Our 4-Step Financial Planning Process


4 Financial Planning is a Bristol-based Financial Adviser that offers complete financial planning services to help you reach your financial goals. Our 4-Step Financial Planning Process is unlike anything you’ve seen before.

We think outside the box to provide an honest and transparent approach. Making our services perfect for those looking for a personalised experience built around your needs.

4 Financial Planning Process Synopsis

Not everyone will be suited to our methods, but if quality advice and specialised attention are what you seek from a financial planner, then we should have the perfect solution for you! 

What is Financial Planning?

Image of a calculate, this symbolises finances.

Financial Planning is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances. Everyone’s financial situation is different, and it’s important to have a plan in place that reflects your unique objectives and circumstances. 

Why is Financial Planning Important?

Financial Planning is important because it helps you ensure your finances are managed in a way that allows you to meet your life goals. Without proper planning, it can be difficult to maintain financial security or acquire the resources needed for long-term success. 

By offering tailored advice and support, we will help you achieve financial independence – giving you the freedom to pursue your dreams. 

Our 4 Step Financial Planning Process

Step 1: Vision & Dreams

An image of a man, staring out in the distance.

The first step in your financial planning process is to start looking at what matters most in your life. What do you personally enjoy and would you like to do more of? What are your aspirations in life? And how does money fit into this?

We want to understand where your financial concerns stem from; both retrospectively as well as into the future. We need to understand how money impacts your emotions and if it brings you joy, or causes stress. Are you an economiser or does spending come too easily?

Finally, we need to learn about where exactly it is that you’d like this journey of yours to take you, and how money can help facilitate options along the way so that success will be achieved.

Step 2: The Financial X-Ray 

Image of a see through plant pot, with money, and a plant growing out.

Once we have a good comprehension of how you think about and manage money, and what position you want to be in the future, we then create your Financial X-Ray. 

This is similar to a roadmap; it will provide us with useful information such as your savings, income, investments and spending habits. By doing this, we’ll know exactly where you’re starting from so that we can help guide you on the path towards financial success.

Then based on your feelings around risk, inflation and morality and taking into account assumptions around growth – we provide a forecast of your finances. This will answer the biggest question: do you have enough? If you don’t, we can put a plan in place to help you get where you want to be. We analyse your finances in four key areas: 

  • Protection

If your ability to work is suddenly hindered or the unthinkable happens, what kind of financial consequences would you face? Have you got shareholder protection? Should we be considering some protection to replace your income or pay off the mortgage? 

  • Short-Term Needs

Are you prepared for the unexpected? Do you have that all important rainy day fund to protect your finances in case of redundancy, car troubles or even house repairs? 

  • Taxation

Is your money being used to its fullest potential? Are you aware of the tax relief schemes available, and have you taken full advantage of them? How will your dependents be affected in case something happens to you, and do they risk a hefty inheritance tax bill upon receiving the legacy that is rightfully theirs?

  • Retirement

Retirement is a significant choice that all of us contemplate at some point in our lives. With there being so many ways to receive retirement income, it can be overwhelming and intimidating for those who are new with the process. Making informed decisions can lead to a fulfilling and stress-free retirement, rather than one where every penny is counted.

When is your ideal retirement date? And do you have the necessary funds to live out your dreams? 

Are you currently on track to reach your goal or do some modifications need to be made?

Step 3: Diagnosis

Image of a magnifying glass, next to a laptop

In order to bring your blueprint into fruition, we’ll use our expertise in pensions, investments, taxes and savings. It may sound easy but it’s not. You must have a reliable process – especially when it comes to investing – which can significantly influence the date of your retirement by years! 

We understand that this is an important decision and will ensure that you get everything right before taking any action.

Step 4: Maintenance

Man on top of money, looking after it.

The last step is often disregarded. To maintain the value of your finances, we meet every year and evaluate your objectives as well as monitor your progress towards those goals. If you lose track, a plan will be made in order to get back on course which could include additional contributions, modifying your portfolio for better tax efficiency or fine-tuning income if you’re already retired and living an idyllic life. With this comprehensive procedure, the slow deterioration of your assets and portfolio can be prevented!

What Are the Benefits of A Financial Planning Process?

Financial planning helps you take control of your financial life. It can help you identify and prioritise your financial goals, create a plan to achieve those goals, and track your progress over time. Not only that, but as an Independent Financial advisor we have the potential to reduce stress and anxiety related to money matters- meaning that you are happier and more fulfilled in everyday life – and let’s be honest, we all strive for this in our lives!

Contact 4 Financial Planning Today

At 4 Financial Planning, we understand that every individual has unique financial priorities and goals. We work with you to create a custom-fit plan (using our financial planning process)that takes into account your current resources and objectives so that you can make the most out of your finances for years to come.

Your financial goals are within reach – let 4 Financial Planning be your guide! Contact us today and start your journey towards a brighter financial future.


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To find out whether we're right for you (and whether you need a financial planner at all) book your meeting now. The first chat is always on the house.

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The best way to get to know us is a face to face meeting. That sounds very formal but trust us when we say that it isn't!

It's a relaxed conversation about you, your life and your goals. There’s no pressure, in fact we never let you make a decision there and then. We’ll always send you away to sleep on it.

Please note, when booking a meeting we will ask for your name and email address. We will only use this information to confirm the meeting and location. We guarantee it will never be passed to a third party.