Financial plan review –
regular reviews plot progress toward goals attainment
A financial plan review is the final piece in the wealth management dilemma that started with ‘Where did the year go?’; and was followed up with ‘Wealth management discipline averts financial loss‘. Those posts encourage regular reflection on your financial position: this post addresses the most important of them – an annual financial plan review confirms progress toward established goals; and provides opportunity to ensure those goals are still relevant to you.
When should you undertake a financial plan review?
If you are working to a strategic financial plan it is likely that an annual review of the progress of that plan (at a reasonably consistent time each year), will be a part of the strategy. Two popular (though by no means, exclusive) times for investment portfolio/ financial plan review are –
- the turn of a new financial year; and
- the anniversary of the initial investment.
What will you look for in your review?
If you started the year with a listing of your assets, your income stream expectations and your goals, your financial plan review provides an opportunity to update that listing – and determine whether you have made adequate progress towards achieving those previously-set goals.
Unfortunately, not all financial years will result in an increase in asset values or net worth; in some years, major expenses – and/ or financial market downturns – may result in a decline from the previous year. In long-term planning, this does not necessarily represent failure. The more important issue in those years is whether the strategy to achieve the ultimate goal (whether that is financial independence in retirement; putting children through their education; or other dreams you are seeking to fulfil) is still appropriate.
Few of us claim to have any perfect knowledge of what the future holds – or the actual timing of those events – but we can all form a ‘big picture’ view of what we would like our futures to look like; and make reasonable plans for them to be accomplished.
Financial plans and annual reviews are core to the ContinuumFP process
Helping clients make strategic financial plans – and subsequently discussing annual reports at the financial plan review – are activities in which our advisers and client services support team at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd have considerable experience.
If you are not currently working to such a strategy with us, we urge you to seek a meeting with one of us: try our website to Contact Us facility; or phone us (on 07-3421 3456). At a meeting, we will listen to your financial story; we will confirm our understanding of your goals – and introduce you to solutions to your wealth management dilemmas.
[Originally posted in June 2010, this article has been updated/ refreshed from time to time, most recently in May 2021]