Financial planning greatly contributes to the success and well-being of many South Africans, yet a large portion still holds pre-conceived notions or myths that prevent them from seeking professional counsel. Everyone must address financial decisions every day. Most people make a series of choices that ultimately lead to their version of financial planning.

Here, Tsholofelo Dihutso, Communications Specialist at the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) of Southern Africa, addresses some of the common misconceptions concerning financial planning.

Is financial planning only applicable to wealthy people?

Financial planning is about helping people of all income levels achieve short-term and long-term financial goals. You definitely don’t need to be wealthy to have a financial planner, but they can help you get there.

Does having a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®/CFP® professional mean that I don’t have to learn anything about investing?

Whether or not you have a CFP® professional, it is vital that you educate yourself about your finances. Having a solid understanding about where you stand financially and what investment options are open to you, will allow you to understand what your financial planner is recommending for you. This also enables you to ask the difficult questions of your financial planner. Remember that the results you get from working with a professional are as much as your responsibility as the financial planner’s. You need to be in charge, and most importantly set realistic expectations.

What is the importance of a designation for financial planners?

While many people are able to give decent financial advice, a CFP® professional is held to the highest standards in the industry. In order to obtain a CFP® designation one must complete a postgraduate qualification in financial planning and go through the FPI exam process as well as fulfill their ethical considerations.  Even if a CFP® professional has been in the business for 20 years, this doesn’t mean that they’re giving you old advice as they must partake in continuous professional development which ensures that the advice they give is the most current and perceptive.

Can’t I find everything I need on the internet?

If you’re thinking of getting a financial planner it’s likely that your finances are far more complicated than you realise. There may be various financial services products that you are overlooking and the benefit of a financial planner is that they have the insights to understand the nuances of your financial situation and to know exactly what you need.

“The Global Consumer Survey found that those who use the services of a financial planner felt much more confident about reaching their financial goals and sticking to their financial strategies than those who didn’t,” concludes Dihutso.

 To find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional in your area and for more tips on financial planning, call 086 1000 FPI (374) or 011 470 6000. You can also join the Institute’s online community on Facebook (Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa) and on Twitter (@FPI_SANews).


CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP® Logo are trademarks owned outside the US by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd (FPSB). The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI) is the mark’s licensing authority for the CFP® marks in South Africa through agreement with FPSB.


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