Financial Planning

Financial Planning Services – the WHY

Many people do not want to think about the words ‘money’ and ‘future’ in the same sentence. It fills them with dread and they feel at a loss as to where to begin to address these issues. We are bombarded with numerous conflicting messages as to how to save money and achieve our financial and life goals. Who should we listen to? Who should we trust?

One size fits none! You are an individual with unique dreams, priorities and circumstances. Artificial Intelligence may be excellent predictors of trends, so long as all variables are known. We all know life throws you curveballs, so our best advice is to speak to a human! Someone who is knowledgeable and who has spent the last two decades helping people like you gain financial independence and wealth.

So why is it so hard to stay on track? Listen to our podcast here.

When you meet with your financial planner for the first time, you’ll be taken through the steps in the financial planning process. As your financial planner works with you to maximise your net worth and live financially the way you’ve always wanted to, you’ll be focussing on several key aspects of financial planning:

At Northwood Financial Services we believe:

  • Building a sustainable future, protecting your life style and creating wealth is not a matter of just buying another policy
  • A holistic approach that considers your needs and aspirations and your relationship with money is needed

We build our robust and flexible service offerings around YOU.

We offer sound advice, based on careful consideration of your needs, set against the backdrop of the latest thinking and resource options and the current macro and micro economic forces.

The journey to financial success starts with today.

If you are keen to achieve your financial goals but are not sure how to begin, contact us at Northwood to arrange a financial planning session. The first consultation is always free, with no hidden obligations.

Financial Advising – the HOW

We follow the Financial Services Conduct Authority recommended six-step process. However, we will meet with you four times during the course of a year. We are not driven by commission and our fee structure is transparent, upfront and easy to understand.

The six-step Financial Planning Process

1 – Establishing a professional relationship

At our first meeting, we form a clear understanding of your financial destination – what do you want your money to achieve? Thereafter, we consider fit: we will explain our philosophy and service offerings to you so that you can evaluate if this is what you are looking for. You will know what to expect from us – and importantly, what it will cost. Your first meeting is free, with no further obligations.

2 – Gathering data

As professional financial advisers, we know the theory, but we need to get to know you. At this point we gather the information required to make recommendations for the best strategies and financial products to reach your goals.

We ask questions like:

  • What is your financial timeframe and do you want to accomplish this goal in 5, 10, 20 or even 30 years?
  • What is your risk tolerance? Are you able and willing to take more aggressive risks on the markets, or will a more conservative portfolio be a better option for you?
  • Do you have any money saved yet?
  • Do you have appropriate insurance?
  • Do you have a will?
  • Do you have children and, if so, what are their ages?

3 – Analysing the data

Here we help you to examine your current realities in detail. Together, we draw up a personal balance sheet, check your credit record status and examine your budget. The data thus gathered helps us to arrive at some basic assumptions. These help us to match your needs and priorities to the best strategies for financial health and wealth creation.

4 – Developing a plan

We will consider ways to streamline your cash flow. By reducing your debt sustainably and reaching the point where you have a surplus to invest each month, you’ll be on your way to financial freedom. The goal of cash flow management and accumulating wealth is to spend less than you earn.

We will suggest ways through which you can increase your earnings. These may incorporate various strategies, such as investment and diversifying your income streams through passive and active income.

The keyword is “develop.” Financial planning requires devising alternative solutions that are achievable for each individual. There are so many different variables to consider that this is a process best done with the help of a professional who has the time and knowledge to consider how these variables impact the markets and your financial wellbeing.

An example financial investment ratio

5 – Implementing the plan

Many people find that implementation is the most difficult step in financial planning. It takes discipline and desire to put it into action. This is why we don’t just meet with you once, as many financial advisors do. We will meet with you for a minimum of four consultations during the course of the year.

Our goal is to make all financial strategies achievable and to consider ways in which you can slowly move up to desired savings rates. Your comfort level, priorities and budget remains the guiding forces here.

6 – Monitoring the plan

Plans evolve and change, just like life does. This is why the plan needs to be monitored and tweaked from time to time. Many aspects of your life can change. Some changes are within your control: marriage, the birth of children, career changes and more. Some are not: tax law changes, interest rates, inflation rates, stock market fluctuations, and economic recessions.

All these events require new perspectives on life and finance. This is why we monitor your plan and circumstances every time we meet, so that your plan can be adjusted according to any significant life or financial changes or challenges that may arise. A formal evaluation is also conducted annually.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

Investment & Retirement Funding

Being able to retire comfortably with enough income to maintain or even improve on your current lifestyle is a dream that we all have. However, if your investment strategy isn’t tailored to your needs and monitored regularly, you could end up retiring with too little income. Northwood will work with you to ensure that your investment income is sufficient for your retirement.

CONTACT US for Financial Planning & Investment advice

Risk Evaluation

Risk cover is an important part of the financial planning process. Risk factors we consider are:

  • The impact on your estate, should you pass away
  • The short and long-term financial and resource implications, should you become disabled
  • The changes in terms of financial planning and access to funds, should you develop a critical illness

CONTACT US for Risk Evaluation

Estate Planning

Recently the Gauteng High court commented that 73% of Wills presented were rejected due to errors. Many of these errors could have been prevented or fixed had a professional drafted the Will.

  • We discourage buying an instant Will off the shelf, particularly if it is not checked by a professional
  • One should not appoint an untrained friend or relative as executor. The Master at the High court will insist on a professional who is trained to execute and administer the estate.

To ensure peace of mind for you and your family, keep your estate in order and draw up a Will that expresses your wishes about the future of your assets. Northwood takes the mystery and risk out of estate planning with sound advice and practical assistance at each step of the way.

CONTACT US for Estate Planning