Financial planning is not just about saving your money. It is an opportunity to think ahead and plan for your future. A financial plan acts as a guide in helping you decide on how best to invest your savings and make them accessible during difficult times.
Your financial plan should be comprehensive. It must include savings and investments, insurance, estate planning, taxation, and retirement planning. The problem arises because most people do not dedicate the time to plan their finances.
Spending, saving, or investing without considering your resource limitations and defining unreasonable goals impact you adversely in the long term.
Savings and investments are both building blocks of your financial foundation, but they are different concepts involving varied levels of risk. Savings can be a useful way to protect your money for unfavorable times. However, it offers lower returns than other types of financial instruments. In contrast, investing helps you prepare and achieve your financial goals. It helps you earn higher returns but involves a higher risk of loss. It is therefore advisable to balance your savings and investments.
Financial pitfalls are inevitable without a well-sought financial plan. It is easy to get caught up in the moment and make poor financial decisions. Here is a list of 7 common financial planning mistakes to learn from and ways to avoid making them:
1. Leaving savings unattended- Being fearful of investing is a big financial mistake. You may choose to keep all your money in a safe place, ignoring the opportunity you are actually missing. The main reason for committing this mistake is no risk-taking potential and limited investment knowledge.
You can easily avoid this mistake by learning the basics of investment. It is advisable to start investing in low-risk options like fixed deposits and Public Provident Fund (PPF). Meanwhile, you can gain knowledge and build your risk-taking capability gradually.
2. Not having passive income sources- Passive income is money you can earn regularly with minimal effort. Having passive income sources is important, as it helps you build a constant stream of revenue while investing comparatively less time. You can then choose to invest the earned money into other profitable opportunities.
You can easily find sources of passive income from your existing resources or skills. Pick from real estate investing to investing in the stock market or set up a business venture.
3. Mixing insurance plans with investments- Insurance is different from investments. It is important to remember that the premium for a policy that generates returns is much higher than a traditional policy. These policies come with less coverage and limitations.
Instead, it is advisable to opt for term plans as they are the cheapest and best way to buy a good insurance cover.
4. Keeping all eggs in one basket- Investing all your savings in just one investment vehicle is a big mistake as the risk of underperformance is high. There is a high probability of the returns being lower than expected, or the investment may even fail completely.
Focus on diversifying your portfolio by creating a healthy mix of high-risk and low-risk investments. It is advisable to increase the share of low-risk investments as you grow older.
5. Improper response to market volatility- Overreacting to market fluctuations can lead to serious losses due to buying at all-time highs and selling at all-time lows. You may also end up losing the attractive opportunities that arise due to market corrections.
To avoid losing your money to market volatility, you must keep your long-term investment goals as a context of buying or selling decisions. Also, being systematic with your investments ensures you get the benefits of market highs and stay invested, even during market lows.
6. Not planning investments as per personal needs- Copying a financial plan that might have worked for a family member or friend is not advisable. Not having clear investment goals may unnecessarily push you towards higher risk.
Ensure you list down your current expenditures and financial goals to build a personalized investment strategy. Design a portfolio that performs in line with your goals and generates desired returns.
7. Limiting to traditional methods- Sticking to traditional investment methods restricts your earning potential through limited returns. You also tend to miss the opportunity to create a futuristic portfolio, and achieving your financial goals becomes harder.
Focus on creating an optimal investment portfolio that can help balance your risk-return requirements in the long term. Depending upon your risk appetite, you can try investing in modern investment vehicles like peer-to-peer lending or leasing and inventory financing instruments.
The decision to have a well-thought financial plan is the first step towards smarter investments. You can generate a significant return if you steer clear of the common financial planning mistakes. Start by monitoring your expenses and build your portfolio by investing in vehicles that generate reasonable returns. Plan your financial journey carefully by including your short and long-term goals. Experiment with newer methods of investing, like lease and inventory finance, alongside traditional methods. It will help you generate steady returns through a blend of market and non-market-linked fixed returns.
Financial planning is an opportunity to think ahead and plan for the future. A good financial plan can help you decide how to invest your savings in the best way.
A well-thought financial plan ensures you get reasonable returns on your investment and a part of your funds is accessible during an emergency.
Most people think that having savings is enough but they do not realize the opportunity they are losing because of not investing the saved funds.
The most common financial mistakes are:
When you invest your money, it's important to make sure that you pick instruments aligned with your goals and ensure your returns are reasonable. Try to avoid the common mistakes in financial planning by investing your funds instead of keeping them idle. Make sure you have enough risk coverage and a personalized investment plan that includes market and non-market-linked instruments.