"Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it"
"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants"
"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend"
- Laertius Diogenes
"The glow of one warm thought is to be worth than money."
"I don't care too much for money for money can't buy me love"
- The Beatles
"Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and it is the only riches we can take out this world with us."
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Men
"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
"Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much"
"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans"
"I pity that man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth shall starve in the process"
Managing Your Finances Through an Economic Crisis
The events of early 2020 have created the prospect of a serious ongoing economic crisis. The like of which has not been seen in recent times, possibly ever.
The impact and the full extent of the economic problems are unlikely to become clear for some time, but it is expected that they will have an influence for many years to come.
In other words, how do you navigate an economic crisis, at any moment in time when this may occur?
The first point to make is that the principles of good financial management – or financial planning – do not change. Indeed, they can become even more important in such challenging times.
And a core part of this is to maintain a long-term view.
The trick is to work out what you need to do now, whilst – at the same time - having an eye firmly on your future goals and objectives.
The best place to start is by taking stock and reviewing everything in light of the changing landscape.
How has the crisis affected your investments, your pensions, your retirement planning?
How has your income and expenditure position changed?
With pensions and your retirement plans, ask yourself is the strategy still suitable, or are adjustments needed? Are your targets still going to be met? Are the underlying investments or funds still the right mix?
With investments and falling markets – in shares and commodities as examples – they will go up and down over time and selling out in a down market is rarely a good idea.
However, it is still wise to check if a portfolio is invested appropriately considering the new position, if the risk position has changed or if Income needs adjusting.
You may have short-term needs, for example to raise some cash. Consider this with great care. Removing funds from your investment portfolio or pension plan, if this is an option, can have consequences.
To highlight this, if you were to take money from your pension, this could mean you will not be able to make future contributions.
Or if you are to withdraw funds from your investments do you take the money from the riskier assets, which may have fallen in value, or the less risky assets?
In all cases are you sure you know the full range of options available to you to help you in the short-term? There may be options you haven’t considered.
Options such as the various new government support schemes, adjusting your existing debts including mortgages, personal loans, finance deals, and credit cards – any or all of which could be reorganised to raise funds or save expenditure, or even both.
And it is the way you mix these options, balancing them against each other which could make a big difference. Advice and expert help in these cases can be invaluable.Once you have reviewed your current position and short-term needs then look at how your longer-term financial forecast is affected.
The most important action in this respect is to run fresh cash flow projections, the models of your position as it evolves over the years. These projections may now look different because of the changing economic picture.
Model future scenarios assuming a worst-case scenario, a medium impact scenario and a good, strong recovery – how do all these in their different ways affect your finances, well into the future?
This should help with decisions today, including ones around your income and expenditure position.
It is always worth remembering the wise words ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ in this regard.
These two steps, looking at the immediate impact and needs this creates, coupled with the longer-term modelling should be brought together.
There are many other angles to consider within this overall exercise, things like exploring debt consolidation, reviewing your protection plans, such as critical illness cover and life assurance.
Take a fresh look at the level of cover you have in place; can this be reorganised at a lower cost or on better terms? Do you need to do something new to protect your family, and because of the new threats should you restructure your arrangements?
You may wish to update your Will or put in place a Power of Attorney. Both of which could be vital to your family given current circumstances.
Clearly, your situation will be dependent on your circumstances and future goals, but if you follow the approach outlined you can work through any challenges.
Recessions and economic shocks do pass, and things can recover.Much of what happens will be outside of your control, but the way you deal with your own financial position is completely under your control.
Get expert help and advice, this is likely to be a tricky position to work through, having someone work with you during this period, who understands the financial landscape, could be worth its weight in gold.
What our Clients say
Alan has the ability to listen and care about people
We first met Alan in 1999; we both wished that we had known him many years before. Alan has several attributes, in addition to his financial skills, the ability to listen and caring about people. From the first day that we met our financial affairs became organised, now to the point where we can say that we never have any financial worries, in fact we seem to be better off financially now more than ever before. All due to Alan's guidance and expertise. We both consider Alan a very good friend, nice to know he would be there if we needed him.
