The financial planning process: a quick guide

By Ashleigh Taylor (DipPFS)

1 September 2015

Ashleigh Taylor, Financial Planner at AGL Wealth Management, discusses the daunting financial planning process and how you can make it simple and enjoyable.

Taking financial advice can be a daunting process.

Our finances often take a low priority because they can be complex and the advice process can be boring and rigid. 

Financial advice should be sought at all stages throughout the financial planning cycle and is ideal whether you are accessing your finances for the first time and setting up your first policy, or want to know more about your retirement options.


The four key areas of personal financial planning are:

  • Protection – insurance policies to give you and your family financial security and peace of mind;
  • Pensions – all features of personal and employer schemes;
  • Savings and investments – ISAs, bonds, unit trusts and more;
  • Professional partners – legal, tax, deposits/lending and general insurance.

There are lots of ways to go wrong without creating a financial plan. Finding the right financial planner for you can feel like taking a big leap of faith, whether you are looking to take financial advice for the first time or whether you have taken financial advice in the past.

If you choose to take financial advice, here is a guide to ensure that you have a clear path to follow.

1. Discovery 

The initial meeting  should be a chance for you to ask questions and understand the service and fee structure.  It is also an opportunity for the advisor to find out what help you require so they can discuss the options available to you.

2. Research

The advisor will gather information about your existing financial arrangements, complete a full risk profile and analyse your current savings and investments to see if they match your risk profile and possible new arrangements

3. Plan

A detailed Financial Plan should be created to suit your objectives and situation

4. Proposal

This meeting is when your advisor will explain your Financial Plan to you, giving you time to consider the options and understand each aspect of the recommendation

5. Implement

The advisor will implement the recommendations, handling all policy information on your behalf and send you confirmation of all actions taken on your behalf in writing

6. Review

The ongoing review and management service assesses any changes in your circumstances, updates you on your financial plan and is a chance to agree any changes to your financial goals

AGL Wealth Management are working with ICAS to provide access to exclusive financial advisory services especially for ICAS members.  If you would like to find out more, visit the AGL Wealth Management page.

About the author

Ashleigh Taylor (DipPFS), Financial Planner, is responsible for advising employees, affluent retirees and professional connections within AGL's Financial Planning proposition. Ashleigh has over 14 years industry experience working with a large life and pensions provider and an Edinburgh city centre wealth management firm.

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