Financial Planning Week
I am passionate about many things, my boys and their football, make-up(!) and my business where I write about personal finance. Yes, I am passionate about personal finance and financial planning. I love simplifying complicated financial areas for everyone to understand and trying out products and reviewing them for my readers. I love to find products and services that are great value and that offer convenience.
Financial planning is a subject that I will be writing more about. Over the past 6 months I have been doing lots of work with a pensions company and it has sparked a real interest in the importance of planning for the future. I have had lots of feedback from readers who are telling me that they are struggling with understanding these kind of products, they are scary, and the consequence is to ignore. This is not good.
I will be writing about all sorts of financial planning products and services in 2017 and beyond, to help you readers to get in control of your finances and the future.
Where do you start?
So where do you start? The first place I would advise is to look at your financial position today and make the necessary steps to either create more money or to repay what you owe.
Look at your mortgage, if you have one. Why not get your house valued? Your local estate agents will do this for free. Compare the value of your house to your outstanding mortgage and the difference is your equity. And at the same time make sure you are on the best mortgage rate possible! If you are on standard variable rate, then it’s time to talk to an adviser and move to a better rate.
We are really equity heavy at the moment. We have a huge chunk of money locked up in the equity of the house, but we can’t touch it as we are both self-employed without the books to apply for a new mortgage! Such is life. We could sell it to release the money, but then we would have to move to rented accomodation due to our earning and mortgage restrictions.
Look at your balances of savings and the money you owe. Firstly, the positive how much do you have in ISA’s, day to day savings, the coin jar (!), money owed as a business. Add this up and then compare it to money that you owe. This money you owe is a biggie and you need to reduce it as quickly as possible particularly if there are interest charges.
Tackling your debt
With debt firstly work out if you can move debt with interest payable to interest free cards, there might be a small transfer fee for doing so. Then work on a plan to pay it back. I recently wrote about our debt confession. Read more here. I am prioritising the cards where interest is payable, and have shifted as much as possible to an interest free card. I manged to get a card that was interest free for 42 months!
Before tackling anything involving creation of wealth you really need to tackle the debt first. And have a clear plan of how it will be paid off and over what time period. The creation of wealth is where I know I need advice. There is a school of thought that your money should be diversified between a few areas of investment. So, some in investment funds (maybe via a stocks and shares ISA), some in a pension, some in property. There are many things that can be invested in, perhaps gold, art, wine, bonds. What is important with these areas is to get advice.
I will be seeking out the best companies that offer these investment services this year. The companies that I am interested in working with are those who keep it simple, charge low fees but can show a great return. I am looking forward to finding these products.
FREE financial planning sessions are available this week!
If you need advice about your current and future financial plans this week is the time to go for it. This week is financial planning week and you can sign up for FREE financial planning session right now with the not for profit financial services body CISI. The initiative takes place all this week 8-12th May 2017 is being led by CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals alongside other CISI qualified professionals. They are offering free financial planning sessions, worth up to £500, either in person, via skype or over the phone. The website for consumers to book a free financial planning session is Cisi.org/fpweek, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7645 0708. I know I am going to book one!
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