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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Costly Financial Planning Mistakes to Avoid

A lot of us think that financial planning is difficult, and thus relying on financial planners to plan on our behalf, but financial planning is something that is different from one individual to another individual depending on age, risk tolerance, plans and many more; thus relying on financial planners who usually have certain templates of financial plans for financial planning is one of the costliest financial planning mistakes that one should avoid - although getting the advice from financial planners as reference is strongly advisable.

The next costly financial planning that one should avoid is to treat retirement fund like EPF in Malaysia or CPF in Singapore as savings. I come across many who told me that they do have savings and give the example like EPF which is a financial planning blunder. Retirement fund should be treated as the fund for retirement (as the name already suggested), and one should somehow allocate a portion of the income as savings for rainy days. IF this is not do-able, it just mean that he or she is not supposed to commit more to loans or other fixed expenses and should come out with a plan to have fixed savings. Without savings, one will not have free cash flow (FCF) which will enable him or her to invest or grow the savings to at least combat inflation.

Not revising financial plan according to the environment and situation is also another financial planning mistake which one should really avoid. We tend to think that financial planning is a one time thing, but if we were to fully utilized the tax benefits and economy news, we stand a better chance to have higher returns. Also as we gets older, we need to reduce exposure to risky investment and go for fixed-income investment like REITS, dividend counters or even higher rate fixed deposit by becoming premier banking customers. 

Finally, having too many accounts doesn't seems to be an issue for most people, but having too many accounts actually be one of the costliest mistake that one have in financial planning. As mentioned previously, by becoming premier banking customers, we stand a better chance to have better fixed deposit rates; which doesn't seems much but as time goes, the extra compounded value can make a different. Having too many accounts also makes planning more difficult and the limited resources will end up in different accounts; thus harder for one to become premier banking customer and to make use of all the benefits of becoming one. Having more than one account is advisable, but certainly not to the extend of 10 to 20 accounts where monitoring becoming more difficult.


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