When it comes to planning ahead, it’s important to take a moment and look at where your are right now. Go ahead– grab a pen and a piece of paper and take a moment to really think about the following:
- What kind of person are you?
- What does your life look like?
- Are there things you want to do that you haven’t done yet done?
- If there are, what are you doing– or going to do– about it?
- What would you like to change about your life?
- What are your dreams?
These questions may sound a bit airy-fairy, but we believe they’re crucial in living a fulfilling life. After all, what’s the point of living an unfulfilled life? Though chasing your dreams can be daunting, we believe that it’s better to do the things you love to do than it is to live with regrets. And the sooner you start, the better chance you have of making your dreams a reality!
Managing Your Money
Making your dreams a reality often involves spending, saving, and managing your money. As a financial planning business, we don’t believe it’s good enough for us to simply manage our clients’ money. What does that mean, anyway? Like you, we have no control over the markets (no one does) so what is there to manage, exactly?
Instead of saying we manage your money, it’s more apt to say that we manage the risk you take with your pensions and investments. But again, what does that mean, exactly? Instinctively, very few of us feel comfortable with risk and are therefore more likely to play things safe. But risk means different things to different people, and a lot of times the fear of risk is the fear of the unknown. Our job is to help you understand the risk so instead of feeling like you’re taking a chance with your money, you’ll feel like you’re making an informed decision.
Something More Fulfilling
Just as everyone has a different level of risk that they feel comfortable with, each of us has different circumstances, priorities, and dreams. When it comes to planning your future, it’s important for us to learn about how you currently behave and how you see your future so we can plan accordingly.
That’s why we sit down with each of our clients and help them answer the questions we’ve asked above. Some of our clients find answering these questions to be one of the most challenging aspects of what we do together, but they soon find that it’s also one of the most rewarding and engaging as it gives us clarity from a professional point of view but gives them clarity personally.
It’s only after we have a better understanding of one another that we can start getting into to the technical stuff.
The Brighton Financial Way
Just as every fine restaurant has their own way of making a vinaigrette, we have our very own evaluation process that we’ve developed over the years. It’s very fluid and far from prescriptive. We’ve designed it so it’s all about you, and we know that you don’t fit in boxes or categories. And because each person who walks into our office is different, we slightly alter the process to each client depending on their communication style and needs. But generally speaking, our process here at Brighton Financial looks something like this:
- We Get To Know Each Other
Chances are, we’re strangers, so we don’t feel it’s unreasonable to better get to know you and find out what’s important to you and what makes you tick. Like all relationships, this one requires investment from both parties, so after we go through the questions we shared at the start of this post, we’ll establish whether or not we’re a good fit and want to work together. It’s all very relaxed.
- We Assess What You Have
Once we have a decent idea of which direction you’d like to go, we can then start looking at all the technical stuff, including your financial circumstances and arrangements. They may already be brilliant or they may need some changing, but either way we’ll make an assessment and then let you know what we think so you can decide what will work best in the context of your life.
- We Evaluate What Could Go Wrong
It’s all well and good having a plan and merrily skipping along to achieve it, but we like to explore all the potential spanners that could be thrown in the works before we commit to a plan. Could adverse circumstances in your life result in you needing to change or even scrap your plans? We’ll help you explore all the possible outcomes.
This is the exciting part! We’ll start putting actions in place so you can start moving closer to your goals and dreams. We’re there every step of the way to guide and support you and to take care of all the technical maintenance that needs to be done as your plans progress.
- We Regularly Check In
This is very important. Plans change– often not much, but they do change. That’s why we insist on seeing our clients regularly to assess how things are going and to make changes to longer-term plans depending on what’s happened in your life or the markets. These meetings will help keep you informed, focused and on track.
What’s In It For You?
Only you’ll be able to answer this question. But here’s what some of our existing clients have said they’ve gotten out of working with us:
- Clarity. We’ve helped them step out of the rut they were currently in and given them the opportunity to assess where they want to go and create a plan for getting there.
- Vision. Many of our clients have said that we help them maintain a clear vision of the direction in which they’re going, despite how busy and complicated their lives sometimes get.
- Reassurance. It’s never easy to do anything all alone, and many of our clients find great reassurance in knowing we have their back and will keep them informed if anything happens that may impact their plans for the future.
- Guidance. Most of us don’t like to talk about our finances with any old Bob or Sue, which is why our clients value having us on hand to talk about any issues that come up. We make it a point to be engaging and non-judgemental and offer advice that’s informed and has our clients’ best intentions at heart.
- Trust. Our clients trust us to take care of things so they don’t have to. By knowing that we’ll take the actions to keep them on course, our clients are able to focus on their lives and all the things that make them feel fulfilled.
At our core, what sets us apart in our clients’ eyes is that we’re focused on you, not your money. By putting our clients and their interests first, we’re investing in their lives and their happiness. And financial security is just a part of that package.
What Happens Next?
Whether it’s a few hours or a few days, try to find some time to step away from your life and really think about where you’re going and what you want to do with your future. Let your creativity take control and try to think outside your day-to-day routines.
Remember, your life is so special. If you want to make the most of it and really enjoy your journey, it’s possible to do so. And we can help.