Abacus for Money - Carol Yip Financial Planner, Financial Advisor, Financial Consultant, Financial Coach - Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya,  Malaysia  
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Answers to frequently asked questions

Ask Carol Yip your questions

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions. We hope you will find them helpful. If you have any questions you would like answered, please email Carol.

Carol, what is it that you do exactly?

  • I provide personal financial coaching to individuals.
  • I facilitate "money skills" presentations and workshops to groups of people, corporate staff, college students where I teach them skills to manage their money.
  • I help clients to understand and discover their money management abilities.
  • I help clients to understand their financial situation to live within their financial means and solve their financial problems.
  • I help clients to balance their life within their financial capabilities.
  • I help clients to chart their financial philosophy and destiny.
  • I help clients to develop their financial action plans based on their life goals.


Why should I hire a professional financial coach?

Today many people have a busy career with the hope of having a comfortable lifestyle and retirement. They do not have the time to monitor their financial matters and assess if their financial goals are achievable. To engage a financial coach or planner is like having a personal accountant who will consolidate and keep track of your financial matters.

Because, he / she has your interest in mind and "sees the bigger picture" of your financial goals, he is able to prepare a Financial Action Plan that could be a complete financial overhaul or an analysis of a specific financial issue.


Do I need a professional financial coach if I can barely make ends meet?

It is even more important to engage a financial coach or planner, because he/she will advise you the steps to take to improve your cash flow. With guidelines and recommendations, you will be able to manage your cash flow better.

Have you ever noticed that the mistakes you made or the risks you took caused you more financial damage than the fees you would have paid, had you hired a professional financial coach or planner?

At Abacus Advisory, the fees that you pay to improve or enhance your money management skills and financial knowledge is really very affordable!


Why do I need a Financial Action Plan when I can leave my money in the bank?

It is wise to control your financial risk by having a diversified portfolio of assets and at the same time, increasing your investment wealth. Like the saying goes, "Never leave all your eggs in one basket". With a properly drawn up Financial Action Plan that states your financial goals, assessment of your financial appetite and investment return, you will be in a better position to make sound investment decisions.


Can I achieve my financial goals without a financial planner / coach?

Yes, you can if you follow the steps below :

  • Clearly understand your behaviour and emotions towards your money
  • Identify your financial strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Prioritise your goals
  • Implement the goals according to priority
  • Review the success of implementation on a regular basis
  • Diagnose the problem if there is a failure of achieving the goal
  • Make adjustments to the implementation steps or revise the goals when necessary
  • Continue to implement and review the revised goals

If you cannot follow the above steps systematically, you can talk to or assign the task to a financial planner / coach. He / she will assist you to identify and prioritise your financial goals, prepare strategic solutions, ensuring a clear path for implementation.


What is the role of a professional financial coach?

As we go through life, at any every stage, it is advisable to have a professional financial coach (including professional financial planner or financial advisor or financial consultant) to help you in your financial matters because he has multiple roles in your financial life!

It is very important that the professional coach or planner must know you as a person. he / she must know and understand your life experiences, your expectations, your financial personality, your emotions and thoughts about money and financial matters in order to advise you correctly.

Only by having this understanding, can he / she be able to help you make appropriate decisions to meet your financial objectives and goals or solve your financial problems.

Therefore, communication and trust are 2 important criteria to establish an effective relationship between you and your financial coach or planner.

A financial planner / coach becomes your:

  • Personal accountant and financial advisor who will consolidate all your financial matters, analyse a specific financial issue, provide recommendation or solution to a financial problem
  • Confidante whom you can share your financial secrets
  • Communicator between you and family members, bankers, fund managers, financial products providers like insurance & unit trust agents, lawyers because he prepares and implements your Financial Plan
  • Personal advisor if you encounter personal conflict that has financial implication
  • Financial analyst who reviews your investment portfolio
  • Executor who will manage & distribute your assets according to your wishes


Do I need to divulge my personal financial status in the course of a coaching session?

Because we understand that you want to protect the privacy of your personal financial situation, in our coaching session with you:

  • You do not need to provide us your financial details like how much you earn, how much money you have or how much debt you have.
  • You do not need to provide us your investment and wealth details like types of assets, properties or investment value you own.

