Traditional financial planning encompasses the evaluation of an individual's current and future financial state. Financial planners use a number of variables to develop a financial structure, outlining specific goals for budgets, savings and investments. These individuals can become licensed Certified Financial Planners (CFP) in order to add knowledge and expertise to their strategies.
Thanks to technology, wealthy individuals are no longer the only ones with access to credible financial planning. Companies like LearnVest and Mint.com provide users with an online platform for investment and financial advisory services at a fraction of the cost of traditional financial planners LearnVest has transitioned from a financial planning service for women initially to a full-fledged investment adviser. Its current offerings include the seven-step LearnVest Action Program, which helps with budgeting, saving, and investing money for retirement, and a mobile app for financial management on the go.LearnVest Action Program
In an attempt to make financial planning accessible to all, LearnVest developed an affordable advisory service. The tools LearnVest offers are free; however, financial planning services start at $19 per month after a $299 startup fee. Registering with LearnVest provides consumers with a seven-step plan called the LearnVest Action Program comprised of strategies for saving, budgeting and retirement.
The Action Program provides users with a dedicated CFP who customizes the plan and, in conjunction with the individual, monitors progress towards determined financial goals. LearnVest's custom Money Centers lets users track their spending. The Money Center integrates most bank accounts and enables manual tracking of cash purchases. In addition to planning services, members have access to the Knowledge Center, a library of educational personal finance resources on budgeting, saving and investing.Financial Habits
An important part of healthy financial planning is adopting and adhering to sound financial habits. LearnVest identifies five key habits that can provide continuous financial stability when adopted early in life. At the heart of LearnVest's financial planning is building and sticking to a budget. A budget is an estimation of income and expenditures for a set period of time. In conjunction with a CFP, users are provided with custom-built budgets and tools that categorize all transactions.These budgets give advice on how to successfully implement the users plans.