What Financial Planning is NOT

Financial planning is one of those generic terms that can often be misunderstood.  Part of the reason for that is the lack of formal financial education.

One of my biases when it come to financial education is the need to have more of it at the workplace because it will help people clear up the misunderstanding of what it means to have a financial plan.  Many people feel we need more financial education in the school system.  Although I don’t disagree, I know that people are more interested in financial education the older we get which means it is effective and necessary in the workplace.

When it comes to education in the workplace, we need more financial education on general financial planning.  Most of the education that happens is education on the Group Retirement Plan or specifically on the products and investments available in the plan and stops there.

Financial Planning:  Helping You Said Successfully into the Future

Frank Wiginton is a personal finance speaker, educator, coach, and a Certified Financial Planner with TriDelta Financial in Ontario.  Frank emailed me his new e-book, Financial Planning: Helping You Sail Successfully into the Future a while ago and although I had good intentions to read it and review it sooner, I got busy with my workshops and speaking.

When my friend Kim at MapleMoney.com reviewed the e-book, it motivated me to give you my two cents.  Kim provides a fantastic review of the book so I would encourage you to read her review.  For me, I’d like to share with you what I liked the most about he book.

Too many opinions on what Financial Planning is

If you Google “Financial Planning”, you will find a lot of attempts at explaining what financial planning is.  Even I have a video drawing analogies to a retirement plan and jigsaw puzzles.

Despite the fact there is no shortage of information about what financial planning is or should be, many people are still confused about Financial Planning.  The problem is it is a generic term that means different things to different people  As much as Frank goes through his definition of Financial Planning, what I liked about his e-book is his section on What Financial Planning is not.

You can read the book but here’s what he says Financial Planning is not:

A financial plan is NOT a two-page document you get after spending 15 minutes with someone at the bank

A financial plan is NOT a report you get after spending an hour or two with an investment advisor at a brokerage firm and answering a two-page questionnaire to determine your “risk profile”

A financial plan is NOT sitting down with an accountant to figure out how to reduce your taxes each year.

A financial plan is NOT working with a life insurance agent on a bunch of different insurance policies and segregated funds

A financial plan is NOT dealing with an advisor whose only solution is to offer you investments in mutual funds and GICs

A financial plan is definitely NOT buying lottery tickets, getting advice from Dad, hoping to sell a business, flipping real estate, gambling at the casino, or trying to pick the next Google stock.

The reason I think this information from Wiginton is so important is that the advice we get from the financial industry has significant biases and far too often the term financial planning is used to mask the sale of products or services being offered by the person sitting across your desk.  If you are interested in Frank's FREE e-book, visit his website www.frankwiginton.com.

Written by Jim Yih

Jim Yih is a Fee Only Advisor, Best Selling Author, and Financial Speaker on wealth, retirement and personal finance. Currently, Jim specializes in putting Financial Education programs into the workplace. For more information you can follow him on Twitter @JimYih or visit his other websites JimYih.com and Clearpoint Benefit Solutions.

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