At the initial meeting we’ll have a discussion to get a ‘snapshot’ of your situation and gain an idea of what you’re hoping to achieve, as well as what your expectations are in seeking financial advice.
We have a strong belief that planning is about helping people achieve their financial goals. That’s why we initially concentrate on understanding what your goals are, whether they be immediate or longer term goals. And also what your concerns might be.
We’ll also provide background information about our firm, as well as an overview of our services and how they could be applied to your situation. We do this in a structured way so that you can see the areas where we provide advice and how these areas interact.
Through this initial process of gaining an understanding of your current personal financial position, we’re also assessing if there’s scope for our firm to add value through various strategies, solutions and services that we could provide to assist you in your situation.
At the conclusion of our first meeting we will be in a position to inform you as to whether or not we believe we can indeed add value. However, it’s important that you also feel that we can add value. That’s why we give you time to reflect on our initial meeting.
Subsequent to the initial meeting we provide you written communication outlining the areas where we believe we can add value, as well as the associated fee for that advice. If you decide to proceed, after we receive written confirmation from you, we will commence analysing your situation in detail and formulating strategies appropriate to your situation. This generally involves a second follow-up meeting to discuss your situation in more detail and to work through the proposed strategies so that general direction and an approach can be agreed upon. This is like developing an ‘architect’s sketch’ of your situation and what your financial position should look like.
Once we have gathered sufficient information regarding your financial situation at the second meeting, we will formulate an overall strategy and prepare a written plan, known as a Statement of Advice (SoA). The SoA will provide an analysis of your situation and clearly set out recommendations relating to your goals, needs and objectives. The SoA will also explain the reasons why we’ve made the recommendations, as well as identify any associated implications of the advice. We will also, where possible, quantify the benefits to you of our recommendations, whether they be tax savings, cost savings, estate benefits, or more emotional factors such as peace of mind.
For investment advice, a key consideration is your investor risk profile, which takes into account a number of factors such as your investment timeframe and tolerance to risk in determining what portion of your portfolio should be invested into each of the various asset classes.
As financial planners, we can cover the areas of financial planning, investment planning, debt planning, risk planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Incorporated in each of these areas will potentially be financial products such as superannuation, direct shares, managed investments, income streams, life insurance and income protection policies. Where necessary, we will also liaise with other professionals such as accountants, mortgage brokers and estate planning lawyers who can assist with the appropriate structures to cover your overall needs.
Implementing our advice
Once you have agreed to proceed with the recommendations in the Statement of Advice, we will implement the recommendations on your behalf. In doing so, we will keep you updated and guide you through the necessary steps, prepare the necessary paperwork and liaise with external parties, as required.
The preparation and implementation of the Statement of Advice’s recommendations is the launching point for your financial journey. However, your plan can be impacted by any one or a combination of changes, for example changes to your situation, legislative or economic changes. By being part of our ongoing review service we can work towards achieving your financial objectives. This service includes:
- Updating you on your progress towards your financial objectives;
- Identifying any issues that might impact on your situation, as a means of being proactive (rather than reactive) to changes;
- Monthly research of investment portfolios and policies are undertaken and where necessary changes are recommended and implemented;
- Answering any questions you have that relate to your financial situation;
- Taking care of the paperwork and administrative requirements in relation to your portfolios and policies;
- Acting as a sounding board for any major financial decisions you are considering and explaining the advantages and disadvantages and potential impact on your long-term financial position;
- The review service is designed to give you ongoing peace of mind, as you go through the different stages of the life cycle.