Financial Planning

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We know that the conditions of an economy do not remain static. The factors which influence it keep on changing. The rate of flow of funds also, changes with time in an economy, so people have funds available in different strengths at different moment of time. It affects the lives of people living in that economy because to satisfy their needs they require funds. People always feel a gap, positive or negative, between their needs and required funds. So they do their financial planning.

In this project we have tried to find and analyse how and in which ways people are doing financial planning in the prevailing market situations. We have also tried to find the awareness of people about current market situations, awareness of financial planning among them and their interest area of investment.


Financial Planning is not a very new concept in India. It had been in practice in earlier social systems also. In the past also, people used to do this in some ways. They used to purchasing pieces of land, jewellery and keep these with them for their bad days. Some of them kept their saved money with so called ‘Mahajanas' who used to acting as banker.

Though people in the past were involved in some kind of activities related to their financial planning, yet they were not very conscious and aware of the thing and were not doing this very actively.

It was so because the joint family system was there in the society and also the economic conditions, in the country, were almost static and not as turbulent and volatile as in current scenario. So people did not feel so much insecure.

But after industrial revolution, things started to change. People started to move towards cities in searching of new earning opportunities. This leaded to a dynamic economic condition in the country and a change in family structure in the society. This thing has been continuing for years in the country and today we can observe increasing number of nuclear families and varying economic conditions here. The needs of a person and his consumption habits have also changed significantly. Further, the priorities and these needs of a person also change with change in his life stage. So financial planning has become more relevant and important in current market scenario. But,

  • How many persons are there who understand the meaning of financial planning?
  • How many of them are actively doing it?
  • In which ways are they doing their financial planning?

These are some questions we need to find answers so that we can conclude to a result and can act accordingly. We have tried to find the answers of these questions in this project.

Personal Financial Success: The Six-Level Pyramid

Personal Financial Success: The Six-Level Pyramid

Using the six-level pyramid to help explain the various building blocks to financial success helps to reveal the development of financial planning and indications, at each level, if instruments that might be considered.

At the first level of the pyramid, there are four stages that need to be considered. Before any phase of an action plan can be implemented, an individual's current situation must be determined. One must evaluate their personal income because the amount of money a makes directly affects the amount that person can save. After all debts and living expenses are subtracted form income, one can know how much to put in savings every week, month or year. The amount one puts in savings is very important. This will have bearing on a spouse, children, and retirement life. Saving money should become a top priority in the financial planning realm of life. Goals are another important factor in financial planning. Without goals, a person has nothing to strive for, nothing to look forward to. This should come with ease during the implementation of a financial action plan.

Career choice plays a major role in one's ability to live at a certain level in society. There are many factors to consider when making a career choice. They include personal factors, social influences, economic conditions, and trends in the industry. A person must consider these things when deciding on a career if they want to have long-term success in any given profession or calling.

Keeping good records and being organized is a necessity for a person with a successful financial action plan. After receipts have been found, invoices filed, and check numbers recorded, one can develop a budget. A budget simply allocates income to different areas of spending. For example, one family may spend two hundred and fifty dollars per week on groceries, while another only spends one hundred per week. A budget can be done on a weekly, bi-weekly , or monthly time frame basis. An important part of an overall budget is taxes. Taxes, in general, include federal and state, occasionally county expenses on land ownings and other purchases. A person should be fully aware of how to calculate their taxable income and on how to get help with taxes.

The second level of the pyramid involves managing. The absolute first way to begin with money management is to get the money out of a pocket ( or from under a mattress ) and put it into am interest-bearing account. Before this can be done, however, the best bank suitable to a person's needs mus be located. To do this, one must evaluate the different banks' rates, fees, and other factors such as number in branched in the area and the services offered. One should examine the gains and losses of having a checking account as well.

Credit is a way of life for million of American today. In my opinion, one must be very cautious when choosing whether or not to use consumer credit. There are almost always hidden costs and consumer traps ready to suck a trusting person in. One should be aware of possible credit mistakes and try their best to avoid them. Also, spending far above one's personal income level can become a major problem if taken advantage of.

