When considering using the services of a Newcastle financial planner people want to know that their adviser has the necessary qualifications and experience to help them achieve their goals. Over the years working in financial planning our team has come across many frequently asked questions which we have answered below. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 4038 1623.
1. How much contact do your financial planners have with clients?
The financial planners at Elliot Watson Financial Planning have regular contact with their clients to ensure they are progressing well with their financial plan and to ensure any changes to their circumstances, government policy, international markets or improvements in technology are considered and factored into their plan if appropriate.
The frequency of contact you have with your financial planner will depend on the service level you select. The options include comprehensive, standard or passive. Our adviser will explain the differences in the service levels to you during your initial consultation.
2. How do you charge for your financial advice?
At Elliot Watson Financial Planning we will charge a fee for service. This fee will be disclosed to you at the earliest opportunity and no work will commence until we have your agreement to do so. In some cases, you are able to have the fee debited from your superannuation account.
3. How do your financial advisers choose what to recommend to clients?
Our financial planners will only know which products and services to recommend to you once they have sat down with you and explored your current financial position and identified your goals. Everyone has a unique set of circumstances, so what might be appropriate for one person may not be appropriate for another. Your financial planner will make recommendations based on your circumstances and what suits your needs.
4. Are your financial planners members of any industry and / or professional bodies?
Yes. Elliot Watson is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) and a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) www.fpa.com.au. Jose Hernandez is also a member of the FPA.
FPA membership is dependent on advisers adhering to a code of ethics and professional conduct. The standards imposed by the FPA are considered world class and hold financial planners to a higher standard than the requirements set out in the financial planning regulations.
Gary Watson is a member of the Law Society of NSW and a member of the Hunter Valley Charter of The Law Society of NSW.
5. Can your financial planners provide a second opinion?
You may have already seen a financial planner and desire a second opinion to ensure you are comfortable with the advice. The financial advisers at Elliot Watson Financial Planning can provide you with a second opinion to help you with your financial decision making. It is important that the relationship you have with your financial adviser is built on trust.
6. Do you have any conflicts of interest?
No, under current legislation our financial advisers have a fiduciary duty to place their client’s interests ahead of their own at all times. Elliot Watson Financial Planning’s high ethical standards also prevents its financial planners from providing advice where there is a conflict of interest.
7. Where do you have your meetings?
Ideally it is always best to have meetings in an office environment as it removes the potential for distractions, but we can also accommodate online meetings where required. We have offices in The Junction and Singleton.
During COVID-19 we are having meetings online. However, our preference is for initial meetings to be held face-to-face. We have COVID-safe measures in place.
8. How long does an initial consultation go for and what does it cost?
The goal is to determine if we want to work together. Financial planning is a two-way street so it is vital for both parties to establish trust and open and honest communication. Without these two important elements the best financial plan in the world is worthless if we can’t work together to implement it. An initial consultation will go for approximately 60-90 minutes. However if we decide to proceed the meeting may go longer as we collect the data outlined in the Things to Bring page. The cost of the initial consultation is $495 (incl. GST).
9. What services do your financial planners provide?
Elliot Watson Financial Planning specialise in the following:
- Retirement Planning
- Personal Insurance
- Wealth Creation
- Wealth Management
- Investment Planning
- Borrowing to Invest
- Self-Managed Superannuation Funds
- Budgeting and Cash Flow Management
- Debt Management
- Estate Planning
- Property Strategy
- Aged Care
10. Can you help me with my mortgage?
Our advisers are authorised to provide advice on debt reduction and cash flow management however they are not authorised to provide advice on mortgage products, this is reserved for those with a mortgage brokers license.
Elliot Watson Financial Planning works with a subsidiary Watson Mortgages, a mortgage broker and can refer you to them for support on mortgage products. Your adviser will help liaise with Watson Mortgages to help you get a good combination between strategy and product. Having your financial planner and mortgage broker openly communicate is beneficial for you.
11. Can you help me with my tax return?
No, financial planners cannot do tax returns. You must be a registered tax agent in order to give tax advice. Elliot Watson Financial Planning has a strong relationship with an accountant and can refer you to them for support.