Wealth management is an investment advisory discipline that incorporates comprehensive financial planning, investment portfolio management and a number of financial services including retirement planning and estate planning. High Net worth Individuals (HNWIs), small business owners and families who desire the assistance of a financial advisory specialist call upon wealth managers to coordinate and advise on their comprehensive financial needs.
Financial planning is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances. Life goals can include buying a home, saving for your child’s education or planning for retirement. The general financial planning process includes:
- Gathering relevant financial information
- Setting life goals
- Examining your current financial status
- Developing a strategy or plan for how you can meet your goals given your current situation and future plans.
- Reviewing this plan on an on-going basis.
Though it is true that the younger you start the more beneficial the process will be, financial planning is worthwhile at any age. Although younger people may have more decisions to make regarding their financial lives, various life events can potentially alter one’s financial well being and plans. Therefore there is essentially no best age, but it is necessary to be vigilant about planning throughout your life.
Financial planning allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances. For example, paying off your mortgage faster will help you to reduce your interest payments in the long run so that you have the ability to increase your retirement savings. By viewing each financial decision as part of a whole, you can consider its short and long-term effects on your life goals helping you adapt to life changes and feel more secure that your goals are on track.
A financial advisor is a trained specialist who helps clients with their investments and financial planning. This can mean anything from retirement planning to brokerage advice to tax arrangements. The name of this position is sometimes used interchangeably with the word “broker,” but while both professionals offer financial advice, a broker often deals only with investments, while an advisor can also offer guidance on savings, creating a budget, and dealing with debt.
Preparing a budget is important for many reasons. First, it will show you how much income you receive from salary and other sources, and how you are spending that income. It will also allow you to see clearly just where all your money is being spent. Preparation and continuous review of your budget will help you to identify areas for expenditure reduction and may highlight the need to generate new sources of income. Developing and monitoring your budget is an important aspect of your financial plan.
The degree of uncertainty that an investor can handle in regard to a negative change in the value of his or her portfolio. An investor’s risk tolerance varies according to age, income requirements, financial goals, etc. For example, a 70-year-old retired widow may generally have a lower risk tolerance than a single 30-year-old executive, who generally has a longer time horizon to make up for any portfolio losses that may incur.
The short answer is Now! You should start your retirement planning from the day you receive your very first paycheck. While many of us don’t start the planning process at this time, it’s never really too late to get going. Unless of course you wait until the day you plan to retire.
Retirement is one of the most important life events many of us will ever experience. From both a personal and financial perspective, realizing a comfortable retirement is an incredibly extensive process that takes sensible planning and years of discipline. Even once it is reached, managing your retirement is an ongoing responsibility that carries well into your golden years.
Estate planning involves making plans for the transfer of your estate after death. Your estate is all the property that you own. It can include cash, clothes, jewelry, cars, houses, land, retirement, investment and savings accounts, etc. Estate planning usually has several objectives and goals. They include:
- Minimizing taxes by setting up trust accounts in the name of beneficiaries and establishing annual gifting or engaging in philanthropy
- Establishing a guardian for living dependents
- Creating a will
- Naming an executor of the estate to oversee the terms of the will
- Creating/updating beneficiaries on plans such as life insurance
- Setting up funeral arrangements
- Setting up durable power of attorney (POA) to direct other assets and investments
Time horizon refers to the amount of time a person has to save/invest for a particular goal. For example, the time horizon for a college savings account might be 10 years for the parents of an eight-year old child, but 15 years for the parents of a three-year old. Likewise, the time horizon for a 30-year old saving for retirement might be 35 years, whereas it might be 15 years for a 60-year old who started saving late in life.