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No Financial Planning Means Bigger Financial Risks

Identifying proper financial goals and planning to achieve them in a systematic way is the heart of financial planning. Without a proper chalked out financial plan, there are a lot of risks. Often we find people without a proper retirement corpus and no money to bank upon because they haven't planned for it in advance.

Not understanding the risk profile is another major drawback that a person faces if he hasn't done proper financial planning. Imagine a retired person putting all his savings into a high risk mutual fund in anticipation for a high return, and losing a major chunk of his hard earned money. At a time when he required a steady, stable income, he has simply wiped out his savings. Financial planning reduces the risks of loss by removing impulsive decisions through a seasoned and planned financial advice.

Besides planning for emergency, understanding the investment strategies and risk profiles, a financial plan helps you prepare for major events of life. Be it a marriage, buying a car, or a dream vacation, or buying a house, planning for kids education, daughter's marriage all can be planned and executed in a desired manner with a well laid out financial plan.

Life often throws unexpected surprises like a divorce (which no one even dreams of when one marries) or a sudden lay off (which might mean a new job hunting and supporting the family or self for the entire jobless period). Tackling all these require prudent financial planning.

Another major expenditure, which is often ignored by parents, is the cost of educating their kids. The cost of education is increasing by each passing year and the desire to be in the forefront demands a good education. Can you imagine what a good schooling, good college, coupled with a foreign degree will cost? We are talking in Lakhs of Rupees here. If you don't start saving for your kid's education at early stages, chances are good that you'll feel the cash crunch when the time comes.

Lifestyle changes as one grows in his or her life. The two bedroom house that you have now might be insufficient five years from now when you have two kids. Similarly, a long vacation every year might become inevitable. A bigger and more luxurious car might be required to complement your lifestyle as you shift into a plusher house. All this would require financial inputs at different stages of life, and being prepared beforehand will always help.

Get a Financial Planning Seminar at Home With Home Study Courses

These days you can learn practically anything online. From cooking to computer maintenance to even Forex trading, the internet has made learning extremely accessible. There is a wealth of knowledge to be found online, and if you're looking to learn more about financial planning, there are plenty of seminars and online courses that you can sign up for. Many experts in the field (including financial self-help gurus and even college professors) have turned to the internet to share their knowledge on the subject matter - for a small fee of course. A lot of people have benefited from an online financial planning seminar, and the thing is, these home study courses are convenient because you study them on your own time, on your own terms.

There are many websites out there on the internet that would allow you to take a home study course on financial planning online. Registration is usually free, and upon becoming a member of these sites you would gain access to their exclusive members-only features, such as online content, discussion forums, newsletters, alerts, online seminars, and podcasts. Look hard enough and you'll find one particular website that can be considered as the one-stop-shop for all of your financial planning education needs. There are websites that offer home study courses from accredited institutions, and if you're interested in getting the proper qualifications you may even take up an online degree course.

From investments to retirement planning, these seminars provide valuable information that you can use to create a financially secure plan that you can use to manage your finances. Depending on the subject matter you're looking into, these seminars are usually detailed to a fault, often delving into specific topics.

For example, in the case of an online retirement planning seminar, you would be provided with all the important data that you will require for your retirement planning, and you would receive valuable advice from some of the renowned minds in the finance industry on how to go about your retirement planning. These online seminars will teach you to consider a wide range of factors when calculating your retirement income so you won't end up with any shortcomings, factors such as inflation, diversification of your financial resources, and annuities.

Most of these online seminars (or webinars as some call them) are not simply point-and-click lessons or a purely text-filled PDF file that you have to mull over. The online seminars are usually conducted live over the internet via video streaming, so you can learn from the convenience of your own living room couch if you wish to. But don't fret if you can't attend the live online stream cast; some online seminar websites have their lessons prerecorded, so you're able to view them whenever, wherever.

If you're looking to learn more about financial planning but you're just too busy being a stay-at-home mom or you just can't find the time to attend classes, then consider getting online and attending a financial planning seminar. With so many home study courses available on financial planning, you can be sure that you too can get a proper education in financial planning, and be well prepared for your future financial needs.

Careers In Financial Planning-Do You Have What It Takes To Excel As A Financial Planner?

So you're looking for careers in financial planning? A career in this highly competitive field can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding careers you will ever have.

Of course, careers in financial planning are very competitive, and does require some good marketing skills to acquire clients. Here is a list of the duties this job entails, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this might be the career choice for you.

Quits simply, you will help your clients achieve their financial goals, whatever they may be. Whether it is planning for retirement, getting wealthy, escaping the rat race, paying for college, etc, you will help them plan and map out a course to achieve those goals.

As you might guess, you will need a lot of knowledge into areas of investment such as stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc, vehicles to help your clients achieve their financial goals. Of course, the most important thing you need in financial planning careers, besides all this, is credibility. Quite simply, if you aren't walking the walk, then you can't talk the talk.

