Four years today, I left the corporate world and embarked launching Eclipse Financial Planning. In this time, I’ve had the privilege to be entrusted to advise clients and guide them through myriad of different decisions and obstacles through a period of great uncertainty.
Here are some personal reflections of what I’ve learnt:
1. Education Is Key
The more clients understand about their finances, the more confident they become in making informed decisions. Those that have been willing to listen, engage and learn have seen better outcomes.
2. Goals Matter
Clients investing for the sake of investing can quickly lose their way. Goal based investment planning helps people stay the course. The clearer we are about what we want, and understanding what we have to do to achieve it, the more likely success will come.
3. Patience and Persistence Pay Off
Building wealth takes time and discipline. I’ve seen clients make significant progress by consistently adhering to their financial plans. The key is to stay patient and committed.
4. Understanding Risk
There is always a risk in everything we do. The better financial journeys come from those who can better understand what risk they are taking and why.
5. It’s Not Just About Money
Financial advising often delves into the emotional and psychological aspects of money. Understanding a client’s values, fears, and aspirations is just as crucial as crunching numbers. Finding meaning in the money is paramount to a well-rounded financial plan.
6. Life Happens; Be Prepared
Sadly, we are under protected and the need for insurance collectively is far greater than we appreciate individually.
7. Tax Efficiency Matters
The tax element of investment planning is so much more than just a cherry on top, it can make a real difference if done correctly.
8. We Are Not Saving Enough
Cost of living, property prices and lack of real wage growth for years coupled with a debt-based spending culture has led to very low savings rates and too many people are not fully appreciating the cost of not saving enough each month.
In these four years, I’ve come to appreciate that financial advising isn’t just about numbers; it’s about helping individuals and families achieve their dreams and secure their futures. It’s a dynamic field that demands a holistic approach, a commitment to continuous learning, and above all, a passion for helping others to navigate their own financial maze.