Five ways a financial adviser can help you on your journey to success this savings month 

As we embark on Savings Month, it's crucial to consider the role of sound financial planning in achieving our goals.

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They say, ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst, and expect to be surprised’. This rings especially true for our finances. Bertie Nel, Momentum Head of Financial Planning and Advice, says ‘planning for the worst’ presents a challenge for many, as it is here where most financial expectations quickly crumble. What is ‘the worst’? Who can help you plan for it? And can they help you understand what surprises could be lying in wait?  

Developing a financial plan with a financial adviser can help preserve your income by managing the current and future financial needs of those who depend on you – whether it’s a family, a workforce, or both, – advises Nel.  

Nel provides five crucial ways you can save for the future by consulting a financial adviser:

1. Tailored financial planning

Nel says a financial adviser can create a personalised plan that aligns with your unique financial circumstances and goals. They assess your income, expenses, debt, and investments to develop a strategy that can maximise savings for the short, medium, and long term (i.e. retirement).

Why it works:

  • Customised advice: Unlike generic (online) advice, a financial adviser considers your specific circumstances.
  • Long-term vision: Advisers help you set realistic goals and provide a roadmap to achieve them.
  • Adaptability: As your finances grow or challenges arise, your adviser can help you adjust your plan to ensure you stay on track to still achieve your goals.

2. Smart investment strategies

Investing can be daunting, especially when you are preoccupied with just keeping your finances afloat. Financial advisers offer expertise in selecting investments that align with your appetite for risk and long-term goals. “They can help diversify your portfolio by also balancing high- and low-risk investments to optimise returns,” says Nel.

Why it works:

  • Risk management: Financial advisers mitigate risk by spreading investments across different asset classes.
  • Market insights: They provide insights into market trends and opportunities, helping you make informed decisions.
  • Continuous monitoring: Financial advisers regularly review your portfolio to ensure it remains aligned with your goals.

3. Tax efficiency

Nothing is more frustrating than muddling your way through submitting annual tax returns. Consulting a financial adviser can help you navigate the complex world of taxes. “No more fumbling around a complex maze of tax numbers and codes,” says Nel. “Financial advisers can advise on tax-efficient investment strategies, how to maximise any deductions you may be eligible for, and retirement options.”

4. Emergency fund planning

Bertie Nel says financial advisers always stress the importance of an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses without derailing your long-term savings plan.

Why it works:

  • Financial security: An emergency fund ensures you can handle sudden expenses without tapping into emergency or even retirement savings.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing you have a financial cushion allows you to remain focused on achieving your long-term goals.

5. Discipline and accountability

Regular check-ins and progress reviews with your financial adviser can help keep you on track to achieve your financial goals.

Why it works:

  • Regular monitoring: Regular reviews provide an opportunity to discuss and assess progress and make any adjustments.
  • Goal reinforcement: Your long-term goals remain top of mind and help to ensure you keep to your plan.
  • Behavioural coaching: Engaging with a financial adviser before making important financial decisions can prevent you from making emotional and impulsive financial decisions in favour of smart, disciplined choices.

6. The bigger picture

Nel says all South Africans can benefit from consulting a financial adviser for a robust financial plan, to optimise investments, manage your taxes, prepare for emergencies, and maintain disciplined savings habits.

Furthermore, engaging with a financial adviser can help you weather financial pressure. Choose the pain of discipline today to avoid the pain of regret tomorrow.

Embrace the journey, prepare for it with expert guidance, and confidently stride towards a financially secure future on your journey to success,” – Nel concludes. 

Bertie Nel, Momentum Head of Financial Planning and Advice
Bertie Nel, Momentum Head of Financial Planning and Advice

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