The Abc of Comprehensive Financial Planning

By: Akhil Shahani

Uncle Scrooge will want to take a dip in your dollars when we are done with you. Comprehensive financial planning implies attention to detail. In this article, we will take you through 8 aspects of finance that you must attend to

Savings Plan: Common sense calls for one. Decide what portion of your earnings you would like to save for needs like a college fund for your children, your own house, a health plan to meet any emergencies etc. The idea is not to reserve funds for every possible event, but to ensure that the inevitable is provided for, while also gearing up to deal with surprises.

Wealth Management: Follow a simple strategy - examine your spending, reduce your debt, save, invest in tax deferred savings, determine your long term goals and assess your risk tolerance. Diversify your investments and employ techniques such as 'dollar cost averaging' which will reduce impact of market fluctuations. If you have debts outstanding, then managing them is vital to comprehensive financial planning. We recommend to find all the information you need about managing loans of all kinds.

Tax Plan: Taxes often change with successive governments. You cannot foresee all changes, but stay alert to news of tax increases, cuts and exemptions. If you are smart with your moves, taxes will never get the better of you. Tax planning is important both from a personal and business point of view.

Retirement Plan: Start early, plan ahead, invest accordingly. Consider options like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); if you're switching jobs, rollover your pension fund from the previous establishment and most important, resist withdrawing prematurely. Look at the product line of to know all you need about the 401(k) rollover plan and other retirement schemes.

Cash Management: Holding on to your cash to meet unforeseen expenses and current obligations, or maximizing investment in liquid instruments may offer comfort, but cash at hand is an idle asset which earns nothing. Good cash management involves accurate budgeting and forecasting of cash flows, borrowing short term when required and investing surpluses as they arise. This applies equally to business. Create a trading budget covering sales, production, material, labor and other costs. Optimize cash flow by balancing credit terms on sales and purchases, financing working capital expenditure and making adequate provision for taxes. Bank overdrafts and short term loans could be used to raise additional funds when needed.

Estate Management: Managing your property investments well is crucial to good financial planning. Although the type of property may differ, depending on whether it belongs to you or the business, you should still look at it as a financial asset. Critically analyze what it cots you to maintain, and whether you can make an income from it, such as leasing it out. Unless it's a home that's been in the family for generations, you should always keep your options open to selling property when the market is on a high. Again, wait for cyclical downturns before making a purchase. And finally, ensure you have insured your property against the usual risks. Books on could help clear all your doubts about the legal aspect of managing your estate finances.

Investment Advice: Experts don't exist for nothing, use 'em. A diverse financial portfolio is pivotal to comprehensive financial planning. Managing such a portfolio on one's own is tough. This responsibility should be entrusted to reputed investment advisors who could manage your portfolio, diversify investments, minimize risks and most importantly, personalize it to suit your financial goals.

Risk Management: This is a crucial aspect of comprehensive financial planning. Everyone is looking to maximize returns, and therefore, will have to deal with the higher risk. Making allowances for losses on investments is an absolute must in the financial planning process, whether it is for an individual or a company. A diverse portfolio including stable investments like government securities and other risk weighted options will optimize the risk versus return equation. For risk management solutions refer to

Comprehensive financial planning, as you can clearly see, requires you to examine every aspect of your finances, be it your personal expenses, those of your enterprise or your dependants. Paying close attention to these details will reflect in your finances.


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