In the market for loans, the most enduring statement is to “Shop Around!” A person will never know what could be gotten until they try to look for the best deal. One should be aware of the fluctuation of interest rates and the affect that they will have on the principle amount of money borrowed.

The third level of the pyramid illustrates the major purchasing decisions in life. Should I buy that shiny new Mustang on credit or save that money for a down payment on a home in a nicer neighborhood? The allocation of personal funds is one of the most harrowing sets of decisions a person will ever make. The decision to purchase a home is in this set. This will probably be the most expensive purchase one will ever make. One should be sure that the purchase of a new home is not outrageously out of his or her income range and that it meets all of their needs. The second most important purchase would be that of a new vehicle. A car purchase can be an exciting time. Since cars are seen as status symbols in society today, most people attempt to buy one that they cannot afford. This can be ruining to credit and make daily expenses much harder.

Day to day existence in today's society can be dangerous if a person does not have adequate insurance coverage for self, spouse, and children ( if any ). The fourth stage of the pyramid deals with the adequate amount of insurance. How much is too much or too little? Risk management is a major factor in this. For example, a race car driver is not going to get a good a rate of insurance as a middle aged accountant. Factors such as car accidents, speeding tickets, safety measures taken, and daily activities such as smoking or drinking all affect the amount different types of insurance will cost an individual. After life insurance, I believe that the next necessity is to have automobile and home insurance. These are the two most likely things that someone might have to call on insurance to cover. Health care and disability insurance truly comes in to play when one has a family, nut possibly when single if severe illness occurs frequently. Finally in the fourth level, a value must for life insurance must be chosen. This is directly affected on who will be left depending on money received from your life insurance. This insurance money can be left as a legacy, as a help for funeral expenses, or even a gift from the deceased.

The fifth stage of this financial planning pyramid is about investing. There are four fundamental ways that one can invest. They are stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate. Stocks are divided into two main categories, common stock and preferred stock. Common stock makes money by dividing the value of an investment three ways: income from dividends, dollar appreciation of the stock value, and stock splits. Preferred stock is similar to common stock. However, with preferred stock, the investor receives his/her cash dividends before the holders of common stock receive theirs. There are a number of factors that enable investors to evaluate the value of any certain stock. One can read daily newspapers, and gain information from professional in the stock market field. Bonds are divided into two main categories as well. A corporate bond is a corporation's written pledge to repay a specified amount of money plus interest gained over a specific period of time. This total is referred to as the face value of the bond. Corporations issue bonds in order to have available monies to finance expansions, takeovers, etc. This is referred to as debt financing for a corporation. The other type of bond is one that is issued by the federal, state or a local government agency. The bonds that the federal government sells are referred to as treasury bills, notes, bonds, or savings bonds. These are used to finance the national debt and for the government's everyday activities. A municipal bond is one that is issued by a state or local government. All three of these types are said to be generally risk-free. As a financial planner, I would advise my client to seriously look into bonds. Mutual funds are unique in the fact that there is diversification of the purchased portfolio. A person's money goes into a large pool, which a company then invests in many different stocks. The last type of fundamental investing is Real estate. There are different types of real estate investments. For example, your home can be an investment if handled properly or one can purchase commercial property for resale only.

The sixth and last stage of the pyramid involves retirement and estate planning. Taking steps now to ensure that a person has money during retirement is particularly important. This should be linked in with the amount of money chosen to save in part one of the financial planning program. Last of all, one must know a little about estate planning. There are legal and personal aspects of this matter. “Estate planning is the plan for the disposition of one's property during one's lifetime and at one's death.” Legally, everyone needs to have a last will and testament to ensure that their properties are distributed accordingly. A lawyer usually needs to be consulted on this matter.

In summary, the most important aspect of financial planning is just what it states-PLANNING. A great deal of money can be gained and saved if the correct methods are incorporated into a person's everyday life and activities.


We have conducted the study taking following objectives in our concern:

  1. To understand customer's awareness about current market/ economic scenario.
  2. To understand customer's awareness about financial planning.
  3. To understand how customers do their financial planning.
  4. Capture reasons for doing / not doing financial planning.
  5. Understand the key areas where investments and savings are made and rational reasons behind the same.

