How to protect your future and achieve your financial goals
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If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the coronavirus crisis, it’s the importance of having some sort of financial plan in place. As with any investment, your capital is at risk.
Ainsley Bowyer, a financial planner at Brewin Dolphin, explains how good financial planning can help you to protect yourself and your business and achieve your future goals.
Q: Why is now a good time to review my finances?
I think it’s always a good time to review your finances. I find people are much happier once they know they are on track. With everything that has happened with the pandemic, I do think that we have all spent time thinking about who and what is important to us.
Running a business takes up a lot of time and often while there are clear, defined goals for your company, personal financial plans often get put to one side – but the two go hand-in-hand. As with us all, it’s really important to spend some time thinking about where we are and what we want to achieve from a personal viewpoint.
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Q: What is financial planning?
Financial planning begins with helping people understand their wealth. A lot people want to know ‘do I have enough and will I always have enough?’ In order to understand that, we need to look at what they want to achieve and what their dream life looks like.
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This can put some people off as they cannot see clearly what they need to do to get to where they want to be. That’s where my job comes in. Once we understand what someone is looking to achieve, we can then use the different tools we have, whether an investment, pension or insurance of some form to help them get there.
Q: How can you help with my long-term goals?
We use some really sophisticated, but easy to understand, cashflow forecasting software which gives you clarity on your journey and how likely it is that you will reach your goals. I tell people that we can help them ‘rehearse their future’, because essentially that’s what cashflow forecasting does.
We put in details of your current position, including what you currently have and how much you are saving, along with what you ultimately want to do. This then gives you a glimpse into how your wealth looks long term in a visual format, rather than just a number.
We can then show you different possible futures, whether that’s retiring early, succession planning or how school fees will affect your finances. Gifting and estate planning are also really interesting to look at.
Q: How can I protect my business and family?
It is really important that we all consider what happens if we fall ill and can’t work or worse still if we were to die. I think most people would want to ensure that value they have built up, including that of their business, moves to their family in this situation. I always recommend reviewing plans as things change, so a starting point would be checking shareholder agreements and existing protection plans.
Q: How else can you help?
At Brewin, we are able to help people wherever they are on their journey. For those who just want to invest with us, it could be as simple as creating an online account.
If you want more advice, our wealth pilot team can help you with straightforward financial planning needs and I can provide you with more complex advice on rehearsing futures, building a retirement fund or protecting value for your family. Both of these financial services would begin by exploring your ambitions and priorities, your attitude to risk and how far into the future you are looking.