In general usage, a financial plan is a comprehensive evaluation of someone’s current and future financial state by using currently known variables to predict future cash flows, asset values and withdrawal plans. This often includes a budget which organizes an individual’s finances and sometimes includes a series of steps or specific goals for spending and saving in the future . This plan allocates future income to various types of expenses, such as rent or utilities, and also reserves some income for short-term and long-term savings. A financial plan is sometimes referred to as an investment plan, but in personal finance a financial plan can focus on other specific areas such as risk management, estates, college, or retirement.
“The history of the stock and bond markets shows that risk and reward are inextricably intertwined. Do not expect high returns without high risk. Do not expect safety without correspondingly low returns.”
-William Bernstein, “The Four Pillars of Investing” (2002)