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What is financial planning?

When people ask us, “What is financial planning?” We don't answer with flashy words or jargon, quite simply, our definition of financial planning is: a recommendation process, helping a client move from their current financial position to a preferred one in the future. It identifies your goals and explores opportunities so you can work towards your version of success. We work in partnership with you, educating you on how to manage your money, so you can make your own decisions with the support of our highly knowledgeable, experienced Chartered Financial Planners.
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Financial planners, advisers accountants, what do we all do?

With so many options around, it’s easy to think “what do financial advisers do?”. Financial services firms describe themselves in different ways: financial planners, advisers, coaches, consultants, money planners, asset managers, need we go on? At Unividual, we call ourselves financial planners. In fact, the Chartered Insurance Institute has awarded Unividual the prestigious status of ‘Chartered Financial Planners‘.

On the face of it, all these titles and identities seem to do similar things. A financial adviser is a financial planner. However, as you look deeper, you will realise that most businesses offer varying services, or have different product areas they can advise on. These subtle differences are confusing to us all and it’s tempting to abandon your research altogether, but that is where we try to keep things straight forward.

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Financial coaching and building your literacy

Unividual gives financial planning advice across every area of someone’s personal and/or business finances. Our version of financial planning is completely bespoke to a client’s goals, circumstances and aspirations because we believe each client is unique and financial advice shouldn’t be “off the shelf” but tailored to real people.

One of the reasons why Unividual becomes such an important part of a family or business, is because not everyone realises what they want out of life and we empower people to understand this, so they can become the version of success they aspire to be. We use case studies and ideas to help people realise their goals. Advisers then coach clients so they truly understand different areas of their finances. Together, we come up with ideas and different methods you will have never even thought about. Because of this education, you get to choose the routes we go down rather than feel like you are being told what to do by a professional. Then, our teams in London, Bristol and Bath administer and manage all your financial areas so that you can spend your time on other areas of your life.

Most of all though, our clients always talk about a feeling of safety that Unividual provides; a reduction in anxiety and stress because they can sleep safely at night knowing there is a team of highly qualified and experienced people keeping a safe eye on their finances. When you partner with Unividual, it will feel like collaboration and together we ensure you have the best possibility of reaching your goals.

We don't tell you what to do!

Our style is not to tell you what to do. Instead, we give you the knowledge and support to get your financial house in order and empower you to make the right decisions at the right time. This proactive approach ensures our clients get the greatest return from their life. We still start off with a first meeting where we explain what financial planning is, how everything works and give you some ideas on the types of financial areas we could take a look at. Following on we do what the industry terms as a “fact find”, a very impersonal term for getting to know you, your current situation and where you want to be in the future. Following on from that the financial planning process starts and we put together and maintain your financial plan.

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How does financial planning benefit me?

Knowing if financial planning is right for you and having a plan in place is key to making more from your money. Financial planning is a bit like putting together a map for a big hike. It helps you figure out where you are now, where you want to be, and the best path to get there, all while making sure you’re prepared for any unexpected twists and turns along the way. Here’s how it can benefit you:

  1. Clear Direction: Just as a map helps you navigate through unfamiliar terrain, financial planning provides a clear direction for achieving your life goals, whether that’s buying a home, saving for retirement, or setting aside funds for a dream holiday.
  2. Better Control Over Your Money: With a solid plan, you’ll know exactly where your money is going. This can help you budget more effectively, cut unnecessary expenses, and make your money work harder for you.
  3. Preparedness for Emergencies: Life’s full of surprises, not all of them pleasant. A good financial plan includes emergency savings that can help you weather financial storms without derailing your long-term goals.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing you have a plan to secure your financial future can provide a tremendous sense of calm. You’ll worry less about money and enjoy more peace of mind, allowing you to focus on the things you love, like hiking or spending time with your family and pets.
  5. Wealth Accumulation and Retirement Readiness: By investing wisely and saving regularly, financial planning helps you build wealth over time. This means you’re working toward a comfortable retirement, where you can enjoy your hobbies and interests without financial stress.
  6. Tax Efficiency: A savvy financial plan can help you minimise the amount of tax you pay by taking advantage of tax allowances and investment wrappers that are tax-efficient, such as ISAs or pensions.
  7. Protection Against Inflation: Over time, inflation can erode the buying power of your money. Financial planning involves choosing investments that have the potential to outpace inflation, ensuring that your savings retain their value.
  8. Supporting Your Loved Ones: Whether it’s ensuring your partner is taken care of or leaving a legacy for future generations, financial planning allows you to put mechanisms in place to support your loved ones, both now and in the future.

In essence, financial planning empowers you to take control of your financial future, turning dreams into achievable goals. It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about enhancing your quality of life and securing your wellbeing.

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