Financial planning - Equilibrium

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    Financial planning

    At Equilibrium, we believe financial planning should be as unique as you are. We don't just create financial plans; we create life plans that align with your aspirations and goals. Whether it's saving for your dream home, planning for your children's education, or retiring early, we start by asking you: "What do you really want to achieve with your money?"

    What is a financial plan?

    In a nutshell, a financial plan is a framework for making decisions with steps to follow for a better financial future. It considers current circumstances and future goals and provides a strategy to meet those goals.

    A sound financial plan is able to adapt to changing circumstances and aspirations and should help you make financial decisions throughout your life.

    Anyone can benefit from a financial plan, regardless of age or income level.

    What is financial planning?

    Financial planning as a broad concept is the creation of a financial plan, the action of making that plan a reality and then sustaining it throughout your lifetime.   

    Of course, there will be factors in a financial plan which can be prepared for but there will also be some which are unexpected. 

    It’s an ever-evolving process which requires regular monitoring and re-evaluation.

    Beginner’s guide to financial planning

    Our free downloadable guide provides all the stepping stones you need to start thinking about your financial plan today.


    What will a financial planner do for me?

    A financial planner works with you to create and execute your personal financial plan, offering expert guidance to help find strategies suited to your individual circumstances and wishes.

    They will also manage your risk and investments in line with your objectives, whilst minimising exposure to tax.

    They will ask you to consider ‘what-if’ scenarios that may disrupt your plans, helping you to prepare for any eventuality.

    So, what makes Equilibrium different?

    For over 25 years, we’ve been helping people like you have peace of mind around their money. We are an independent, award-winning financial planning and investment company.

    The way we see it, our finances have the power to make a huge impact on our lives. We strive to “make people’s lives better” by building a relationship based on trust and enabling our clients to feel confident in their financial plan – it’s become something of a purpose for us.

    We do this by asking you how your money can allow you to

    • Live the life you want.
    • Look after those you love.
    • Leave a powerful legacy.

    When creating a financial plan, the first, second and third priority is you.

    We believe that money should ultimately provide you with choices and these choices should allow you to live the life you want to live, whatever that life may look like.

    To help create your financial plan, we aim to challenge your thinking. There are no right or wrong answers to our questions – it’s about your dreams and aspirations.

    Your planner will take a holistic approach for the long term. This may include (but not limited to) conversations about your life, yours and your family’s future, your approach to investment risk, how to make the most of your tax allowances and much more.

    When should I start a financial plan?

    “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein, Author

    It’s never too soon, or too late, to get your finances on track.

    The one thing you don’t want is to leave it for someone else to sort.

    Whether you are retired or still building your career; have grandchildren or are yet to start a family; buying your first home or have already acquired a portfolio of assets, we can help you to make sure that your financial future is as secure and stress-free as possible.

    Sitting down with a financial planner may give you much-needed peace of mind that you are on target to meet your goals. For some, a conversation with a financial planner is a starting point for clarifying what those goals actually are.

    Whatever the result of your discussions with us, you will be given a realistic indication of where you are on your journey and what it will look like in the coming years.

    Remember, the longer your investments have to grow, the greater their growth will be!

    Our financial planning process Step 1 of 4

    Understand your personal circumstances

    The first step is all about what we excel in: getting to know you.

    At your first stage meeting, your planner will start by asking many questions to better understand your current financial situation, including what assets and liabilities you have; what your income and expenditure is; and what your health and family circumstances are.

    For some, these questions can seem quite probing, but we ask them for good reason – to join up the dots from now into the distant future.

    We’ll also ask you if you know of any future factors which may come into play, such as inheritances or gifts, divorce settlements, the sale of a property or business, family members needing support.

    Our financial planning process Step 2 of 4

    Understand your objectives

    We want to help you plan for the life you truly hope to have.

    To do this, it’s important you are open and honest about your future goals and aspirations. This might be a topic you already have a clear picture of or one that requires self-discovery on your part; either way, we are here to help and guide you.

    Your financial plan is likely to affect more than just you: your objectives may include planning for your children’s future as well as your own; or for those with older relatives, their circumstances may affect your objectives and choices.

    The intention in understanding your objectives is to work out what and who your money has been accumulated for: is it to retire early, travel the world, help your children/grandchildren onto the property ladder, or all the above and more?

    Our financial planning process Step 3 of 4

    Understand your feelings about risk

    Investments will play a huge role in your financial future.

    Whilst investing is a good choice to grow your net worth, there are risks involved and we need to factor them into your portfolio when planning your investments.

    Taking your hard-earned savings and investing them can reap rewards but this should not be at the cost of your financial stability and peace of mind.

    It is essential we capture how you feel about investment risk. We break this down into several categories to gain a full picture of how you view risk, as reason and judgement can often be clouded when personal feelings and emotions are involved.

    The level of risk taken will need to reviewed regularly and at specific life stages.

