The 8 Characteristics of a Successful Financial Plan

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Having a financial plan in place means more than just having a good asset allocation or some insurance to protect the people you care for.  No matter what your age is or income level, you should always have a plan in place. it is recommended that YOUR financial plan includes ALL of the following 8 characteristics for a healthy financial plan.

8 Financial Advice Tips from a Financial Expert

  1. A consistent flow of money into the plan.  It isn’t enough to randomly “feed” your plan and rely on portfolio returns.  Consistency breeds stability and predictability when it’s time to “reap”.
  2. A fair rate of return as it pertains to your individual plan objectives and risk tolerance.
  3. Minimum tax consequences while you are building your plan.
  4. Minimum tax consequences while you are reaping the fruits of your labor.
  5. Access to your money.  Your plan will most probably include different “buckets” of money.  Some intended for short-term objectives and some for longer term objectives.  When an objective is reached the funds set aside for it should be easily accessible.
  6. Minimum risk.  If you have gone to the trouble of putting together a well-thought-out plan, don’t try to accelerate your progress by taking more risk than you have to in order to accomplish the goals you set out for yourself with the help of your planner.
  7. Provide for emergencies and unpredictable events.  “Life happens!”
  8. Flexibility to change and adjust as your life does.

Your plan will stand the test of time and will reward you well if you take care to include each and every one of the above.  If you cut corners or leave out any of the above, your plan will at some point fall short.

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