that a plan has to be about saving and investing, but a plan can be as simple as planning the pay down of debt.
Kalpana: It’s easy to put it off or rely on a spouse to deal with it, but everyone should be thinking about their financial plan. Think about your goals in life and how your finances need to support those goals. It’s important to take control of your own financial plan as a woman so that you don’t leave yourself in a vulnerable position.
Dilwar: Is financial planning for me if I don’t have a lot of money?
Tips if you’re just starting or considering financial planning
Catherine: Just bring consciousness and awareness to money. There’s a lot of fear about being judged, so what we need to try and do as professionals is to try and help people to understand that there’s no judgement. We’re here to help people change their thought process and emotion, which in turn change behaviours. It’s just about moving one step forwards from where you are now.
Claire: It’s about getting clarity.
Kalpana: It’s often just about taking small steps and breaking the taboo; it’s okay to talk about money.
Setting good financial foundations
Catherine: It’s about starting with good foundations and building from there. Thinking about having an emergency fund, income insurance and protection to make sure you’re covered if something comes up to rock your world.
Kalpana: We don’t like to think of making a will because we don’t like to think of those situations when it would be needed. I think we often also like instant gratification, so dealing with something that we don’t see the immediate benefit of gets put off.
Claire: Have a look at what you already have. Often people don’t realise that they have cover through work.
Free resources that you can use
Claire: A lot of our clients really like the new starter banks such as Monzo. The world is your oyster, especially with things like podcasts that you can access.
Catherine: First of all, let’s strip away the word pensions; it’s just a bucket of money to maintain the lifestyle that you have right now. Pensions Freedom means that we have more freedom and flexibility over how we draw out the money from our pensions.
Claire: The benefit of technology is that you can see in real time, whenever you want, the value of your pot. That makes it a lot more real and easier to engage with.
Dilwar: With auto-enrollment, should we be looking at more into that? And can we rely on the state pension alone?
Claire: Your contributions really depend on your personal circumstances. If you can put more in your employer will match it to a certain amount, so that’s free money. If you want a nice lifestyle in retirement, your state pension alone just might not be enough.
Chris: Rather than talking about retirement I think it’s helpful to talk about financial freedom. Thinking about the life that you want to live in the future and the planning for that and thinking about the money.
Kalpana: Sit and write down your goals in life, then work out the money.
Catherine: Break it down into really small actions; where do you want to be next month? Next year? That’s often easier than thinking about retirement which can feel too far away.
Tips for introducing money to children
Kalpana: My 10-year-old has a pre-paid card. A lot of children don’t go into banks these days, and I think going into an actual bank to pay money into an account has a real effect. Being open and talking about money is so important.
Catherine: I think it’s important to be mindful of the language that we use around children. There are so many great games and apps that are available now to play with children, and just simple role play games that include money are great. Giving them responsibility to make decisions and learn from the decisions they make.
Dilwar: What can I do right now to get started, what steps can I take?
Claire: Sit down and decide what you want from life in the short, medium, and long term. Look at the resources you have already. Then think about speaking to a financial planner, friends and family, or researching online. Think about the time you spend doing that as an investment in yourself.
Financial Planning Week 2019 Website
During financial planning week 2019, you can register for free surgeries running throughout the UK.
Book in a complimentary call to discuss how I can help you with a financial plan