So, you have money issues, but you don’t know how to go about solving them. This is where a financial planner comes in. A financial planner is a qualified professional who helps individuals or companies to improve their financial situation by providing planning solutions. Examples of the kind of advice that you could expect to receive include help on cash flow, tax, and insurance, amongst a variety of other services. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /> Initially the financial planner will analyze the requirements or goals of the individual or company seeking advice from them. This involves discovering their future financial aspirations and the timescale upon which they would like to achieve particular things. The goals uncovered will be important both in terms of making sure that the person or company has a realistic understanding of the situation and in providing key components for the construction of the plan. With this understanding in place it is then possible for the financial planner to start developing a viable plan for achieving the goals that have been uncovered during the initial data gathering phase. The construction of the plan will have to dissect the likely present and future financial situation, noting all obstacles or constraints that might present themselves. It may be that when this initial plan is constructed it will be found that some or all of the goals are, in fact, unrealistic, because of inadequate resources, for example. At this point the financial planner will have to work with the customer to adjust the goals and maybe even to remove or replace a particular goal. The end of this recurrent, interactive process, will be a realistic plan that represents the best that the person could seriously hope to achieve given their current set of circumstances and their projected future circumstances. Although some might think that a financial planner can wave a magic wand to solve their money woes, this is, of course, wishful thinking. Planning can be a tough process. It will give you a reality check about your real situation and what you can hope to achieve in your life. If you fully engage with the process you may even find that the agreed upon plan will force you to make sacrifices of things that you enjoy in the present in order for you to achieve your more long-term goals and financial security.