Stop worrying about money and act

As part of Financial Planning Week and GetAdvised, Financial Planning Institute CEO Steve Gazzard discusses ways professional advice can keep you on track to achieving your goals and put you in control of your life.

Financial planning: don't know where to begin?

It’s been fantastic to see the great response to 2013 Financial Planning Week, the national campaign organised each year by the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP), to raise awareness among the general public of the importance of financial planning.  As part of Financial Planning Week, our survey, which was conducted by YouGov, questioned over 2,000 people.  It revealed that money is a real concern for people with 82 per cent of people reporting that they worried about money some, most, or all of the time. But just 4 per cent have a comprehensive financial plan in place.  With so many people clearly struggling to cope with their finances, there’s never been a more important time to encourage people to take action and start to plan.

“Money is a real concern for people with 82 per cent of people reporting that they worried about money some, most, or all of the time. But just 4 per cent have a comprehensive financial plan in place”

As part of the YouGov survey, respondents were asked to think about what they see as the major benefits of using a financial adviser or a financial planner. The results show quite clearly that the benefits of professional advice are a well-kept secret to the majority of people.  And 22 per cent said they don’t know what the benefits might be, and 36 per cent could think of no benefits. This is a major concern.  Those people who have taken professional advice and have a comprehensive financial plan in place regularly report that the major benefits are having greater ‘peace of mind’, being better organised and more confident when it comes to their finances and their lives. It’s not about getting a decent return on your money, it’s about knowing that no matter what life or the economy throws at you, you’ve got a plan in place to deal with it and keep you on track to achieving your goals. It puts you in control of your life.  We need to give people more help to get their own plans in place. We also need to highlight the value of sound professional financial planning advice.  During Financial Planning Week, we’ve worked hard to offer that all important help that can make such a difference to people’s lives. And from what we can see so far, it’s beginning to work!

An important part of this campaign is that the IFP is working together with organisations like unbiased.co.uk to pool all the expertise and resources that are available to help people take positive action to improve their financial “fitness”.  We need to get the message out that financial planning isn’t just for the wealthy it’s for everybody. The good news is that through this campaign, we’re highlighting simple steps people can take to manage any debt, build savings and protect their families on the journey.

Although the campaign is generic and aims to provide support through tips and tools for the public to use, Financial Planning Week also provided the impetus and opportunity for people to have face-to-face meetings with a professional financial adviser. This way they can experience for themselves the value of professional financial planning advice. We’ve been delighted to see so many financial planning firms opening their doors to offer financial planning surgeries this week and the early feedback has been extremely positive.

Find a financial adviser near you to help you achieve your financial goals.