Having a plan is a great first step towards meeting your financial goals.
Now that you’ve decided to meet with an adviser, here’s some information to help you understand what’s ahead and how you can prepare.
Four step journey
When you speak with a financial planner about personal financial advice, he or she will commonly work through a four-step process, the first of which is about getting to know you and your objectives.
1. Understanding your current situation and goals
Before your financial planner can make any recommendations, they need to have a detailed appreciation of where you’re coming from and where you want to go. To help gain a complete picture of your financial situation, your financial adviser will start by asking you some questions about your current financial situation such as:
- What's important to you and your family?
- What are your most urgent needs?
- What would you like to achieve in the future
- What's your attitude towards investing?
To ensure you make the most of your time with your adviser, have a think about these areas before your meeting, along with your goals (both short-term and longer-term). Your financial planner will help you evolve and prioritize your goals which will form the basis for any advice recommendations.
And remember, it’s not a one way conversation. It’s also your opportunity to ask questions, particularly if you’re unsure about something. Your financial planner will also discuss the cost of initial advice, and ensure you understand what is involved in the process and what you will receive at the end.
2. Recommending strategies and financial advice
Using the information gathered from your initial meeting, your financial planner will then create a set of strategies tailored to your goals and unique personal situation. Depending on what you discussed, this might include debt and cash flow, insurance, investments or super. Your adviser may also review your current product holdings to ensure they remain appropriate for your current personal circumstances. The final recommended strategies and products to help you achieve your goals will be presented to you in a document called a ‘Statement of Advice’.
3. Implementing your financial plan
This is where you and your financial planner agree the strategies that will be put into practice. For example, this may include setting up new investments, consolidating multiple super accounts or having the right level of insurance to protect your family.
4. Keeping you on track
Like all good plans, your financial plan will only work well if it’s current. You should keep your adviser informed if there are any changes to your goals, personal circumstances or financial position so your plan can be updated.
The information shown on this site is general information only, it does not constitute any recommendation or advice; it has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider its professional financial adviser before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed hereto. BT Financial Advice advisers are representatives of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL & Australian Credit Licence 233714 (Westpac). BT Financial Advice is a Division of Westpac.
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