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October 2011

Personal Financial Planning: 101

by
Everyday we're assailed with another barrage of financial and economic “doomsday data” - whether online, in print, on radio or television, delivered in the mail, tweeted, or even overheard while Joe the Investment Banker sips his latte at the table next to us in Starbucks. Our choices are simple:

• Disregard the information
• Follow the herd
• Decide which sound bites we'll tune in

There is another choice that you can make. Stick to your plan. A plan that was conceived with your personal life goals in mind. It's always a good thing to remain well informed, as long as we choose to put things into perspective, and that perspective should embrace our own personal financial goals & objectives. The manner in which the news is delivered makes it appear that we're all in the same boat. A boat that's listing badly and without a rudder. What we need to remember is to keep our at-times, uneven behavioral instincts and raging emotions in check.

Financial planning involves the process of determining whether and how an individual can meet their life goals through the proper management of financial resources. As I've shared in previous articles, this covers, but is not limited to, basic subject fields such as: Personal Financial Statement preparation and analysis, Investment planning, Income Tax planning, Educational planning, Risk Management, Retirement & Estate planning. The planning process requires professional advice. Whether you're just beginning to address your present/future financial needs, or now on the path to achieving them, you need to understand the educational process necessary in choosing your Wealth Management Advisor. Consider an individual with a fiduciary responsibility to you either as mandated by the SEC or by the professional organization where they received their certification. It would be wise to research the following sites:

www.napfa.org
www.cfp.net
www.cfainstitute.org

And, to further investigate the professional's background whether they're a Broker or Registered Investment Advisor.

I'm interested in understanding what you deem important enough that would allow you to seek out professional (that means you're paying for it) advice and help with what you need to financially accomplish. Are you willing to share your 1040 Income Tax Returns, Insurance Contracts, Wills, and Trusts – even your family tree with someone? Which issues are less important. What wouldn't you share? Possibly you've have some great and not-so great experiences – please share those too. Let's see if there's a common thread and whether or not we can collectively begin to demystify the whole financial planning process.

Author's Note: Please consult with your CFP®, CPA and/or Estate/Tax/Eldercare Attorney when discussing your financial needs and developing the appropriate personal/business financial plan.


AT: 10/20/2011 10:33:09 PM   LINK TO THIS ARTICLE
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