Review of Literature

Jim Gewert Named Executive Vice President of Worldwide Finance, Planning and Systems for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group

An industry leader since its inception, WBHEG oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide.

AGL Resources; AGL Resources To Webcast 2010 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 27

During the meeting, AGL Resources Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Somerhalder II will provide an update on the company's financial and operating performance and its business strategy.

2010 MAY 1 - ( -- AGL Resources (NYSE:AGL) will webcast its annual meeting of shareholders on Tuesday, April 27, at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

During the meeting, AGL Resources Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Somerhalder II will provide an update on the company's financial and operating performance and its business strategy.

The meeting will be held at the AGL Resources corporate headquarters at Ten Peachtree Place in Atlanta.

Solutions Financial, Llc; Launches Personal Financial Planning Website

The site includes personalized financial planning, budgeting, goal-setting tools and reports, a library of information and resources, blogs, tips, financial coaching help to manage money and community features such as forums, message boards and live chat for guidance and support.

Financial Planning Steps Needed Now to Prepare for Health Care Bill Outcomes

“Even though the bill is still a few years from implementation, it's not too soon to consider several financial planning strategies now to mitigate significant tax increases for the wealthy and the potential for increased borrowing costs for earners of all income levels,” Kahler advises.

Walking the Walk: A Financial Planner Teaching His Children

In an interview, Daniel M. Stern, CFP, with his children, Lily and Benjamin, talked about financial planning for his kids. Stern said they've been doing it two years now, since right after they talked. Looking at the idea of an allowance as something you give to the children; you don't base it upon work that they're doing. It's so they can learn how to handle money and get a sense of the value of money and what can be done with it or not done with it. When it came to charity, they were trying to do it every week, but it's not that big of an amount to give. Ben thinks it's great. It gives them experience to know how to handle money. Lily also thinks it's really good. Stern added that toward the last part of the year they had to adopt a spending moratorium. He thinks in today's society there's a huge amount of materialism.

Lessons from Her Father

It's no surprise that 30-year-old Kimberly Allman has her finances in order. Her parents' guidance dovetailed with her own financial self-discipline. A Cornell Law School alum, Allman uses her financial sensibilities in two jobs: as manager at a nonprofit that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure, and as president of Allman Financial Planning LLC, her own personal finance consultancy. Allman's father helped to shape her relationship with money. Allman who is single, now follows her father's example when she doles out advice to clients regarding debt, credit scores, and investments, among other concerns. In addition to her law degree, Allman has a bachelor's in psychology and political science from Duke University, and she's set to receive a certificate in financial planning from Boston University this spring. While in school she avoided frills and kept expenses to a minimum. To reach her current level of financial security, Allman resisted shopping for handbags and jewelry.

Money on Your Mind: The Brain's Role in Financial Decision-Making

The sophistication of modern civilization masks the fact that the brains have evolved little since the Stone Age. The neural programming of human beings was optimized for physical survival, not contemporary challenges such as financial decision-making. The human brain has separate, dedicated centers for coping with situations that present imminent danger or attractive rewards. When triggered by highly stimulating personal or financial events, these centers can cause the brain to react reflexively, dampening the ability to think analytically. Technology gives people ready access to their credit, savings, and investment accounts. Unfortunately, this access makes it easier for people to act upon impulsive financial decisions. This paper examines a case study to demonstrate how perceived financial dangers or rewards can unconsciously trigger emotions that override their rational decision-making. Financial planners also can help their clients develop new methods to read to financial situations in a more analytical manner that is consistent with the clients primary values.

A House Divided: Americans Have Two Distinct Views Of Retirement

“The financial turmoil of the past few years has taken a huge toll on America's confidence about the future and apparent readiness for retirement,” said Jamie Ohl, senior vice president and director of The Hartford's Retirement Plans Group. The Planning Dynamic “But The Hartford's research shows that people who have taken the time to plan their retirement are generally in a better place financially and are significantly more optimistic about the future than those who have not planned,” Ohl said.

OppenheimerFunds Survey: When It Comes to College for Their Kids, Women Drive the Planning Process But Many Take a Back Seat on Finances

Later College funding is an issue for women in college, after college and for decades after, for both parents and students alike. “Because women outnumber men on college campuses by a factor of almost three to two, women pay the price - literally and figuratively - for poor college financial planning, frequently dropping out or graduating with debt that can cast a shadow over much of their adult life, affecting even their ability to retire,” Winn said.

