Financial Wellness Month: How a Financial Plan Can Help Get You On Track for 2023

January is Financial Wellness Month. Financial wellness is about ensuring all aspects of your financial life are in good shape. This includes the basics, like a monthly budget, having an emergency fund and ensuring that your debts are under control. This is a good time for investors to review their overall financial plan and make any adjustments to ensure that they are on track.

What is a Financial Plan?

According to Matthew Wollman CDFA®, Vice President of Investments of the Wedbush Securities Pasadena Office, “Financial planning is an ongoing process that looks at your entire financial picture in order to create strategies for achieving both short- and long-term goals.”

A financial plan is an excellent tool to help you manage your long and short-term financial goals, and to establish strategies to achieve these goals.

What’s typically included in a financial plan?

Wollman says,Financial plans can include an investment plan, retirement plan, a college savings plan, and even estate planning, which is generally conducted through an estate attorney.” The components of your financial plan will be determined by your individual situation and your own financial priorities. Factors can include your age, your family situation and others that impact your financial goals.

The financial planning process is a good way to work with a financial advisor to map out your goals and to develop strategies to achieve these goals.

Who can help you build a financial plan?

Certainly, you can put together a financial plan on your own, especially if you have a solid working knowledge of financial and investing concepts. There are software tools available that can help with the number crunching.

For many people, working with a knowledgeable financial advisor makes sense. Besides their expertise in areas like investing, retirement planning, taxes and other areas, financial advisors bring a detached third-party perspective to your planning. They are emotionally vested in your future in a different way than you are, and can therefore add an air of objectivity to the planning process.

Wollman says, “An advisor can help you build a financial plan, and it starts with several questions and due diligence which allows us as Financial Advisors to understand your both short and long-goals as well as liabilities. Too often financial plans lack the attention to detail to the liability side of the balance sheet. There is more to financial planning than Asset Allocation or selecting the best stock or bond.”

A qualified financial advisor brings their experience in working with clients in similar situations to yours to the table. While good financial advisors will look at each client as a unique individual, they do bring a range of experience to each planning engagement gained from working with a variety of clients.

A financial advisor knows what questions to ask clients regarding their current situation including their income, spending, assets and liabilities. They will gather information about the client’s investments, including IRAs and 401(k) accounts. They will also collect data about other assets such as real estate or an interest in a business.

The financial advisor will discuss the client’s financial goals with them as well. These might include retirement, saving for college for their children or a range of other goals. The advisor will also ask questions of their clients to gauge their risk tolerance and their investing experience.

Wollman adds, “Benefits of having a financial plan include allowing the client or family to focus on the longer-term plan, versus worrying about short-term gyrations (for example-inflation or recession) in markets that tend to cause investors to make emotional decisions, like selling when markets are down. Having a financial plan removes the emotional part of the investment process and enables investors to remain disciplined in “their” plan, whatever that may entail.”

Financial Wellness Month is a good time to reach out to your Wedbush financial advisor to discuss your financial situation and your financial plan. If you don’t have a financial plan in place this is a good time to start the process. If you do have a plan, this is a good time to review it and make adjustments as needed.



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