For instance, if you are advising a client to invest in a stock you would never even consider for yourself, your credibility is shot. Obviously, in order to achieve this, you need to be on solid financial ground yourself.

Nobody will take advice from a financial planner whose finances are a mess themselves. Many of the more knowledgeable clients will often times ask you what stocks you are currently investing in, or what kind of shape you are currently in financially to validate that you are the right person for the job. If you on shaky financially ground yourself, they will simply look elsewhere.

Most of all, you have to care about your clients and want to see them realize their financial goals. This is the number one factor of this job. If you aren't good at working with others, then this definitely isn't the career for you.

As a financial planner, you can work either for somebody else or have your own company. Many financial planners choose to become sole proprietors because of the freedom it offers; quite simply, this way you can set your own hours, and the sky is the limit as far as income. If you opt to work for somebody else, you will likely be working on a salary basis and are more limited in how much you can earn.

I hope this information has helped you to determine whether or not a career in financial planning is right for you. If this sounds of interest to you, then by all means check it out. If you want to work for a larger corporation, then a degree in finance will probably be necessary; obviously if you become a sole proprietor, this won't be as important.

The bottom line: if you enjoy helping others, and in one of the most important areas of their life, then careers in financial planning may be right up your alley. There is a lot of opportunity in the financial planning field today. This is one of the most rewarding careers in existence, because it empowers you to help others realize their financial (and ultimately life) dreams.

Should You Go For a Financial Planning Career?

A financial planning career deals with the management of financial investments and assets of a person. A financial planner helps the client choose from a wide array of insurance, investments and other financial services. Financial planning has a lot of branches.

There are retirement planners, estate planners and general investment analysis. There is also the scope of college funding. Financial planning is referred to by a lot of terms. These include personal financial consultant and financial advisor. However the term that truly describes this work is "Financial Products Sales".

How to Obtain New Business?

It is important to have good communication skills in the job because to be a success you need to have a good customer base. This is one of the prime things needed to be a successful financial planning career. This business thrives on referral. If you have a satisfied client, then he/she is likely to refer you to more potential clients.

You can also find clients through cold calling, business and social contacts and by giving lectures and seminars. So we see that a wide social network is a plus point to survive in this profession. This might be one of the chief reasons why successful financial advisors start working after being in a related field such as auditor, accountant, lawyer, insurance agent and commodities or securities agent.


If you want to join this field, you need to have a specialization degree in law, mathematics, business, economics, finance or accounting. If you have done some course on risk management, estate planning, taxes or investment, then you have an extra edge in making a financial planning career. But recently due to high demand of jobs in this field, special financial planning courses have also come up in various universities and colleges.

A personal financial advisor does not necessarily need a license. But if a financial planner is selling insurance, mutual funds, bonds or stocks, then he needs to be licensed under Series 6,7 or 63. These licenses can be obtained after due examinations. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) conducts these exams.

If a financial planner wants to take these exams, then he has to be sponsored by a 'self regulatory' organization or member firm. Insurance and finance companies provide a good opportunity for employment for a financial planner but self employment is also a good option.

So if you think you love finance, have good communication skills and can sell anything to anybody, then you can definitely make a good financial planning career.

Fee Only Financial Planning

Are you looking to make profitable investments in the financial markets? Financial planners can help you with expert, professional advice regarding long-term profitable investment decisions. The best financial planners have the necessary expertise to recommend and choose certain investment projects over others (based on the criteria of profitability and other unique preferences of clients). Financial planners are quite abundant in number in the US, and there also exists different types of financial advisors. Fee-only financial planners are one such type of financial consultants, who provide only specialized fee only financial planning services. Indeed, before you actually start spending money on investments, you should ideally find a financial planner, for proper, expert guidance.

In case you are looking to hire a fee-only financial planner, you need to have sufficient knowledge about them before actually acquiring the services of one such financial planner. Some of the basic information that potential investment clients need to have access to include:

a) Who is a fee-only financial planner?

Investors need to be aware about the particular class of financial advisors who are called 'fee-only financial planners'. A fee-only financial planner has the following characteristics:

i) Compensation - A fee-only financial advisor receives his compensation (or, payments, or service charges) from his/her client(s) only. The basis of such payment can differ, from being a fixed annual charge to service charges on an hourly basis. Fee-only financial planning services can also be charged as a percentage of total assets that are managed by the planners.

ii) Commissions - Fee-only financial planners do not receive any additional service charges or commissions apart from those received directly from the clients.

b) Functions of a fee-only financial planner:

The primary duty of a fee-only financial planner is to design, and then effectively implement, investment strategies that would fulfill the investing goals of his/her clients. The investment plans should be simplistic in theory, easy to understand by the investors and should be adaptable to practical applications. Investment plans laid out by fee-only financial planners should also have a long-term perspective. These finance plans should be profitable, considering all dividend and other finance policies, over the broader time-horizon. Fee-only financial planning exercise should also take care of the changing market conditions in the financial environment. Hence, the strategies they devise should be flexible enough in order to counter any potential change in the finance market conditions.

