Financial Planning - FAQ
What is Financial Planning?
Financial Planning is the on-going process to help you make informed financial decisions whilst committing you to a programme of good financial habits.
It involves considering and articulating your life goals in context of your existing position to include your financial assets such as savings, investments, pension assets, debt, income and expenditures. Thereafter reviewing them periodically to ensure you achieve the optimum outcomes in context of efficiencies and meeting your objectives.
Put simply financial planning is the process of estimating how much you need to live the life you want, to provide you with a ‘target number’ and a proposed strategy to obtain this.
What does a Financial Plan look like?
A Financial Plan defines your goals and objectives and is the first step towards making smarter, more informed financial decisions. It estimates the cost of your hopes and dreams in monetary terms and creates an outline strategy to achieve them. We capture these various dimensions in a comprehensive yet clear written report, providing you with an impartial overview of your financial world.
What does Financial Planning involve?
Financial Planning is an on-going process which essentially consists of six steps:
- Establish your goals in life – short, medium and long term
- Review your current assets, liabilities, income and expenditures.
- Evaluate your current financial position in context of achieving your goals?
- Develop your plan – a “road map” to attaining the varying goals
- Implement your plan – act and make it happen.
- Monitor and review your plan at least annually, make adjustments if and when needed to reflect your current situation
Why do I need a Financial Plan?
Without a plan your hopes and dreams may remain a distant aspiration that may never materialise. Effecting a plan puts you in control of your destiny, where you can focus on what is most important to you and take action where appropriate.
We know Financial Planning done well works - our clients tell us that taking an active role in planning their future provides them with peace of mind, a sense of control, clarity of purpose and an increased confidence to make decisions.
What happens after I have a Financial Plan?
Financial Planning is an on-going exercise that needs to reflect what is going on in your life at a given point in time without losing sight of your long term goals. Your strategic financial plan therefore may need to be adjusted in light of any changes in circumstance. This is why an annual review with your planner is key as it ensures you stay on your journey and remain on track.
The optimum planning relationship is life-long and collaborative. Your planner should be a trusted confidante – someone who understands you and what matters most to you. The right planner for you will be someone who will put your best interests first, guide you in an impartial manner but also challenge you to adopt sound financial habits.
How much will the Financial Plan cost?
The initial introductory meeting is designed to be informative and informal, to help both parties decide if the service provided by Wealth Alliance can be of benefit and offer value for money. The cost of this meeting is borne by Wealth Alliance.
Following this meeting we will then be in a position to advise, in writing, both the scope and cost of your bespoke financial plan. As an indication, this once off cost can range from €2,000 to €4,000 plus VAT, depending on the hours of work involved. Work will only commence after you formally engage our services. 40% of the agreed fee is paid upfront and the balance due following the presentation of the financial plan.
Do you take commission if products are needed?
Where financial products are required to meet a need identified in your financial plan, we will revert with a product specific recommendation outlining the rationale and cost for same. You decide on your preferred method of payment for this advice and administration. However in our experience, the majority of cases choose to pay for it by way of a product commission as opposed to paying for it personally from after tax money. All charges will be disclosed upfront, are fully transparent and can be discussed prior to transacting.
How much does the on-going service cost?
Financial Planning is an on-going process and our aim is to develop a long term relationship with all our clients. Should you wish to continue working with us we have developed three different service level options which you choose in context of your specific needs. You have full flexibility on how we get paid which can be by way of a personal fee, through a product commission assuming you transacted or by applying a combination of both. Please note that Wealth Alliance can facilitate ad hoc project work applying an hourly rate of €250 plus VAT.
(Details of these service level agreements are available upon request).
Can I see an example of a Financial Plan?
We appreciate that the best way to understand Financial Planning is to experience it. With this in mind, we are happy to provide you with a template financial plan on request to give you a broad feel for what a financial plan may look like. Alternatively you can review come of our website case studies on www.wealthalliance.ie
What qualifications do you have?
QFA – Qualified Financial Advisers
All members of our team are QFA’s. The QFA is a professional designation in financial advice which meets the Central Bank's Minimum Competency Code (MCC) requirements for advising on life assurance, pensions, loans, savings and investments.
CFP® - CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
In addition to the QFA qualification, our Directors and Senior Planners hold the CFP® designation which is the most widely recognised Global financial planning designation. All our planners must adhere to the Bodies strict professional code of ethics, competencies and apply the highest standard of professionalism at all times.
To qualify as a CFP® you need the following:
- Hold a QFA designation
- Qualify in the Graduate Programme in Financial Planning (Masters Level 9).
- Have successfully completed the independent CFP certification exam.
- Have met a minimum of three years’ experience requirement in financial planning as set out by the financial planning standards board (FPSB Ireland).
- Accept continuing obligations for certification
- Commit to the ethics and standards required for CFP® professionals.
Who are your typical clients?
We work best with people who want to actively participate and take control of how they shape their future and whose financial behaviours are aligned to our own. Whilst we will consider special situations, our typical clients are:
- People with a total household income of €100,000 or who have investable assets of greater than €300,000.
- People who are looking to build a collaborative trusted relationship with a financial professional.
- People who are serious about making smart decisions about their money and who want fee-based advisory services.
- Likeminded people who want to embrace the concept of good financial behaviour.
- People who are happy to introduce our firm to others.
Our clients generally fall into the following categories:
- Company directors
- Serial Entrepreneurs
- Self Employed Professional
- Investors/Windfall Recipients
Why Wealth Alliance?
We our committed to building a long lasting client relationship based on respect and collaboration, to help you make informed decisions so that you get to live the life you want.
The success of our business is based on our reputation and is heavily dependent upon our client referrals. Some of our client feedback says:
‘We like that they are professional yet we feel they know us personally’.
‘The ongoing contact and annual reviews are most important to us as they ensure we can feel confident that we remain on track to achieve our objectives’
‘In the intervening years the relationship has developed and they are now an integral part of my family’s financial planning process.’
‘We have been working with Wealth Alliance since they established in 2011 and throughout this period their advice and support has been invaluable. They help us to plan for the future with confidence.’
(More testimonials can be found on our website on www.wealthalliance.ie)
Lives change, plans change, our commitment to your financial freedom remains.
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