Putting together a financial plan is something that everyone should make time for at some point in their lives, but this becomes much more difficult to achieve unless you understand your financial values.
The fact is that different people have different views towards their money and being able to recognise what they are is essential.
What are your values?
The first step to take is to ask yourself what you would consider your biggest financial priorities to be.
It might be that you want to make long-term investments that will make you secure when it comes to retirement, or set enough money aside to help your child buy their first home.
It is a good idea to write a list of what your major values are, followed by a second list of those that are slightly less important.
Very few people invest the time in taking stock of how they feel towards money, despite the fact doing so can have a positive impression on their financial wellbeing.
Remember that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to deciding what your values are – appreciating what they are, however, will help shape the investment choices you make.
The $10,000 question
One of the best ways to work out where financial values lie is to ask yourself what you would do if you were suddenly given $10,000.
Would you spend it straight away, put it in a savings account or do a bit of both?
Your answer to this question will give an insight into your values and could shape the sort of advice a financial planner provides.
Putting goals in place
Once you have a better understanding of your attitudes towards money, you can start to think about what goals you will establish to keep your financial plan on track.
Think carefully about whether your main priorities are in the short or long-term, as this will partly decide where your investments are going to perform best.
Working towards your objectives
The final step is making the effort to meet your objectives – regular meetings with a financial advisor will help ensure that you are staying on track.
Reassessing your financial values once in a while is a great idea as they could change over time, especially if you go through a major life event such as moving house, getting married or having children.
ipac is one of Australia's largest financial advisory firms and has offices based across the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMP Group, ipac specialises in research and financial advice that helps clients lead happier, more fulfilling lives.