c) Qualifications of a fee-only financial planner:

As per the regulations of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), a fee-only financial planner must have the following qualifications:

i) (S)he must hold a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent).

ii) (S)he must always accept direct compensation from the clients only, and has documents to prove that payments from any other sources is not accepted by him/her.

iii) (S)he should have a proper, high-level education in financial planning.

iv) (S)he should follow all Registered Investment Advisor laws, both at the federal and state levels, and the NAPFA fiduciary oath.

v) (S)he should be having a minimum of three years experience in providing professional financial advice.

vi) A colleague or peer must have reviewed a sample comprehensive financial plan, submitted by a fee-only financial planner.

Writing a Financial Plan on Your Own

Like anything in life, you need a plan to succeed. That applies to your personal finance too. No one is completely secure financially unless you have accumulated millions of dollars and decide to live off the nest egg for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, for most people, they are unprepared for retirement. Financial planning is crucial in reaching your goals of retiring comfortably. But having say that, how does one go about writing a financial plan without any formal education?

Below is a quick step-by-step guide to writing your own financial plan. Of course, a professional financial planner may be able to give you a more comprehensive financial plan but this will be a good step forward in understanding your needs and clearing some stumbling blocks.

1. What Are Your Objectives?

Don't be afraid to dream - you only live once. Think about the size of the home, the education, your family, etc. Just pen these thoughts down of how you want the future to look like. Once you list down your ideals, remember to factor in mundane issues like kids education, insurance, etc.

Your goals should include:

* Education. Regardless of your age, extra education and training are needed either for a career switch or self-improvement. A lot of people are taking college courses (even with teenagers) or upgrading to an MBA to climb the corporate ladder. Even if college education is out for you, you still have to plan for your children's college degree, unless you intend to leave them to their own devices.

* Career. What field do you desire to work in? Is it a creative job or a typical 9-5? Or do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to create multiple source of passive income?

* Lifestyle. Is work or family more important? Are you contended with "simpler living?" Do you desire a Porsche or BMW? Do you want to live in a mansion, a seafront house, etc? Do you have expensive hobbies life golf? These all cost money so tabulating the expenses and matching it to your income is necessary to achieve your lifestyle goals.

* Retirement. Don't forget about retirement. It is a moment when you lose your income. So how do you want to live while retired? Will you downgrade your house, live with your children, or move to a retirement community?

* Insurance. Nothing is certain in life. You need to be insured for worst case scenarios. Every financial plan must have provisions for insurance.

These objectives may seem daunting but they need not be wishful thinking. The actual money set aside could be much less than you think, if effective financial planning is involved.

2. Plan Your Income

Of course, your financial plan isn't just about your dreams. How are you going to pay for it? I assume you don't have a sugar daddy, so you should be following a life of employment. Most people have their career path charted in this format - go to college, get a job, work hard up the ladder and retire.

There is nothing wrong race except there is high uncertainty in today's globalized environment. People change jobs all the time due to layoffs or to seek fresh challenges.

Instead of a day job, you can consider starting a businesses or becoming a freelancer to sell your skills. Business isn't just for those with money, MBAs or connections. You can start a home business to mange lawn care, making money online with a website or a vending machine business.

Besides becoming your own boss, you can find other income through network marketing or investing. Investing is efficient in building side income as it is simply growing the money you already have. You can buy gold, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.

Regardless if you are a business owner or an employee, you should not let your money sit idly under your mattress. Even putting your money into an online savings account is more profitable.

3. Writing Your Financial Plan

At its core, a financial plan is a lifelong budget. You'll be budgeting not just your next paycheck, but for your entire life. Planning involves knowing how you'll get there and when you'll get there. There are no hard and fast rules.

You have to be rational enough to assess your current situation, creative enough to see what is possible, and have the integrity to follow through with the plan. Remember, just because it's on paper doesn't mean it will happen - you have to decide to follow through and live up to your goals.

Get started by doing the following:

* Timeline. Establish where you want to be in five years? Ten? Thirty? Fifty?

* Research necessary costs. Your current "bills" plus 5% inflation per year. Don't forget to factor in life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, etc.

* Research luxury costs. What you "want" to do. Cruises, nice cars, nice house, etc.

* Plan income strategy. For most people, they start with salaries. But don't forget that your job isn't your only means of income. Starting a side business, a money making hobby, or even making money online are viable options for extra income.

* Plan Investments. Investing is simply a must to counteract against inflation. You can invest in anything. Just make sure you know what you're doing, and don't put all of your eggs in one basket. As you age, financial security should become more and more important.

Try to factor in every cost and possible incomes. Whenever you aren't sure about the numbers, be conservative. Also, bear in mind that a financial plan is ALWAYS about your goals. It's not just about the money - it's about getting what you want out of life. Money is just the tool.