In fact, you do not need to give us any financial details or secrets that you are not comfortable to share with our coaches. During a personal financial coaching session with you, our coaches will guide you to discover your financial strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities to help you find answers within yourself, so that you can be independent, confident, have trust within yourself, be money savvy to enhance your financial life skills!

In doing so, we empower you to take ownership, be responsible and create intimate relationship with your money.

We do not sell financial products like insurance, mutual funds, unit trust, loan, credit cards, write will for you. Nor do we prepare a financial plan for you where the plan is not according to your purpose in achieving financial freedom.

The essence of our coaching is that we facilitate change in your financial behaviour, so that you can take action and take control of your money according to your life philosophy as you walk the path towards financial freedom!


How are you different from other financial advisors?

  • I teach clients money management tools to manage their money, assisting them in developing their own financial philosophy and financial action plan.
  • I review a client's financial position based on his or her own cash flow and net worth.
  • I conduct workshops where clients get a chance to share experiences with others.
  • I give independent and non-biased financial opinions and coach clients to understand their financial issues.
  • I go beyond financial aspects where I look into the clients' behaviour, emotions, background and life experiences to analyse their financial situation.
  • I do follow up with clients' progress after each meeting and fix the next review for their financial action plan.


What are common misconceptions of financial coaches?

Below are some questions people often ask me about my business:

  • Why do I need a financial coach if I do not have a lot of money or assets?
  • I am financially alright, so why should I talk to a financial coach?
  • I don’t have a financial problem, why should I need a financial coach?
  • Are you an insurance agent? Which insurance company do you represent?
  • Are you selling unit trust or a unit trust agent?
  • Are you a will writer?
  • Which bank are you attached to?
  • Do you sell financial products?
  • Are you a business consultant for corporate clients?
  • Do you provide financial advice for projects or businesses?


How can I tell if I need a financial coach?

Below are some of the questions prospective clients often asked themselves. If you find yourself asking the same questions, then it would be wise to consult with a financial coach.

  • Do you know how to prepare monthly personal cash flow and net worth statement. I seem to be lost how to manage my cash flow?
  • Being the sole breadwinner at home, you must be very good in managing your finances ... I'm having problems managing mine.
  • Since you are retiring soon, how are you planning for your retirement? I'm quite worried about my retirement.
  • How long have you been in the business? You must have made a lot of money for your retirement. I find it difficult to make enough.
  • I seem to be lost in knowing how to achieve my financial dreams, how do you do it?
  • Do you know how to create a personal Financial Action Plan to achieve your financial goals?
  • Are you happy financially?
  • Do you want to find out if you are financially healthy?
  • Are you stressed out working to make money?
  • Do you have a bad spending habit?
  • Are you lost in knowing how to save for your future or for your children/family future?
  • Do you worry about your money and is stressing you out?
  • Is money frustrating you and you have no one to talk to?
  • Do you want to know how to settle your credit card debts without having to incur more debts or extra cash payout?
  • Do you worry about money when you (your children or family members) get sick or hospitalized?
  • Are you the sole bread winner at home?
  • Is your wife a housewife and you are worried in case you are not working or unemployed (business failure)?
  • Do you worry about your retirement?
  • Have you thought of understanding your financial position better?
  • Do you and your spouse plan for the future?
  • Do you teach your children about money management?
  • Do you have problems talking to your spouse (girlfriend or boyfriend, or business partners) about money?
  • Do you worry for your parents financially?
  • Do you worry for your kids financial future?
  • Do you have problems trying to support your family or relatives?
  • Do you have different views about money from your spouse (girlfriend, boyfriend or business partners)
  • Are you concern how your assets will be distributed when you die?
  • Since you are single (or single parent, or divorcee or widow), have you thought of your future financial security?


When is a good time to seek financial advice?

