How we work

On the journey to financial independence, it’s the first five steps that count the most.

One of the main services provided by HK Wealth is to help our clients achieve a secure retirement or even, in many cases, to retire early.

Our belief is that if the following five steps are taken and given a minimum of resources, sufficient patience and discipline, any of our clients can achieve this.

Step one: shining a light on your finances.

This is the discovery stage. It is most important to know where we are starting from, in financial terms.

We will make it a priority, therefore, to identify and evaluate all the pensions, savings, shares, insurances and other financial assets a client may have.

 

Step two: helping you to up your game.

Part of our professional duty to help you get as organised as possible with your finances.

While many do already run a tight ship with no input from us, it’s not unheard of for people to bring us their pension and insurance documents jumbled up in a bag! Not only can we sort out this practical problem, we can give guidance on how you can be better organised in the future.

 

Step three: a cashflow early-warning system.

An important topic in our talks with you will be to get you to reveal your hopes and desires for your future lifestyle.

Using advanced cashflow software we can produce lifelong cashflow projections which help define and realistically cost what are often quite vague ambitions and so highlight potential problems. Should, for example, the analysis reveal that you might need to use some of your capital to balance your budget then we could help in the search for ways to either increase cash inflows, or reduce cash outflows.

Alternatively, if the software was to show you run a cash surplus, then there will be a steady increase in the value of your investment portfolio which may result in a potential inheritance tax liability and the need for estate planning. In each case, a financial planning issue has arisen. Action taken in response to such ‘early warnings’ can deal with potential problems before they become severe.

 

Step four: planning your financial future.

Now we know both your start point and your ultimate destination, we are in a position to develop a financial plan that will actually make the journey feasible. Part of this step is to establish your individual risk profile. This important process is used to help determine which investment strategy will be suitable for you.

A financial plan requires us to make realistic and sensible assumptions about the future and we’ll need you to agree them before your plan can be finalised. At HK Wealth we use a formalised and structured approach to determine these planning assumptions and the process is one that is usually painless and that some clients find interesting. We work on the logical basis that if planning assumptions are sound then the conclusions which flow from them should also be sound.

 

Step five: because you never know what is around the corner.

As with any plan that looks years, or even decades, into the future, it will need to be reviewed and occasionally updated as circumstances change.

Normal events in the economy can cause an investment portfolio to become unbalanced, requiring us to intervene to return it to its original shape. And as a client’s needs change, it may be necessary to call on other facets of our service including investment planning, tax planning, risk management and estate planning.

A step overlooked by some financial planners is to consider worst-case scenarios. We believe it makes sense to make provision for any possible financial ‘bad hair’ days. Just because you prepare for unfortunate eventualities doesn’t, of course, make them any more likely to happen! But it can be reassuring to know that if something untoward does occur, you’re prepared.