How to make an effective financial plan? – Part 2

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A financial plan is not just a way to manage your money but also a practical method to identify what your life goals are. It provides an excellent opportunity for you to take a thorough glance at your whole life and visualise what you want to achieve.

A sound financial plan is not only comprehensive but also actionable. It connects all the different financial aspects of your life and provides you with a step to step guide on how to make things work.

Sarah Lord, managing director of Kilik Chartered Financial Planners, has done a splendid job in this regard; she has put forward a comprehensive guide for expats with the objective to help them in creating a practical financial plan for future. The guide comprises of three series – it includes a step to step suggestions on how they can make the most out of their earnings and savings.

In part one of the series, we looked at how expats need to determine their net worth, start budgeting, clear debts and create an emergency fund.

Here is the second part of the three-part series by Ms Lord to help expats in managing their money efficiently.

Determine your financial goals

This is your first step to identify and set your lifetime goals. Outline all the things that you want to achieve in your life and determine when you will pay for them. These goals can be owning a house, buying a car, yearly trips, retirement plans, children’s schooling or property extensions, etc.

After you have written all your goals, the next step will be to decide whether you can afford to fund these goals or not.  Make a simple cash-flow model to visualise how many goals you can achieve.

Investment strategy

After setting up your financial goals, start prioritising them, and plan your next investment strategy which will provide you with enough funds at the required time.

Your investment strategy depends on when you need your money back:

  • Short-term plan (Less than five years): Invest in a secure place with a relatively small risk factor. Good options can be short-dated securities or cash.
  • From 5 to 10 years: Make your investments in places which give a good return. Investing in shares can be a viable option.
  • Long term: You can buy stocks to earn a good return on your investments for long-term goals.

Taking risk

When you are in your 30s or 40s, it is natural to be a risk taker and usually taking a risk does pay off but there is an equal chance of losing all of your investment too.

A financial advisor can help you in this regard – he/she will work out a strategy which will let you take calculated risks so that you don’t end up wasting all your money.

Preparation

Executing your financial plan takes more of your time and efforts than you anticipated, A practical financial strategy needs to be within your saving goals.

Set your goals and allocate funds appropriately to make the most out of it. Try hiring a professional, if you are unable to do the tips mentioned above. A financial professional will aid you and catalyse the process because of their experience and expertise.

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