The Financial Planning Association(R) of Arkansas & iShares* Make $20,000 Contribution to Arkansas Aspiring Scholars Matching Grant Program

For more information about the iShares 529 Plan, contact your financial advisor, call 1-888-529-9552 or visit to obtain a Program Description and Participation Agreement which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing or sending money. If you are not an Arkansas taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

Methodology is a strategy that guides a research in providing answers to research questions and for which, research survey is being done. This study has been carried in the following manner:-

Methodology Adopted

Questionnaire Design:

The questionnaire was prepared covering the details about the client and the above objectives. The questions were designed in an easily understandable way with the help of (Miss. Nancy sahni) that the respondents may not have any difficulty in answering them. The questionnaire also contained a comments section. This section was included so as to get opinion of the people.

Random Sampling:

Sampling can be defined as a part of population. Thus random sampling may be defined as the selection of a portion from the whole population in which each elements of the population has an equal chance of being selected. In this research survey people were surveyed at random to get the relevant information.

Sampling Techniques:

The sampling techniques used in this project are probability sampling techniques and the methods used in cluster sampling.

Sampling Unit:

The respondents who were asked to fill out questionnaires are the sampling units. In this survey these comprise of Govt. Employees and Self Employed persons.

Sample size:

The sample size was restricted to only 100 people between age group more than 25 years which comprised of mainly peoples from the area where the survey was conducted.

Data Collection:

Structured Questionnaire:

In this part of data collection, structured questionnaire was used as a tool by asking a set of standardized questions which answers we needed to know.


Interpretation refers to the task of drawing inference from the collected facts after an analytical study. The simple statistical tools are used to analyze the data collection. Bar Graphs and pie chart have been used to illustrate the findings diagrammatically.

The survey was conducted in a village BEAS and Mehru which is situated in kapurthala district in Punjab. Though it is a town of almost 40,000 people yet it's market caters the need of a large customer base which comprises of people, in addition to the town people, living in several villages that surround the town.

It is situated near the BEAS river and second near Phagwara, so people from other side also come here for shopping. This is a reason that a big part of population here is involved in business and related activities.

A good number of service class people are also present here, because of working of several Government organisations in the town. Block Office, Subdivision Office, Seema Suraksha Bal, Registration Office, Banks, Food Corporation of India, Irrigation Department, Public Work Department, Govt Schools, Municipal Office and also some other departments are working here.

In financial institutions here these are present:

  1. State Bank of India (CBS)
  2. Punjab National bank of India (CBS)
  3. Bank of India
  4. Life Insurance Corporation of India ( Satellite Branch )
  5. Bajaj Allianz LIC Co LTD ( Branch Office )
  6. Rahika Co-operative Bank ( Branch Office )
  7. Sahara India ( Branch Office )

Some other institutions like - Birla Sunlife, Reliance Life Insurance, ICICI Prudential also work here controlling their activities from Main branch.


  • The report is prepared on the basis of responses given by the respondents and is confined to the area of survey, so it does not necessarily show a pattern applicable to other areas also.
  • Some respondents were reluctant to divulge personal information which can affect the validity of all responses.
  • In a rapidly changing environment, analysis on one day or in one segment can change very quickly. The environmental changes are vital to be considered in order to assimilate the findings.

Financial Planning in the Current Market Scenario

      In recent years, the recession caused by the US subprime housing loan crisis had shaken the world market. India was also affected by this to an extent. Export - Import sector, IT sector, Real Estate sector, Banking sector and also some other sectors experienced a downturn. As a result, the industrial production decreased resulting in lower GDP growth rate.

      This situation has shown some improvement in the current fiscal year, but lower output given by the agriculture sector has again not allowed the common man to breath easily. A mountain high inflation rate of almost 20% and sky touching food prices have disturbed the portfolios of investors across the country. Many of the investors are getting returns 2 to 6 times lower than the inflation rate. A challenge has been imposed on them as their invested money is devaluating with time.