There is no such thing as a good time or better time to seek financial advice. However, when there is a change in a person's life cycle, it's usually a good time to start planning a new phase of life. Below are some examples:

Married couples or about to be married

  • My girlfriend (or boyfriend) and I seem to have different views about money…
  • I am pregnant or planning to have a family ...
  • I am planning to get married … or I just got married ...
  • I have a teenager and planning for his or her education…
  • I have aged parents and need to look after them…
  • I am not happy with my spouse and stress out with him or her coz we can never sit down to have a decent conversation about our finances and what we need to do to save for our future…
  • Recently I just had an argument with my spouse because of my in-laws asking for money…
  • My business is doing well but somehow I am not too happy with my personal financial situation…
  • Both my spouse and I have problems or different views of teaching our children about money…
  • My children don’t seem to understand the importance of money…
  • Recently my son (daughter) took my money to spend without my permission…
  • My spouse is spoiling my children with money and always give in whenever they ask for things…
  • I would like to know how I can save enough to buy a house or go for a vacation/holiday…. it is so hard these days…
  • I am really worried for my special child's future, because of his autism (or other illness or deficiency).

Significant changes in your life

  • I have just discovered that I have a health problem…
  • I just got a new job… I've just been promoted or retrenched ...
  • I just recently set up a new business …
  • I am facing a legal case against me or my company…
  • I bought a piece of property, house or a condo…
  • I am planning to change job…
  • I am looking to invest my money, but not sure how to do it…
  • I am thinking of refinancing my house to…
  • My brothers & sisters are fighting with me for my parents’ inheritance…
  • I have just received my bonus or profit shares or inheritance and do not know what to do with it
  • I am going through a divorce proceeding ... or I am thinking of divorcing
  • I am a single parent and would like to know how I can plan for both mine and my kids' financial security
  • I am a divorcee with children...
  • I have recently separated from my spouse and am emotionally stressed about my financial future.
  • I am worried about my future if I was to declare bankruptcy.

Habits that are the source of financial problems

  • I love shopping and I am happy doing it, but regret later …
  • I have problem trying to save money…
  • My girlfriend (or boyfriend) is such a spend thrift (or thrifty) and I am having problem trying to talk to her (to him)…
  • I am not happy with myself and having some problems at home or at work…
  • Money seem to be a problem these days…
  • I have some credit cards debt…
  • Do you know of anyone who will lend me some money to pay off my debts?…
  • My life is a mess and I can’t seem to have enough to spend…
  • These days one seems to be getting less and less value for money, no salary increases but cost of living is constantly increasing ...

Individuals approaching retirement or in semi-retirement

  • I worry about having enough to pay for my medical bills if I am hospitalized…
  • I will not get married or want to be single for the rest of my life… and interested to know what I can do to have a financial security…
  • Even though I am happy with my financial situation, I still feel that I can do better…


What type of clients do you coach?

  • Individuals who are either employed, work part-time or even unemployed
  • Sole proprietors
  • Partners in a firm
  • Business people, directors / shareholders of a company
  • Retirees
  • College students who are about to graduate
  • Young adults / executives who have just gotten their first job
  • Housewives
  • Single parents
  • Bachelors or single ladies, divorcees or widows
  • SOHO's (people who work from home)

How can a Financial Action Plan be cost effective?

A Financial Action Plan that is prepared according to your financial goals will be cost effective provided you implement the recommendations and exercise periodic reviews with your financial coach or planner.

The decision that you make today to hire a professional financial coach or planner is a decision that will affect the quality of your life for the rest of your life.


For more information on financial coaching
please don't hesitate to ask Carol!

If you need further
information, please
don't hesitate to contact us.

Where can I find a professional financial planner or coach that I can trust?

It is important to look for an independent firm that is committed to providing professional and personal services by maintaining a reputation of integrity through adherence of the highest ethical standards. Ideally, such a firm should not be sales driven, i.e. trying to sell you financial products.

Look for a financial advisor, coach, consultant, or planner who does not sell financial products and has the resources to help look into all aspects of your financial matters, including: tax planning, personal worth valuation such as your cash flow and net worth.

Your Financial Action Plan must reflect an independent view of your financial position focusing on your goals.

Because of the nature of consultancy services, financial planners / coaches look after your interest by providing recommendations that ensure your objectives are achieved with minimal risk. The financial planner / coach must be a qualified professional holding internationally recognised financial planning qualifications such as Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Certified Financial Planning (CFP) in their relevant professional field.