Chartered accountants’ daily job entails working with numbers and finances in its many forms, for example auditing and analysing financial records, financial reporting, taxation, and so much more. As financial professionals, we also offer financial advice to big corporate companies – however, we seldom get proper financial advice when it comes to our own personal finances. This is often because we manage finances every day and therefore believe we have the knowledge to apply this to our own personal finances. But this may not always be the case. It’s like the saying goes – the shoemaker’s children always go barefoot.
The PPS Graduate Professional Index conducted in April this year among more than 450 CAs revealed that 49% of the respondents have a financial plan in place. In addition, 46% of the respondents indicated that they simply own a combination of financial products that were sold to them.
It is very important for all CAs to use the professional advice of a certified financial planner to guide and assist them to achieve their personal finance goals. In today’s fast-paced world, financial planning often falls to the bottom of the priority list as many people try to juggle their work and life commitments. However, failing to plan effectively can have a significant impact on one’s overall financial health, both in the short and long term.
With financial information being freely available in this day and age, most people also believe that they can manage their finances on their own by using online calculators and tools. While these tools do prove to be extremely useful, it is still advisable to employ the services of a financial planner when it comes to the implementation of a financial plan.
Most people have basic knowledge about saving and investments, and as CAs we like to believe that we have an even better understanding, but you do need the help of a financial planner to set it up according to a specific retirement goal.
The main purpose of engaging with a financial planner or adviser is to provide a person and his/her beneficiaries with a strategy to achieve a desired financial position in which they can secure their current financial status and plan for the future. As people have different financial needs at different stages in their lives, it is important that everyone has a tailor-made financial plan that fits their needs perfectly. A financial plan should effectively be independent of financial services products – it should be evaluated on the attainment of a specific financial goal.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD ADVISER?
A good financial adviser will listen to his or her client, ask appropriate questions, and then provide a comprehensive plan. The adviser will also guide clients through the complexities of financial products. It is vital that everyone has a plan in place and understands that financial products are integral to the implementation of this plan. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to financial affairs. It is also advisable to only deal with a fully accredited intermediary with the relevant qualifications and experience as required by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS).
Author: Tiffany Boesch CA(SA) is group financial director of PPS