What exactly is financial planning? Many people have an amorphous idea of this activity—perhaps it involves stocks or retirement accounts—but don’t truly know what it entails. At Lowery Thomas, LLC Financial Planners & Investment Advisors, our team is dedicated to helping clients grow their resources to fund bright futures. Since financial planning is a personalized process, the first step is understanding what it includes. Our professionals work closely with our clients to keep them educated, informed, and confident in their money management. In the following blog, we explain the background of financial planning so you can better comprehend and take advantage of it.
What is Financial Planning?
Business Dictionary defines financial planning as: “long-term profit planning aimed at generating greater return on assets, growth in market share, and at solving foreseeable problems.” Fundamentally, financial planning is about making wise money moves in service of long-range outcomes. Furthermore, Investopedia defines a financial planner as: “a qualified investment professional who helps individuals and corporations meet their long-term financial objectives by analyzing the client’s status and setting a program to achieve that client’s goals.”
At Lowery Thomas, LLC, our financial planners begin by gaining a better understanding of your objectives and financial needs to spot both potential pitfalls and opportunities. Next, we put together a distinctive program to suit your particular needs and preferences. Your financial plan could include:
- Creating a diversified portfolio of investments
- Organizing your estate
- Setting aside resources to fund college education
- Tax planning
- Making the most of employee stock options
- Protecting your assets
- Preparing for your retirement
Financial planning is a versatile, effective strategy for current and continued fiscal success.
A Quick History Lesson
Where did the field of financial planning come from? In some ways, you could say that it’s been around forever—of course, people have always looked for ways to protect their families and ensure their solvency for years to come. However, there wasn’t a clear, codified way to do so until relatively recently. According to the Financial Planning Association, or FPA®, this all changed in December 1969, when Loren Dunton and Jim Johnston created their non-profit organization, The Society for Financial Counseling Ethics. This group strove to devise client-focused methods for juggling the complex factors involved in financial planning. They incorporated the College for Financial Planning in 1972 and the first class of students graduated the next year, when the Institute of Certified Financial Planners officially formed. The industry has continued to develop since then. As of 2005, almost 100,000 people held Certified Financial Planner, or CFP®, certification.
One of the leaders at Lowery Thomas, LLC is a CFP® with a Master’s degree in Taxation. To earn this title, an advisor must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree
- Complete additional courses in financial planning at an institution approved by the CFP Board
- Pass the rigorous CFP® exam
- Demonstrate a history of lawful, honorable behavior (for example, felony convictions typically prevent individuals from earning CFP® certification)
- Agree to comply with the CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct
The certification process helps ensure that your financial planner is knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Benefits of Financial Planning
Taking a proactive approach to managing your money can be very rewarding. There are myriad benefits to financial planning. Utilizing the experience and expertise of a CFP® can help you:
- Enjoy peace of mind about your finances.
- Feel and be more in control of your money.
- Keep your funds secure.
- Save the time, hassle, and headache of dealing with your own investments.
- Rest assured that your accounts are in good hands, being handled by a qualified, caring professional.
- Have personal input on your financial plans.
- Modify your current fiscal behavior and correct monetary mistakes to suit your long-term goals.
- Optimize the strategies you already have in place.
Find Out More About Financial Planning
You can experience the benefits of financial planning for yourself! To learn more about the background of this field or schedule a consultation with one of our advisers, contact Lowery Thomas, LLC today.