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Personal Financial Planning

By: Ted Black, CFP©
Spring 2021 (Vol. 39, No. 1)

The COVID-19 pandemic … Wow! This pandemic has wreaked havoc on so many people and businesses around the globe in so many ways that it’s really quite hard to wrap one’s head around. And sadly, the saga continues. The dire scenario in India, the mutated strains popping up in different geographic regions, the challenge to get vaccines to those in need, and the emotional, physical and financial damage to individuals and economies the world over continues. It seems fair to say that we are experiencing events that no one alive today has lived through before.

Unfortunately, the best that most of us can do is to play our part by acting reasonably and responsibly, and hope that we see an end to this sooner rather than later. As it goes with serious events, and sometimes not so serious events, there’s seemingly no end to analysts’ economic and market forecasts. And as usual, the range of opinions as to what comes next for the economy and market varies widely. Regardless of one’s education, background and/or experience, predicting the future is tricky business, and at the end of the day at best it’s only an educated guess. So please take any of your favorite market prognosticators latest with a grain of salt, and place your emphasis on aligning your actions with your present and future financial goals and objectives in mind.

Smart investing begins with careful planning. Before you evaluate your current holdings, it’s important that you define exactly what you’d like your money to do for you. This type of personal financial analysis will help you build a solid foundation from which you can make informed decisions about your financial future, and provides the critical information you need to create an appropriate investment portfolio. You can begin to put together a realistic look at your financial future by following a simple 4-step Personal Financial Planning process.

Take Inventory. Understanding your current financial situation is an important first step. Gather all the documents, account statements, insurance policies, etc., that have any bearing on your financial life and take a “snapshot” of where you are today.

Clearly Identify Your Finances. Be as specific as you can here, with realistic dollar amounts tied to a time line. The better defined your goals are, the better prepared you are to make decisions that give you the best chance to achieve them.

Create and Execute a Plan of Action Armed with a solid understanding of your current financial situation and a clearly defined set of financial goals, now’s the time to set a course of action and execute your ideas.

Monitor and Adjust. Things change. There may be events in your personal life or in the marketplace that cause you to think differently about your financial future. Personal Financial Planning is not a one-time event, it’s an ongoing process. Remaining alert and flexible will be a key to your long-term success.

Remember, whether you’re just getting started, in your prime earning years, or already enjoying retirement, a good plan can provide a solid foundation for your financial success.

If you have questions about the planning process and how it may apply to your situation, please feel free to call Ted Black, CFP© at 888-878-0001, extension 3.

Advisory services offered through Royal Palm Investment Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.