Making the decision to see a financial planner means that you want to make a positive difference to your financial future. A professional financial planner can help you to understand the intricacies of investing, taxation, and the ever-changing legislation around superannuation. Here are four things to expect when you meet with a financial planner for the first time.
1. They Will Want to Know Your Goals
For the financial planner to best develop a plan for your financial future they must first get to know you. A financial planner needs to not only know about your financial position, but they also need to know about your health and family situation. Identifying your goals (short and long term) serves as a foundation for your building your plan. Some examples of goals you might have are:
- Paying off your home
- Saving for a wedding
- Retiring at 60
- Investing an unexpected inheritance
2. They Will Want to Know About Your Family Situation and Health
It might seem too personal for a financial discussion but knowing information about your family situation and health are vital for forming your financial plan. Are you newly married and wanting to start a family? Are you divorced and paying child support? Do you want to send your kids to private school? Do you have any health issues that will affect your ability to work? These are just examples of how your family and health are intertwined with your financial plan. A good rapport with your financial planner is vital. If you don’t feel comfortable divulging this information to your planner then keep looking. It is important to establish a bond with your financial planner straight away, so they have all the information they need to implement positive change.
3. They Will Assess Your Financial Situation
As part of their fact finding financial planners will want to know details about your current financial situation. To give the whole picture, with exact figures, it is ideal if you can bring along information regarding your investments, liabilities, superannuation, tax, insurances, wills, and budget. For a complete list of what you need to bring click here.
4. They Will Explain How They Work
During the first, usually complimentary meeting, the financial planner should explain to you how they work; being the process they take and how they charge. They should also provide you with a copy of the financial services guide. When selecting a financial planner always look for one who holds an Australian Financial Services (AFS) License issued by ASIC and one that is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
Whatever your financial goals are, the financial planner’s job is to align them with what can be supported by your assets and family situation. He will work out what is realistic and what is not, help you evaluate and settle on different investment opportunities to help realise your goals. Ideally, you should make a point of seeing a financial planner sooner rather than later. The sooner you see a financial planner, the sooner you will realise the positive impact they can have on your goals.