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The Importance of Financial Planning: National Financial Planning Week 2004

By Edmond Walters, CEO of eMoney Advisor, Inc.

National Financial Planning Week isn't traditionally celebrated like National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or other "special" months. There aren't any special documentaries on television, no one wears colored ribbons, or runs in 5k charity races. We don't even send cards to our financial advisors...

But maybe we should.

Financial planning is important. It might not save lives in a medical way, but it certainly protects lives in a financial way. That is what financial planning is all about - security. By carefully and comprehensively planning for your financial future, you can help to protect yourself, your family, and your estate against both foreseen and unforeseen events. Knowing that you have a solid financial plan to lead you into the future means that you have one less thing to worry about when scary, stressful unexpected events occur - such as medical emergencies or job losses.

Besides protecting the people, places, and things in your life, planning for your financial future also protects your goals. Having your finances in order is just one way that you can move toward your ideal lifestyle. Maybe your goal is going back to school, purchasing the home of your dreams, or going into business for yourself. An active and independent retirement is also a goal. Many people no longer feel confident that they will be able to rely on pensions or social security checks after they have retired. Most goals take more planning than just a savings account and good intentions. Financial planning involves long term strategic management...but it is worth it.

Not too many years ago, financial planning was an administrative challenge to say the least. It was difficult to see your entire financial picture across all of the often "siloed" financial vehicles of insurance, savings, investments, real estate, and trusts, among others. The paperwork, phone calls, and meetings alone could be overwhelming. Lucky for us, today's financial advisors understand the importance of comprehensive wealth management. Like the doctor who examines his patient from head to toe before concentrating on a specific ailment, the financial advisor who can assess the entire financial picture before making specific recommendations is better able to develop and institute a successful course of action.

To streamline the paperwork and administrative work of financial planning, many of today's best advisors turn to technology. Your advisor might provide you with a personal financial homepage that aggregates all of your financial investments, savings, accounts, etc. onto one easy-to-use web page - giving you 24/7 access to all of your financial information in just a few clicks of a mouse. Check it everyday, check it once a month, check it once a quarter, it's up to you. The point is that it is there, organized and at your fingertips, when you need it.

So stop making excuses. Find a qualified financial advisor and put together a comprehensive plan that encompasses your entire financial picture. Then next year in the first week of October, send your advisor a thank you note for helping you to secure your future.

Edmond Walters is the Chairman and CEO of eMoney Advisor, an award-winning provider of web-based, holistic wealth planning solutions to the financial services industry. For more information, visit



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