At HA&W, we passionately believe in the value of good financial planning.

Our chartered status – a “gold standard” in the profession – is evidence of our commitment to providing the best possible service. You can be confident that you are speaking to someone with the knowledge, experience, and expertise to help you, whatever your circumstances.

You’ll also have peace of mind that your best interests are at the heart of everything we do.

But what is financial planning? What is the difference between financial planning and financial advice? And what are the benefits of working with our chartered financial planners?

Over the next few months, you will find the answers to these questions, and others, in your three-part guide.

In part one: What is financial planning?

Financial planning is about more than the advice we give

According to a recent International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) report, most people seek advice for help dealing with specific life events.

This “transactional advice” involves finding solutions to specific problems – buying a house, taking a pension, receiving an inheritance – with an adviser recommending specific products to address these needs.

Interestingly, the ILC report found that those who seek this kind of advice tend to have lower levels of overall satisfaction than those who receive more “holistic” advice.

Holistic advice involves a thorough understanding of your financial situation and regular reviews, allowing for a stronger, and ongoing relationship.

At HA&W, when we advise on specific products or needs, you can be confident that our advice will be based on all available evidence and our years of experience.

But it is only a small part of what we do.

Financial planning starts with establishing your life goals

As financial planners, we begin not by looking at your savings and investments, but at your life goals.

Using in-depth fact finds, we get to know you, your circumstances, and aspirations.

Once we understand the things that are important to you, we can take a holistic view of your finances and use this to create a plan that helps achieve your goals.

Decisions about money and investments will play a part, but so too will:

  • Life planning – finding out how you want to live for the rest of your life.
  • Financial planning – building a long-term plan to help you live the life you want, without fear of running out of money.
  • Ongoing support and coaching – helping to ensure you have the right tools to stay organised and on track.

Helping you to think about your long-term goals

Before we can put a long-term plan in place, you need to understand what your ultimate goals are. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my life like now?
  • What do I want it to be like in the future?
  • What can I do to make this happen?

Thinking about the answers to these questions will give you a focus, putting you in control and giving you confidence in the future.

Your goal might be living your desired lifestyle in retirement, ensuring your family will be looked after should something happen to you, or knowing that you can live comfortably and still leave something behind for the next generation.

It is likely that your goals may include all of these things.

By understanding where you are now and where you hope to get to, we can devise a plan that creates a clear path to your aspirations.

Financial planning is an ongoing process

Beginning with simple steps like cashflow modelling, we will show you where your money is coming from and where it is going.

A key part of long-term budgeting is paying your future self first and it is this long-term approach that will give you confidence, control over your own future, and peace of mind.

You might need to save more, spend less, increase your pension contributions, or delay your retirement. It is also possible you might be able to retire earlier than planned.

Whatever your situation, we believe building a strong relationship is the best way to achieve great client outcomes. That is why we provide ongoing coaching, support, and regular reviews to ensure you are on track to meet your goals.

We also understand that your priorities and circumstances can change. Life events – marriage, divorce, bereavement – can threaten to knock your plans off course. Financial planning means building a strategy that is robust enough to keep you on track whatever life throws at you.

Get in touch

At HA&W, our chartered advisers work with you to build a long-term plan, giving you confidence that your investments, your loved ones, and your life goals are in safe hands.

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss any aspect of your current financial plans or to book in your regular review.

Please note

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning, tax planning or will writing.