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7 Steps to Becoming Your Own Financial Planner

I am a strong believer of managing one’s own money and finances.

The simple reason is that it’s your money at stake, and your financial future that’s being planned.

Nobody cares more about your money than you do. So if you are not motivated to improve your financial situation, nobody else is going to do so either…not even the best financial planner around.

I manage my own finances and see no reason why anyone else can’t do that on his or her own.

This is not to say that using the services of a financial planner is not worth it. In fact, if you can find a good, ethical, trustworthy financial planner, supplementing your financial skills with his knowledge can work wonders for your financial life.

Also, being your own financial planner works only if you have the time and energy to put into the job.

There will always be some areas where you would need some professional help, like tax planning. Go ahead and take help here, but make sure you understand what you are being offered, do your own research and ask questions.

Anyways, here are 7 simple steps I use to manage my own finances. You can use these to manage your own finances as well.

Step 1: Spend less than you earn. In short, save some money every month.

Step 2: Create an emergency fund. The fund should ideally be around 6-10 months of your household expenses.

Step 3: Buy medical insurance (mediclaim). Health is wealth, but bad health must not destroy your wealth.

Step 4: If you have dependents, buy term insurance. No ULIP, no Endowment, no Money-Back, no Child Plan…just term insurance.

Step 5: Divide your financial goals into “less than 5 years” and “more than 5 years” and allocate your investments based on the duration of your goals:

  • For money required in less than 5 years (like for debt repayment, child’s education fee, foreign holiday, new car purchase), allocate your investments among “stocks plus equity mutual funds” and “bonds plus other capital-protection investments” in a ratio of 30:70.
  • For money required in more than 5 years, allocate your investments among “stocks plus equity mutual funds” and “bonds plus other capital-protection investments” in a ratio of 70:30.

Step 6: Write a Will. If you don’t want to leave you family in the lurch after you’re gone, write a Will. It’s much simpler than what you could imagine.

Step 7: Review your financial goals and investments every 6 months. Review to check if all is well, not to change everything that has already been done.

So this is how I self-manage my finances.

What about you? Do you manage your finances on your own or do you use the services of a financial planner (not a CA, or an insurance agent, or a mutual fund distributor…but a professional financial planner)?

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.

Comments

  1. R. K. Chandrashekar says:

    Well said Vishal. Most important rule: Done forget Rule no 1- Spend less than you earn, else everything else falls flat!!

  2. I actually tried a FP in the past but not quite satisfied because some of his recommendations were routine (same advise, various clients), inclined (towards few companies/products) and sometimes did not made much sense (debt instruments for goals way away etc). At some point, I made a decision to take charge, I am doing it ok so far. I spend atleast half an hour, reading blogs, understanding economy and what is happening in the financial world with the intention of not getting influenced and keeping my heart and mind at long term plans.
    I will have to work on a will though. I will spend some quality time to understand Will at the link you have provided and will make one soon.
    I feel that you should include a link (like StockTalk) where members could discuss and ask questions on your value investing course. If that does not cost you any money, it would help others too. Your other readers could provide suggestion.

  3. Dear Vishal,

    I started my investment journey on my own in an unorganized manner. On the way, fortunatley I got Mr. Sailesh of Personal FN, who guided me on the right way in investing (Goal based investing). I too got lot of learning from PFN articles that was so useful.

    Now, I manage my investments on my own and I am quite confident in managing it myself. Moreover, I do enjoy managing it (that’s most important).

    As you always says, you are the best one to manage your own money (no one else).

  4. Shahil S. Charania says:

    Hello Mr. Vishal
    I have been earning since past two years after completing my engineering education. I am reviewing your articles and post and planning my investments by keeping a broader sense of investing. Very thankful to you, for the guidelines. In the end, It’s me who matters for me the most.

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  1. […] of first things advised for personal finance is to create an emergency fund for yourself. This fund should cover 6 to 8 months of your expenses and it should be kept ultra […]

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