Holistic Financial Planning
What is holistic financial planning?
Instead of focusing on a specific area of your finances in isolation, such as investments, pensions, tax or insurance; we define holistic financial planning as considering all aspects of your personal circumstances and financial position to identify the actions that need to be taken to meet your goals for the future.
This means that your goals drive the planning process, rather than the need to sell financial products.
Our comprehensive approach to financial planning
We find that many clients approach us when they feel they need help with a specific area of their finances, looking for pensions specialists, estate planning or investment management; or when they are approaching an important life event, such as retirement or sale of a business.
Our holistic approach to financial planning allows us to help clients step back and take a big picture view of the situation, putting their issue into the perspective of their short and long-term goals.
Through an initial meeting, which is always held without charge and without obligation on either party to proceed, we take the time to understand what is important to each client and identify exactly what they would like their future to look like. Through discussing your motivations, fears and objectives, our advisers can help define your goals for the future.
These personal considerations are placed at the centre of everything we do, and we believe that only when we fully understand these are we able to provide meaningful advice.
Taking the time to understand what is important to each client also allows us to ensure that every financial plan is aligned with the individual’s personal values. For example, providing clients with the opportunity to invest in companies that aim to have a positive impact on society, through what is known as ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ investing.
Developing a plan
We are strong advocates of using cashflow modelling to help clients determine how to achieve their goals.
We find that this powerful tool helps to stimulate discussions about objectives and priorities, with the aim of giving meaning to clients’ finances and empowering them in the decision-making process.
An important part of building a holistic financial plan is to ensure that you are aware of, and adequately protected against, events that could derail your financial plan. These events could include long-term illness, a market downturn or death of a loved one. We would always ensure that these considerations are brought in to focus, to help determine whether any action needs to be taken.
Formulating our advice
Once we have agreed the basis of our relationship with each individual client, we undertake detailed analysis and research the whole of the relevant market before presenting our recommendations. As holistic financial planners, the wide range of areas upon which we can advise include:
- Pensions, including annuities, income drawdown and phased retirement;
- Collective investments such as open-ended investment companies (OEICs), unit trusts and investment trusts;
- Tax planning;
- Investment bonds;
- Financial protection, including term insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, whole of life cover, key person insurance and shareholder protection;
- Tax-incentivised investments, including Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT);
- Cash management;
- Structured products;
- Long term care.
Being an independent firm, we remain impartial on which solutions we recommend to our clients. We are able to conduct a review of the whole of the market to determine the most suitable solution for each individual’s needs, ensuring that the outcome is always optimal for each individual’s personal situation. In addition, for many of our clients our advice is provided in partnership with their other advisers, such as accountants and solicitors.
We are both experienced and comfortable working alongside other professional advisers to create comprehensive financial plans, which adds an additional layer to our holistic approach.
We believe regular reviews are a crucial element to any holistic financial planning service. It is inevitable that financial plans will be affected by changes in legislation, economic conditions and clients’ personal circumstances and goals over time.
It is for this reason that we review these factors with our clients at least annually, to ensure that every plan is tailored to reflect any new threats or opportunities that arise.
Many advisers are initially remunerated based on the amount of money their client commits to investing with them. However, we are proud of the fact that we undertake initial work on a fixed-fee basis with our clients, as it ensures there is no incentive for us to guide them to a specific course of action. This approach keeps our clients’ needs at the forefront of the holistic service we provide, eradicating any conflicts of interest.
The benefits of a holistic approach
There are a number of benefits to having a Financial Adviser who uses a holistic approach.
What are the benefits of holistic financial planning?
Your personal objectives for the future sit at the heart of holistic financial planning, meaning that any financial plan created through this approach is tailored to you. Holistic financial planning helps you to take a big picture view of your situation.
This joined-up approach allows you to avoid the potential pitfalls of focusing on decisions in isolation, where consideration may not have been given to how one course of action could affect another aspect of your finances.
One of the main benefits of holistic financial planning is that, by identifying where you are now and what you want to achieve, it can give you clarity on whether your goals are realistic. Having this peace of mind helps to empower you when making financial decisions, by allowing you prioritise your goals and determine what (if any) sacrifices need to be made.
How our advisers and planners can help
If you would like to find out how a holistic financial planner could give you the peace of mind that every aspect of your finances is aligned with your objectives and values, get in touch and speak to one of our financial advisers.
Our advisers offer a free initial consultation meeting, helping you to understand how our comprehensive approach to holistic financial planning could help you achieve your goals.