    Our financial planning process Step 4 of 4

    Your plan

    The final step in the process is to create a plan which is unique to you.

    This part is about making the right investments in the right tax wrappers for your individual circumstances, leaving you with a clear picture of how your money can enable you to lead a happy life. 

    You can also plan for the unexpected such as a broken boiler, car repair, loss of income or sadly, the sudden death of a spouse.

    Your financial adviser will build these considerations into your plan using cash-flow modelling and will often consider ‘worst case’ scenarios simply to ensure you have peace of mind should the worst happen, you have a plan in place that can deal with this, thus enabling you to make better financial decisions for yourself and your future.

    Got a question about your financial plan? Let us answer it for you…

    Fill in this simple form and someone will get back to you, or get in touch on 0808 156 1176 or by emailing

      Would you like direction with your financial plan?

      Would you like direction with your financial plan?

      A robust financial plan, bespoke to your circumstances, can empower you to make better financial decisions.

      We believe many financial decisions can be made easier with the right tools.  

      What is the real purpose of your money?

      What is the real purpose of your money?

      The most economic decision doesn’t necessarily make it the right decision.

      Understanding the ‘why’ behind your money is key to any financial plan.

      It's good to talk

      It's good to talk

      You may have spoken to your parents regarding your hopes and plans for the future but have you ever talked to them about theirs?

      Does the adage, “every problem exists in the absence of a good conversation”, still ring true?

      Find out more about financial planning

      A new horizon

      A new horizon

      Find out how we build flexible investment portfolios and solutions for our clients.

      Read more

      Money. Life. Dreams.

      Money. Life. Dreams.

      People come to Equilibrium for a variety of reasons but they soon realise we look far beyond providing just a financial plan.

      Read here

      Financial planning glossary

      Financial planning can often seem confusing. Our glossary gives you a helpful explanation to each of the common terms.

      Asset management

      The management of investments on behalf of others.


      An item of property belonging to a person or company, considered to be of value in monetary terms. For example, property, savings, investments, personal possessions, chattels etc.


      The original amount of money used to generate an income or grow an investment.

      Cash-flow modelling

      This is a tool which shows a detailed picture of all the money coming in and out throughout an individual’s lifetime, taking account of tax, inflation and life events. It can show where you are now, where you want to be in the future and what you can do to get to where you want to be, exploring various eventualities.


      Money required for the purposes of spending, either regular or ad hoc.

      Horizon planning

      Also known as liability matching. The process of identifying the purpose of the money, when it may be needed and planning accordingly.


      This is usually measured by money coming in or earned e.g. employment, pension, investment, annuity etc.

      Income tax band

      This is the parameter of income (above the personal allowance) which is liable to income tax at a set rate. The rates in England are 0% (no tax payable), 20% (basic rate), 40% (higher rate), 45% (additional rate).


      This is what is left behind following a person’s passing. This is known as the ‘estate’ and includes property, savings, investments and potentially other assets too.

      Inheritance tax planning

      The process of finding out what an estate is worth and reviewing the ongoing tax liability.

      Investment portfolio

      A holding of assets such as equity, bonds and cash for the purposes of investing.

      Investment risk

      The probability or uncertainty attached to any invested amount. It is an umbrella term for a collection of risks which incorporates volatility, inflation, interest rate, liquidity, capital risk.


      An amount of money owed or obligated to an individual / business.

      Liability matching

      What we refer to as horizon planning. A strategy that matches current income and assets with a series of future liabilities.   

      Personal allowance

      This is the allowance provided to everyone at the start of every tax year and is the amount which can be earned without being subject to income tax.

      Retirement planning

      The process of identifying the likely value of all pension income, expenditure requirements before and after standard retirement age, and the optimal time to start drawing a pension income.

      Tax mitigation

      Where the taxpayer uses an available fiscal incentive within tax legislation to minimise a tax liability.

      Tax rates

      This includes income tax thresholds, personal allowance, national insurance rates, capital gains, dividends and pension contributions.

      The current (England) tax rates for 2023/24 are:

      Tax rate (%)Earnings 
      20£12,571 – £50,270
      40£50, 271 – £125,140
      45Earnings above £125,140
      Tax year

      In any given year, this runs from 6 April in year 1 to 5 April in Year 2. For example, tax year 2023/24 runs from 6 April 2023 to 5 April 2024.

      Tax reliefs

      Reduces the amount of tax you pay and/or allows a taxpayer to claim back tax already paid to the government.

      Wealth management

      This is an overall service which provides comprehensive advice and access to financial planning, investment management, legal and estate planning, tax mitigation, philanthropy and more. This service is most suited to high-net-worth individuals or those with complex portfolios.

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      Get in touch with us today by completing the form. Alternatively, don't hesitate to call us using the numbers below.

      New Enquiries: 0161 383 3335
      Existing clients: 0161 486 2250

        If you'd like a call from one of our financial planners please complete the form below.

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