      We always need returns which can beat the inflation. For this, we need to keep an eye on different factors affecting the value of our invested money. Active financial planning helps us in doing so.

When I went in market with my questionnaire for collecting these related information, I observed these things:

Customer awareness about the current market / economic scenario:

  1. put some simple questions to measure the level of awareness among customers. I asked them
  2. to use a term for Indian economy,
  3. to tell about their saving account interest rate,
  4. to select an investment option among some given alternatives which, according to them, carries higher rate of return, and
  5. to tell where the BSE sensex had been during last one week.

When asked about Indian economy, 86% of the people said it is developing, 9% said it is developed and 5% could not say anything about it.

About their saving account interest rate 41% said it is less than 2%, 32% said it is 2% - 3%, 13% said it is 3% - 4%, 4% of them said it is more than 4%, 10% of the people do not know what they are getting on their money kept in their saving account.

When asked to select an investment option with higher rate of return among directly saving into banks, Term Deposits, Post Office Savings and NSC, 36% answered as saving directly, 32% as term deposits, 14% said it is Post Office savings and 18% expressed no any idea about it. None of them went with NSC's.

Only 14% of the people were able to say about the BSE sensex correctly, the answers of 18% people were wrong whereas about 68% people cannot say anything about it.

Customer's awareness about Financial Planning:

I put forward two questions to know this:

  1. If they understand the meaning of financial planning
  2. If yes, what financial planning is, according to them
  3. For the first question 95% people responded as ‘Yes',
  4. they understand the term; 5% expressed their ignorance.
  5. Among these 95%, 57% of the people have an idea that saving money in banks is financial planning, 24% said as projecting your future expenses and managing funds accordingly is financial planning, 9.5% were agree with the idea that arranging money when it needs is financial planning while the same 9.5% could not say anything.

Customer's awareness:

First four questions of the questionnaire were carrying questions to know about the level of awareness among the customers. In these questions 86% of the people responded correctly for the first question, 13% for the second question, 32% for the third and 14% for the fourth. Some of them responded correctly for all the four questions, some responded for three questions correctly, some for two, some for one and there were also some people whose none of the answers were correct.

After studying these and evaluating customers' responses, I have divided the whole customer group into four categories:

  1. Highly Aware
  2. Moderately Aware
  3. Satisfactory level of awareness
  4. Not Aware

According to their number of correct responses 9% of the people were found to be highly aware, 11% were moderately aware, 27% had satisfactory level of awareness and the rest 53% were found to be not aware.

Customer's awareness about Financial Planning:

In the survey 95% people responded as ‘Yes', that they understand the term Financial Planning; but among these 95%, 57% of the people have an idea that saving money in banks is financial planning which is not a proper view, 9.5% thinks arranging money when it needs is financial planning which definitely could not be the meaning of the term, and 9.5% could not say anything. Only 24% of the people said as projecting your future expenses and managing funds accordingly is financial planning, this is an expression which we can agree upon. So we can say that 24% of the people are really aware of the term Financial Planning.

Reasons for doing Financial Planning:

In the survey it was found that all the people are doing their financial planning in some ways for some reasons. The study shows that 59% of the customers do financial palnning to meet their future expenses, for 45%, to secure their family is primary motive behind their financial planning while 4% of them were doing this for both the reasons. None of them were doing this for creating wealth. So we can say that in this area the main objective of the people behind financial planning is to meet their basic as well as security needs.

Key areas where investements and savings are being made:

After survey I found Gold, Insurance, Fixed Deposits, Post Office Savings, Land and Properties, Shares and Mutual Funds as the key areas where people are investing and are putting their savings. I have analysed these key areas of investments and reasons behind these.

In the survey 86% of the people suggested that Fixed Deposits are good instruments to invest in. 61% among these gave safety as a reason behind it while 39% said that FDs carry good returns. Only 14% said that in FDs one should not invest. They believe that these do not carry good returns.

On a whole 50% of the people believe that FDs are safe, 31% believe that they provide good returns while for 19% of the people they do not do so. 77% of them have invested in FDs.

