It might be easier to talk about services by stating what it is that we don’t do and say something like “We don’t sell products to justify spending time with clients” but that’s trite and not really the point. Most of us have experienced some form of coaching during our lives, whether it was in the form of a sports coach, a private tutor, an instructor on a course or even a parent.
There are many definitions and many synonyms for the word. They include: instruct, teach, tutor, educate, up-skill, guide, train and many more. Perhaps the most appropriate understanding of what we do at The Financial Coach is giving professional advice on how to attain your financial goals.
For most of our clients, this process includes holistic personal financial planning where we identify and address the financial risks that they face. Once these are addressed, and there is “spare cash” then we can talk investing. We aim to be a one-stop-destination for our client’s financial needs and where we don’t possess the necessary skills we work with other professionals who do. This enables us to assist clients with their short term insurance, medical aids, wills and tax returns as well.
For others it may be the need for an intervention with respect to their debt, budgeting, divorce, retirement or even a death in the family. This could take the form of a one-off or a series of consultations. For a more detailed description of the scope of our services you can scroll down to the section below…
We are also very excited to offer financial literacy training as well as small business mentoring and coaching through our newly launched Financial Coach Foundation. For more information about this offering please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Usually this involves the preparation of a financial plan for the client. The plan will identify areas of financial risk and propose solutions to these. We like to refer to this as the “prescription” that is given to the client who is then free to implement it however and wherever they choose.
What is personal financial planning? As the word suggests, it is just that: personal. And it is different for everyone, but as a rule, from a financial planner’s point of view, it is about objective (measurable) advice that results in a plan to manage current and achieve future financial needs and goals. It is not about product or sales! These come right at the very end of the process and could be used to flesh out the plan. It is also quite possible that the plan identifies that no products are needed or appropriate. Financial Planning is about identifying and managing the financial risks that each of us face, including:
• Dying too soon and leaving debt and/or dependents
• Living too long (retirement)
• Disability (for short or extended periods)
• Funds for emergencies
• Savings and investments (including budgeting and cash-flow)
• Asset allocation
Financial planning needs to be holistic and cannot be done in isolation – all areas of your life are impacted. It is also about simplifying (unnecessarily) complex products that appear to have been designed to avoid anyone understanding the real costs and risks involved. You should review your financial plan on a regular (annual) basis or each time there is a significant life change (for example – birth, marriage, divorce, purchase of property)
We also believe that almost everyone could do their own financial planning. It’s a bit like fixing the plumbing at home: you either buy the tools and the manual and spend the time and energy doing it (possibly making it worse) or you call the plumber. Consider us the “financial plumbers”.
Most investors (and many of the regulators) tend to have a very narrow understanding of risk; to them, it’s all about the volatility of an investment or asset class (the up and down risk). In our opinion (and experience) this is too one-dimensional because it excludes so many other measures of risk such as inflation, interest rates, currency, politics and timing. For this reason, we dont “risk profile” our clients by using a risk profiling questionnaire – research has shown that something as inane as the weather outside can affect how we respond to the questions on them. Rather, it is our view that the aim of any investment strategy should be to match the appropriate asset allocation (funds) to the investor’s needs and time horizon. Investors also need to be reminded that investment takes time and given sufficient time, most investments will produce the expected returns.
We have two registered tax practitioners and are able to offer tax planning advice from a financial and estate planning point of view. In addition to this we submit annual and provisional tax returns (via SARS filing system) for a significant number of our clients as part of the all-in service that we offer.