Your thoughts on Financial Planning

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by blackmonkeystatue, Jun 3, 2009.

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Does self-directed Financial Planning (FP) or learning more about it interest you?

  1. Yes, I would be interested in learning about FP or doing my own FP

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No, I have no interest whatsoever or I don't need FP

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. I'd rather pay someone (annually) to manage my FP for me completely

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I plan on paying someone, but I'd like to understand and be involved

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Why is Financial Planning important? I don't care.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. I never thought about it

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. blackmonkeystatue Unregistered User Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    174
    Hi.

    I'm currently studying Financial Planning. Essentially, Financial Planning deals with developing goals and plans for achieving those goals in the areas of education, taxes, insurance (life, liability, auto, health), retirement, savings, investments, estates, and other related odds and ends.

    The majority of Financial Planners prefer high net worth individuals, and in turn those individuals can easily afford their fees. Granted, those higher net worth individuals have much more to deal with in terms of comprehensive Financial Planning, but the average person still has a need for comprehensive Financial Planning.

    Assuming the majority of you are average individuals (i.e. not of extremely high net worth, not well-versed in all areas of financial planning), how interested would you be in learning and managing your own finances? For my thesis I plan on developing ways to teach people to develop their financial plans through simplifying the concepts. They may eventually need to seek professional assistance (i.e. to implement an estate plan, purchase insurance, etc), but they'd be able to cut down on consultation fees and better describe their desires. They would also be able to better protect themselves from being taken advantage of (i.e. more insurance than they need).

    My question, is would this interest the general public? Or does the public not care enough to really learn and would they rather limit their involvement and dump it in the lap of a professional? An obvious advantage aside from monetary savings and having a deeper knowledge of their financial situation is the ability to teach their kids and impart useful money management skills that aren't necessarily taught in schools.

    This is already longer than I planned, but what are your thoughts? What kinds of things would you like to see? This program would be purely informational and entirely free. I'd like to make it as useful as possible because if people do not or cannot benefit from it, then I have failed my purpose.

    I appreciate your time.

    -BMS

    Edit: Understand that Financial Planning is a process and not a product, therefore it is recommended that plans are reviewed annually. This is due to all the changes people experience: children, marriages, divorces, new jobs, higher income, retiring, deaths, windfalls, changing economic conditions, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
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  3. chris4355 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,055
    it depends on the cost and how much they trust you

    exactly how much could an average person save by having a financial planner? (I understand this is a VERY broad question as it really depends per situation)

    relative to how much they pay you of course.
     
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  5. blackmonkeystatue Unregistered User Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    174
    Well, the cost is free. I plan on building some sort of informational resource for my thesis. I'm just trying to gauge the level of interest to figure out how to direct my effort so it provides the most value. I just want to understand what people are interested in and what they want to learn.

    -BMS
     
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  7. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    a lot of those people are going belly up around here. When you lose money, the planner gets blamed even though he made sure they didn't lose as much money as they could have.
    Its also not as hard as people think to manage your own money.

    I worked for an Ameriprise financial adviser (there is a huge legal difference between planner and adviser) ages ago. He was like a used car salesman pushing all kinds of insurances, etc. I never let him touch a penny of my money.
     
  8. blackmonkeystatue Unregistered User Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    174
    I agree with you. Some do give the industry a bad name. Some say that fee-only is the only way to go. That is, the planners only derive income from the service fee, not from commissions which can sometimes develop conflicting interests.
     
  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,908
    That has been my experience too. Financial Advisers have a very bad reputation in many circles. If they are not outright stealing from you then they are selling mutual funds that pay high commisions and keeping people in those funds year after year for no other reason than to line their pockets.

    I was appauled to see the kind of investments this firm had placed my aunt's money in. She is retired and they had her into some very risky investments with limited upside and no caps on the downside. Somebody saw her coming. And they put her into some 2 star mutual fund that was loosing money year after year and charging her a 5 percent sales charge upfront and a 1 percent annual fee for a government bond fund!

    Now you appear to be person of good moral character. But you are going into a business with a lot of baggage. There are two kinds of customers, those that have money and those that do not. Thoses that do not are in dire need of your advice. But odds are they are not interested.

    Why would you want to provide free service?
     
  10. blackmonkeystatue Unregistered User Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    174
    Well, my wife actually asked me the same thing. The original goal was to incorporate is first into my thesis, then into my dissertation. I'd consistently write more, on more topics, and I learned and had classes. This would help me better understand the information while helping others. I already have a full-time job and between my wife and I, we're fairly well off. I see a desperate need for this kind of education in my industry and no doubt in the rest of the population. Maybe I'll end up writing a book of all of my compiled writings, I don't know. So, I guess the answer to your question is, why not?

    I've toyed with the idea of building programs that help people calculate, maybe I'd charge for those. But not just for information. I like the idea that people would seek information in order to better themselves, I am further motivated by the idea that they would pass such knowledge to their children. Educating children is a huge thing with me. If I could develop some sort of widely implemented progressive program that begins in elementary school, building on itself through high school, well, I'd die a happy man. I've seen the worst America has to offer in terms of people. I'm under the assumption that many people are lost, that there are no quick fixes and the only real fixes are generations down the road...if we teach them. But that's another topic.
     

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