Covid-19 – A shot in the arm for Financial Planning?
6th April 2021
It is hard to believe that it is only a year ago that the Covid-19 tsunami swept across the world causing untold devastation and impacting our lives in ways we could never have imagined outside of a blockbuster Hollywood movie.
The ripples caused by the pandemic have been seismic and far-reaching. The freedoms and normality we previously took for granted have been shaken to the core. In the midst of all the human tragedy and economic turmoil I believe that people have started to question what is really important and also to consider their own mortality.
Before the pandemic, the majority of people went about their daily lives in a permanent state of “fast forward”, rarely drawing breath to consider their longer term goals and objectives. With less to do and more time to do it, many people have been re-assessing their priorities and reaching for the life “reset” button.
Why am I working so hard ?
Can I retire earlier and enjoy life more ?
How about helping the kids more ?
Running in parallel to these potentially life-impacting thoughts we have seen in excess of *£120bn saved by UK households during the lockdowns of the past 12 months and unnervingly extreme stock market movements.
It is unlikely that this pent up financial energy will be totally exhausted on debt repayment, missed holidays and other consumer spending. Some savings habits may become more permanent especially if people’s work patterns and spending do not fully revert to pre-pandemic norms.
All of the above questions and circumstances point the financial compass squarely in the direction of seeking professional financial advice.
A good financial adviser will work with a client to help them achieve their desired financial goals whilst also ensuring that achievement of a particular objective is realistic! In many cases this is best explained visually using one of a number of planning tools at their disposal.
The pandemic has proved to be a good barometer regarding the quality of service provided by advice professionals. Good financial advisers keep in touch with their clients in falling, as well as, rising markets and so will have been vocal, visible and accessible throughout the pandemic.
The decision to appointment or change a financial adviser is not one that is or should be taken lightly. Getting the decision and relationship right can positively impact not only the client but also their children and future generations.
Consideration should be given not just to addressing the “core” investment planning staples of ISA and pension funding, but also broader planning areas such as Protection, Retirement Income, Generational planning, Trusts and Inheritance Tax.
Taking a “joined up” approach and working collaboratively with other professionals such as lawyers and accountants should ensure that the needs and objectives of a client are front and centre at all times and with all parties.
If the past 12 months have prompted you to question your lifestyle, priorities or financial planning and objectives, I encourage you to speak to your existing adviser or research independent advisers in your local area.
If I can be of any assistance please contact me to discuss your circumstances.
Chartered Financial Planner
G+E Private Wealth Ltd
*Analysis by the Bank of England
**The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice or trusts.