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Frequently Asked Questions

Who requires Financial Planning?

It is useful to everyone. Very few can consider themselves too rich to engage in Financial Planning. There are many instances of highly paid employees who came to financial grief merely because they did not plan for their post-career years. Similarly, even people earning small amounts of income should undertake this process, as it will help them in prioritizing their goals so that their limited income can be used more efficiently.

Which are the broad areas in which Financial Planning can be undertaken?

• Cash Flow Management
• Insurance Analysis
• Asset Allocation
• Investment Planning
• Retirement Planning
• Taxation Management
• Estate & Will Planning

How is it different from Wealth Management?

Wealth management means taking care of the needs of affluent clients, their families and their businesses as part of a long-term, consultative relationship. While this sounds similar to Financial Planning (FP), it differs in the sense that Financial Planning is for one and all while Wealth Management (WM) is only for a select few. WM relates more the management of plenty, while FP aims at getting the most out of limited resources.

Why should you make a financial plan?

Financial planning provides direction and meaning to your financial decisions. It allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances. For example, buying a particular investment product might help you save adequately to finance your child's higher education or it may provide enough for a comfortable retirement. You can also adapt more easily to life changes and feel more secure that your goals are on track.

What should a financial plan include?

A financial plan should include a review of your net worth, goals and objectives, investment portfolio, cash flow, investments, retirement planning, tax planning and insurance needs, as well as a plan for implementing your goals.

After a plan is developed, what next?

The best plan is useless unless it is put into action. Your financial planner will assist you completely in implementing the plan.

How often should you update the plan?

It is good to review the plan when there is a lifestyle change such as marriage, birth, death or divorce. Any change in financial position should be evaluated as well. Most people have an annual update that reviews how the plan is being implemented. The review also considers changing goals and circumstances.

How much should I be saving?

It is hard to apply a rule of thumb toward savings, because it varies with age and income level. About twenty to thirty percent of your income is a good start. If you find that is too high for you, don't let that deter you. You can start by putting a little aside each month and then slowly increasing it.

Who is a Financial Planner?

A financial planner is someone who uses the financial planning process to help you determine how to meet your life goals. The key function of a financial planner is to help people identify their financial planning needs, their present priorities and the products that are most suitable to meet their needs. The planner can take a 'big picture' view of your financial situation and make financial planning recommendations that are right for you.

Can you do your own financial planning?

Some personal finance software packages, magazines or self-help books can help you do your own financial planning. However, it is advisable for you to seek help from a professional financial planner if: You need expertise, which you don't possess in certain areas of your finances. For example, a planner can help you evaluate the level of risk in your investment portfolio and revise your asset allocation; You don't feel you have the time to spare to do your own financial planning; You know that you need to improve your current financial situation but don't know where to start; you feel that a professional advisor could help you improve on how you are currently managing your finances.

Why do I have to provide so much personal information?

Consider a visit to your doctor. Without complete and fully accurate details, your doctor cannot prescribe the best course of action. The same applies to financial planning. In order to obtain the best service for your 'financial health' all details and specifics must be disclosed.

What type of information do I provide?

Typically, information regarding investments held, number of dependants, income and expenditure details, savings and financial planning needs, etc. The more accurate information you give, the better the quality of advice can be.

Do you have to meet your Financial Planner?

Face-to-face meeting is recommended but it is not a must. Comprehensive financial plan can be prepared from the detailed data gathered from you. We have provided a questionnaire for you to fill out, which requires details on various aspects of your financial status, goals etc. Based upon your responses, we will be able to prepare a financial plan customized for you.

How we can help you?

The areas where we as Financial Planners can help you are:
• Helping you in better understanding your present financial position
The questions contained in the Financial Questionnaire require you to list down your assets, liabilities, incomes and expenditures. This is a process of virtually drawing up your own Balance Sheet and will help you gain a better grip on your present financial position.
• Cash Flow and Debt Management
Incomes and expenditures can be better matched through the Plan. It also will assist you in identifying whether your borrowings are within prudent limits.
• Risk Management
We can help you in identifying your life and property insurance requirements. Evaluating your insurance needs is part of personal financial planning. Insurance usually takes care of your unpredictable needs and as these needs can arise at any time, insurance is extremely important.
• Achievement of Financial objectives
Various financial objectives, whether it is financing our child's education, a house of our own or our post-retirement phase can be better met through systematic investing. A properly laid out investment plan, prepared after considering your risk appetite, time horizons etc. go a long way in helping face the future more confidently.
• Taxation
Often investors invest with the sole objective of saving tax. We believe that this is not the most desirable method. Investments should be in sync with your requirements, the tax angle being secondary. However, we do not ignore the tax aspect. Optimum Post tax returns are what all investors should be concerned about and that is what we too strive for. It is important that financial plans are tax efficient. The financial plan should help you in minimizing your tax liability and also maximizing your after-tax returns from your investments.
• Inter-generational transfers
Estate planning is arranging for the transfer of your property to your heirs and to other beneficiaries, in a way that will, as much as possible, achieve your objectives. The most common vehicles for this purpose are the drafting of Wills and setting up of Trusts.

How you can help us?

The quality of the Plan depends on the quality of information provided by you. You can help us by providing the requisite information in as detailed manner as is feasible and also sparing the time to meet us at least a couple of times for the same. On our part, we will guarantee complete confidentiality of the information you will provide and also assure you of the requisite due diligence in plan preparation. We realize that no two clients' needs are the same and will take care to tailor our plans accordingly.