Post Office savings:

Here also 86% of the people were in favour of this instrument with 62% having the view that it is safe, 38% of these like the return. 13% of the people do not like to invest in PO savings as they do not consider that PO savings offer good return. 1% of the people have no any idea about it. On a whole 57% of the people believe that PO savings are safe, 29% say they provide good returns while for 14% of the people they do not do so. 59% of them have bought PO savings.

Land and Properties:

As the survey says this sector is the most favourite sector where 96% of the people like to invest among whom 76% believes that these provide good returns and 24% consider these safe. Only 4% of the people do not believe that these provide good returns and do not want to put their investment in these.


According to the survey all the people are buying Gold, but only 14% of the people are buying this as an investment, rest of them are buying for their family needs.


Survey says 91% of the people have bought the insurance. It also says that people have different reasons to buy an insurance. Some of them have bought it to cover themselves, some of them have used it as a tax saving tool while some of them have taken it as an investing instrument which will earn some return for them. Some people have more than one reasons for buying an insurance.

According to survey, 45% of the people have taken it only to cover themselves, 4.5% of them have bought it for the purpose of saving taxes only and 9% of them have taken it as an investing instrument which will earn some return for them.

14% of them have bought the insurance with all the three reasons in their mind and their risk coverage as their primary motive. 9% of the people have taken it for two reasons - to cover themselves and as an investment while 5% have taken it as a tax saving tool and as their risk covering instrument.

So we can say that a large number of the people in this area buy insurance as a risk covering instrument only.

Mutual Funds:

1% of the people said that we should invest in mutual funds, 36% said we should not and 23% of the people could not say anything. 32% of the people see mutual funds as a good instrument to invest in because they believe that it provides good returns, 9% believe it is safe. Those 23%, who do not want to invest in mutual funds have a view that mutual funds do not provide good returns.

In the survey it was also found that only 9% people have invested in mutual funds and a large part of population, 91%, have not invested. Among those people who have not invested 75% said that they do not know what are mutual funds, what do they do and how one can invest in these. 10% feel that here buying facilities are not available for mutual funds and 15% have other reasons.


For shares 46% of the people were agree with the idea that we should invest in these, 50% said we should not and 4% of the people could not say anything. All 46% of the people, who like to invest in shares, want to do so because they believe that it provides good returns, no one was there who believed it is safe to invest in shares. The 50%, who do not want to invest in shares, have a view that investing in shares is not safe. Here it was also found that 18% people have invested in shares while, 82% have not invested. Among those people who have not invested 68% said that they do not know how to invest in shares. 18% feel that here buying facilities are not available for shares and 14% have other reasons for not buying.

Preferred Area Of Investment according to Different Income Group: In the survey only three income groups were found. Their preferences are shown in the following diagram:


After studying and analysing the collected information, we have reached at following things:

  1. About customer awareness of current market / economic scenario:
    A large part of the population (almost 80%) is not aware of the finance related things. Only 20% of the customers were there who can be said aware of these issues.
  2. Customers' awareness of Financial Planning:
    Though 95% of the people responded as they understand what financial planning is but only 24% of the customers were agree with the view that it is something related to making a projection of your future expenses and then managing the available funds in such a way so that those expenses could be meet.

So we can say that only these percentages of people are aware of Financial Planning.

How customers are doing Financial Planning:

86% of the people are doing their financial planning by using their own knowledge and experiences, 14% people take expert's advice before investing.

Reasons for doing Financial Planning:

Meeting with their future expenses is the prime motive of people for doing financial planning, security is secondary. No one is doing this for creating wealth. From this we can conclude that people are concerned more about their basic and security needs than their esteem needs.

Key areas where investments and savings are being made and reasons behind this:

Gold, Insurance, Fixed Deposits, Post Office Savings, Land and Properties, Shares and Mutual Funds have been found as the key areas where people are investing and are putting their savings.Large number of people have invested in FDs, PO savings, Insurance and in Land and Properties. Gold is still being purchased mainly as a need, not as an investment. People are still not aware of mutual funds and trading in stock market.


Most of the people are safety concerned and they have lower risk appetite. So they have put their savings in instruments from where the return is guaranteed.

From this survey it was also found that a large part of the people here does not know about mutual funds and about trading in stock market. So, the market in this sector here is untapped.