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Guest Blog: “Football and Finance – is there any correlation?”

By Tony McGarrity, Director of SMCG Wealth

Surely there must be. From the volatility of the South Americans, to the defensive strength of the Northern Europeans. From the dynamism and excitement of the emerging African talent to the unpredictability of the East Europeans – each of these descriptions seem to apply equally to their stock market indices as well as their national teams. Of course there is one certainty where you can see a direct correlation – our own UK FTSE100 can’t do penalty shoot outs either. The serious point to take from this analogy is that a defensive set up probably serves you best when it comes to establishing any financial plan. Insurance isn’t at all exciting but it’s first on the list when we put together financial plans for our clients.  Regular reviews of both your own circumstances and your insurance provision are required to ensure insurance levels doesn’t drift and they remain in line with your objectives. There are many approaches to insuring your health and wealth and consideration should be given to each of Income Protection, Life & Critical Illness cover and Injury insurance. Asset cover provides the same protection for stadium and clubhouses as a regular policy does for the family home. The only correct method in prioritising these is the one which takes into account your job, your health and your lifestyle together with any existing arrangements whether they be privately funded or within employment contracts. Just like putting a team out onto the pitch, your overall personal insurance plan should be structured, reviewed and tactically adjusted if required. Governments often substitute one benefit type for another which can have an impact on your plan but rarely would they provide enough cover and shouldn’t be relied upon. Despite what you may feel, you are not immortal, not immune to serious illness and more often than you may think, the unexpected does happens. We work through a series of ‘what if’ scenarios with our clients to layout in explicit terms how they would be protected or how much they would be left exposed by a serious illness or the financial impact upon their families should the worse happen and they die. You cannot simply assume everything will fall into place for you, you need to prepare for life’s unfortunate, unexpected and inevitable twists and turns today. On the defensive side of things adequate insurance provision is fundamentally important. One last requirement is to appoint a good manager to oversee your plan. A successful personal financial planning manager should take your circumstances and objectives and show effective ways to deliver what you want now in full or put a plan in place to bridge any shortfalls over time. Often we are asked to deliver the equivalent of the ‘moon on a stick’ which is where a good manager should be able to manage your expectations appropriately. There should be little surprise with a robust insurance plan. Hopefully though by setting up a tax efficient solution for you at the point of any claim event you will at least not have to face financial havoc at a time when other priorities are far greater. The World Cup and Euros only lasts four weeks whereas your financial plan could run into forty years so it is important to get it right and keep it relevant.

As key sponsors of Supporters Direct Scotland we want to reward people for adequately protecting their own and their family’s financial futures, for doing the right thing and protecting themselves at all times. We have designed a rewards programme menu that allows supporters of clubs and associations or trusts to generate a recurring income stream for a club of their choice. We will donate a minimum of £250 and maximum of £500 for each Life & Critical Illness policy arranged through us. Please visit www.proplayerplan.com for full details and follow us on Twitter @ProPlayerPlan.

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