Start thinking about your money
Before we meet, start considering some of the issues you wish to discuss, or are concerned about. For example,
- What are your aims and aspirations for the future?
- What is your attitude towards risk?
- Do you have excess income remaining at the end of the month?
- How do you make sense of all of the information sent to you by financial companies, and what do they actually mean for your future?
Your aims, objectives, hopes and aspirations
Start to think about what you want to achieve. It could be something simple, such as paying for a nice holiday. Think about what you want to do and is there a time in the future that you wish to do it by? Imagine nice things you want to do in the future and what you want to prepare for, such as leaving money for your family when you die. Also consider how you are going to achieve your goals.
Your attitude towards taking risks
What you want to achieve may involve saving money or investing. Perhaps you are looking for an investment to give you a lump sum of money for a specific purpose at a set time in the future. Or, you might want an investment to provide you with an additional tax efficient income, either now or in the future.
When deciding whether to invest, it’s important to ask yourself how comfortable you would be if you were faced with short-term loss in order to have the opportunity to make long-term gains. Risk is a very personal thing – what may be a small amount of risk to one person may be huge to another.
Start thinking about risk and how much you are prepared to take with your money. You could be cautious and want to try and protect what you have by putting your money in the bank. Alternatively, you could be willing to bear risk and understand that to achieve your goals you may need to take a chance on the stock market.
Thinking about how you feel concerning taking risk will help us develop and discuss your ideas when we meet. Understanding and agreeing the level of risk you wish (or can afford) to take is a critical part of our discussions and the future journey we will undertake together, working towards your goals.
How much can you afford?
It’s important to calculate how much you can afford to spend and save each month. Have you written down everything you spend each month? Do you know how much you have in excess of your expenditure? Do you need to generate more income, now or in the future?
When we meet we will advise you on ways to achieve your aims and objectives. But before we can do that, it’s important that we fully understand all of your financial circumstances, this will ensure we provide you with the most appropriate advice for your needs.
Consider – if you don’t know where you are going, we probably won’t be able to help you get there.
Below are some useful links to the Money Advice Service website: