working with a Fee-Only financial planner

Financial planning & advisory is an immersive and deeply engaging exercise. It has to be that way as the financial advisor & the client need to be in sync and work together to achieve the client’s goals.

Money earned needs to work for you – to further your goals. Fee-based financial services can assist you there.

Understanding the client

Firstly, we need to understand what is that you want in life. We help our clients think & articulate their goals & objectives. Only then, we would be able to offer a solution that meets their requirements.

Hence, we gather comprehensive information on our client regarding their personal life, expectations, goals and financial position. Based on this, we would need to figure out what needs to be done for them. We would first need to establish the feasibility of achieving all goals in the time-frames envisaged and can go ahead only if it can be established.

This is where working with a SEBI Registered, fee-only financial planner truly shines.

Find out why it's important to work with a fee-only financial planner.
Find out why it's important to work with a fee-only financial planner.

Analysis, strategies & way forward

We analyse the collected information and come up with alternative scenarios, consider strategies that would best work in that situation, completely look at all financial decisions one has taken and it’s fitment & relevance to where one wants to go. The feasibility of the scenarios that the client wants is tested after which we are good to go ahead with it. Once these are discussed with the client, one of the scenarios is chosen as the path to proceed forward.

Creating the blueprint

Once this becomes clear, to make things work for you, we create a comprehensive blueprint that will help in realising your goals. This would involve calculations on insurance requirements, cash flows, providing for goals, provisioning for liquidity & contingency etc. After a complete 360 degrees analysis, we would come up with our recommendation.

Collaborative engagement process

We follow a collaborative process for creating a financial plan for our clients. First, we understand their needs, get all the data and create a basic plan which we present to the client & get comprehensive feedback. We also explain to them what we have done till that point, our methodology, what we have found till then etc.

Something we love to do is continuously educate our clients as we make progress in our engagement. During such sessions, we seek clarity on various data points to ensure that the plan we create is exactly as per our client’s requirements. After this, we move to the next level of the plan. We construct the plan step by step, involving the clients along the way so that the plan created is fully in line with the client’s real requirements.

Our unique three advisor process

We employ a very unique Three Advisor Process, which is probably a first for a Fee-only financial planner in India. While creating the plan, there are three advisors through whom the plan will go through. An associate planner will create the plan up to a point, which will be checked by the Lead Planner and inputs from the Principal planner is also sought and incorporated before it reaches clients. This process is followed to ensure that we offer life-altering, robust advice to our clients. Also, this three advisor process ensures that our clients can get the unique benefit of the wisdom and perspectives of three qualified planners.

Stagewise planning process

A step-by-step process is followed in plan construction. This is to ensure transparency as well as to take any client feedback at every stage, before proceeding further. This way we ensure that our advisory process is tailored to completely take into account the client’s needs/ expectations and make it fit like a glove. There are at least three stages during the plan creation process. Depending on the need, the number of levels can be more.

Clear actionable recommendations

At the end of the planning process, a clear, detailed financial plan with actionable recommendations is created by us. We would give recommendations on what needs to be done with existing investments/ insurances and loans. We would also give recommendations on surpluses available now, coming in later as well as monthly surpluses that one may have. Any provisions needed for upcoming goals or big expenses are also provided for.

To get the best value from the planning engagement, diligent & faithful implementation of the plan is imperative. To facilitate this, the recommendations themselves are segregated month-wise, for the next twelve months, so that implementing the plan is a breeze.

Way ahead after the financial plan is created

As we have seen, the financial plan is the blueprint that the planner creates to put a framework for what needs to be achieved. It lays down the path that one needs to travel to achieve the goals. The Financial Plan & the advice offered therein ensures that there is clarity and step-by-step progression towards the goal, ensuring peace of mind.

Some people would be content with just a financial plan. They may be comfortable in carrying out the recommendations themselves & do not need any further inputs from our side. In such a case, our engagement comes to a close after the plan is created and delivered.

However, Financial Planning is an ongoing exercise. Financial Plan is just the start of the journey. Many of our clients want us to provide them with advisory inputs on an ongoing basis as also assist with the implementation, management & reporting.

The ongoing engagement in our fee-based financial services

To get the best value from the financial plan, we have ongoing engagements which help in unlocking the value of the planning process. To ensure & facilitate that, we have come up with a perpetual engagement model where we would offer ongoing client engagement sessions, plan and portfolio reviews at regular intervals as well as financial consultations throughout. This engagement is ongoing & you could enjoy the benefits, on a perpetual basis. We would even redo the plan or even completely recreate the plan in future if required, as a part of this engagement.

Implementation of the plan recommendations is a critical component while trying to unlock the value of the planning engagement. Due to a paucity of time and lack of experience in handling implementation, many clients implement recommendations partially or even wrongly. To assist our clients, we have Implementation Partners who would onboard our clients on an online platform, facilitate implementation & provide reporting and back-office support.

We suggest Direct Plans in Mutual Funds, which many find difficult to implement. Our Implementation partners are geared to assist here. We also suggest commission-free & hence low-cost versions of PMS, AIF, Perpetual Bonds, Tax-free Bonds, NCDs etc. to ensure that our clients save on costs.

We completely take charge of our client’s financial life with our fee-based financial services and would anchor their finances well such that they have enough time to enjoy their personal life and flourish in their professional career. We become their personal CFOs, offering peace of mind, which our clients so richly deserve.

You may leave your worries with us. And take instead, clarity about your future & peace of mind!

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