Norman & Peggy Howell, Birmingham
I always receive a fast and efficient response
It has been almost ten years now since David and myself first consulted you for advice and guidance on financial matters, so I feel that it's time that I wrote to thank you for the help and assistance that has always been forthcoming. Shortly after we had moved house in 1992, you advised us to switch from one type of mortgage to another, which turned out to be the most successful financial move we had made in years. Over the years we contacted you for financial advice and guidance when our daughter was heading for University, on taking out life and house assurance policies and general financial overhauls. Your recommendations have always been sound and given in a manner both efficient and friendly, none more so than when I was widowed just over two years ago and needed a considerable amount of help, immediately given upon request and with great sensitivity during what was a very difficult time for me. There is little I can add, except to also thank the rest of your staff, friendly voices at the end of the telephone who take and pass on my enquiries and ensure that I always receive a fast and efficient response. I can recommend, without reservation, Interface Financial Planning Limited.
Maureen Pittaway, Sutton Coldfield
A very special and caring person
Alan - A very special and caring person, who it's been a pleasure to meet - thank you again it's been a privilege and honour, your kindness has been second to none and we know you've helped probably more than you should but I can assure you it was all very much appreciated, more than you know.
Bill & Sue Ralph, Oldbury, West Midlands
Advice that has been invaluable
Alan has been our financial adviser for 5 years. He is professional, well informed and reliable, and his advice has been invaluable to us. He and his staff are courteous and efficient, and we have no hesitation in approaching him for advice on any aspect of our finances, or in recommending him to relatives, friends and colleagues.
Tony & Sue Critchley, Lichfield
Always friendly and considerate
Alan Moran has acted on our behalf for over 10 years. Alan has over this time always listened to our requirements and fed back to us the best options, given our constraints and made very useful alternatives suggestions. He has always been friendly and considerate. I would not now consider making any financial investment or savings decision without first consulting him.
Ian & Joyce Miller, Birmingham
Honest and always takes the time to explain everything thoroughly
Alan has acted as our family Financial Adviser for many years. He is honest, non-pushy and always takes the time to explain everything thoroughly as often as needed. Alan is not only our Financial Adviser but we regard him as our friend. We would have no hesitation in recommending him and his staff to anyone who needs a Financial Adviser they can trust.
Malcolm & Sylvia Smith, Perry Barr, Birmingham
Alan's sound advice has improved my life no end.
I was introduced to Alan Moran in 1999. I was juggling my finances just to keep afloat and was wary of taking outside advice. A close friend of mine recommended Alan as a reliable and honest adviser who would take great care in choosing the right path to get my financial affairs on track. Trusting their judgement, I arranged to meet Alan. I was treated with the utmost care, given time to consider the guidance that Alan provided and never pushed into taking on financial services. Meeting Alan and acting upon his sound advice has improved my life no end. Even on a limited income, prudent planning has enabled me to save for annual holidays and even cope with the occasional unexpected expense as well as keep up to date with all of my bills. I count Alan among my friends and have recommended him to both my sister and my parents. He really is the genuine article and I cannot thank him enough for all he did for me.
Zena Davis, Coventry
Alan's knowledge of financial matters is very comprehensive
Alan was introduced to me by a friend at the time when my finances were a mess and I just didn't know what to do for the best. Calmly, kindly and sympathetically Alan sorted everything out. Since then he and his wonderful team have sorted out my house and car insurances, my son's mortgage and pension plan and, last but not least, guided me through the ramifications of buying a property in Spain. I have recommended him to friends, as his knowledge of financial matters is very comprehensive and sound. Alan is able to offer advice without making the recipient feel a complete idiot and he takes time to explain things thoroughly and in a way that is understandable.
Tricia Adams, Cannock, Staffordshire
Alan's sound advice has improved my life no end.
I have been a client of Alan Moran's for 12 years and during that time he has given me valuable advice on all aspects of finance. He always explains everything thoroughly and has been particularly supportive during periods of crisis in my life. He helped my late husband and I when his business went into liquidation and was even more valuable when my husband died, pointing me in the right direction with my finances and getting me to invest my money sensibly and with the just rewards that I am now experiencing. I regard Alan not only as my Financial Adviser, but also as my friend, and would, and in fact have, recommended Interface Financial Planning Services to anyone needing a Financial Adviser they can trust.
Marian Poolley, Sutton Coldfield
Efficient and reliable in terms of financial decision making
Alan Moran has been our independent financial adviser for a number of years. He has proven to be an efficient and reliable person to guide us in terms of financial decision making with regard to planning and management of current and future economic matters. He is friendly, discreet, careful and always courteous.
Chris & Tony Hampton, Halesowen
Highly professional, friendly and supportive approach
We have been clients of Alan Moran (Interface Financial Planning Ltd) for over five years. In this time, his highly professional, friendly and supportive approach has provided us with a thorough review of all aspects of our finances. We are now in a position where both our short term and long term financial planning is well organised and structured to suit our personal needs. We have recommended Alan and his team to many of our friends and know that they, like us, have been impressed and grateful for the care he has taken to provide such individual service.
Ann & Allan Rowlands, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham
Professional and friendly manner
Just dropping you a line to say thank you for all the help you've provided us throughout the purchase of our house and the investment policies you've recommended us. May we both thank you for the very professional and friendly way, in which you handled our business, and look forward to hearing from you in the future.
John Fletcher & Linda Davis, Bromsgrove
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend
We were recommended to Alan by my brother in law and have been very pleased with his advice and assistance. Since using his services, we have organised our Wills, Pensions and re-jigged our finances, and now would not consider making any financial investment or savings decision without first contacting him! We would have no hesitation in recommending his services to anyone requiring sound independent financial advice.
Richard Salaman & Emma Staples, Surrey
Valuable advice on our mortgage, future planning, savings and pension investments.
Seeking financial advice for the first time, I received details of three local IFAs. However, these cold statistics gave no idea of the actual person to whom I would need to entrust confidential information. Sometime later I came across an article in a local paper by Alan (Moran) in which the writer came over as friendly and trustworthy as well as being a qualified IFA. Having contacted Interface Financial Planning, the result has been a friendly relationship and valuable advice on our mortgage, future planning, savings and pension investments.
Mike & Gloria Nash, Great Barr, Birmingham
I have never had a single financial concern
The best thing financially that I ever did when I contacted Alan. I have never had a single financial concern and he has supported me through difficult times including the death of my dear wife.
Norman Howell, Birmingham
“Don’t put off the planning for your financial future as you are
never aware of what lies around the corner”
We first met Alan in 1999; we both wished that weIt was very important to gain financial advice in such a challenging time after my wife passed away. I needed to ensure that, as a newly single parent, I had got my finances sorted out and had also made provision for my children in case anything happened to me. As neither my wife or myself had made a will, Alan’s advice and guidance through this very difficult period was invaluable, especially dealing with the paperwork associated with this.
Paul from Birmingham
“Alan, was immediately empathetic, encouraging and, above all, practical and straightforward”
I realised that I had been operating both my general and particularly financial affairs reactively for far too long and it was time I behaved like a grown up. So I started to think about how I might achieve some sort of practical stasis. Alan, was immediately empathetic, encouraging a nd, above all, practical and straightforward. I hadn’t consciously taken financial advice before, but came to realise that the various salesmen who had sold me policies and pension upgrades were not motivated in the same way a ‘proper’ financial adviser was (or should be). Consequently, I had taken on commitments that weren’t necessarily in my best interests. Alan is genuinely interested in my circumstances, and owns a readiness to go beyond what I had imagined would be the boundaries of the role.
Steven from Cirencester