Almost all successful people will tell you that paying for good professional advice is an essential part of achieving your goals. Even Bill Gates seeks financial advice from Warren Buffett.

Yet when it comes to our money many of us put off or avoid using a professional financial planner. 

A financial planner can help you in many ways with:

  • Cash flow Management – to maximise your cash flow and implement a workable budget
  • Wealth Creation – to build your wealth
  • Risk Management – to protect your wealth through personal insurances
  • Estate Planning – to ensure your wealth is effectively passed on to your beneficiaries

PEB Financial Planning expert, Rebecca Howarth, says many people may have avoided getting financial advice because they’re not sure how a financial adviser can help them.

They may also think they will have to pay for a comprehensive and expensive financial plan, but depending on the kind of advice you need, they may not.

“While an adviser won’t make you a millionaire through a secret formula or a magic ability to pick winning investments, they do add value by helping you sort out your financial goals and working with you to develop a plan to achieve them over time,” she said.

“Most importantly, working with an adviser will help you turn thought into action.

“The type of advice you need depends on your life stage, the amount of money you have to invest and the complexity of your affairs.”

Professional advice is most valuable when you're going through a big life event like starting a family, being retrenched or managing an inheritance.

It's also great for less immediate goals like growing your super or planning for retirement.

“Like any professional coach, financial planners will have expert knowledge and access to products and services that you simply aren’t aware of,” Miss Howarth said.

“Such knowledge can make a big difference in achieving your financial goals.”

What’s Your Plan?

As the old saying goes:

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

A plan is nothing more than a roadmap to help you achieve your goals, so you will need to work out your goals first.

Ask yourself some questions such as:

  • Are you and your partner on the same track?
  • What do you both want?
  • Where do you want to live?
  • What’s your dream car?
  • How many children would you like to have?
  • What income goals do you have?
  • Do you have charities you wish to support?
  • Would you would like to travel and where to?
  • How will you fund your children’s education?
  • What are your career or business goals?
  • Do you want to do home renovations?
  • Do you want to purchase investment properties?
  • Would you like a holiday home?
  • When would you like to retire?
  • Do you wish to provide for elderly parents?

As you can see, these are serious questions about your life. Asking them will make you feel a bit uneasy, and if they don’t then you aren’t asking the right questions.

So this is why you need a financial planner; to help you prepare for and meet all of these life goals.

Getting Started with a Financial Planner

The first meeting with an adviser is usually free. During this meeting, you and the adviser can discuss your advice needs and the adviser can give you an idea of what they can do to help you.

The adviser will also be able to tell you how much the advice will cost so you can decide whether to proceed any further. Make sure the cost is given to you in dollars, not just as a percentage of the amount you have to invest. Depending on advice sought there may be no fee

When you find the right financial adviser, this can be a healthy long term business relationship so it is important to find the right person for you.

To help you choose the right financial adviser, here are some questions to ask them:

  • What are your qualifications? How long did it take you to get them?
  • What is your representative number and who holds your AFS licence?
  • Are you authorised to provide advice on the products you are recommending to me?
  • Can you advise on my current products?
  • What is your experience as a financial adviser?
  • Are you a member of any industry associations and / or professional bodies?
  • How do you keep up to date with changes that might affect your clients?
  • If I accept this advice, who do I speak to if I have any questions or concerns about my investments?
  • How are you paid? How much is your advice likely to cost? Can you give me a breakdown of the costs?
  • Do you only advise on in-house products? If so, how do you make sure another product is not a better option for me?

If you’d like to know more about financial planning or need financial advice, then please contact Rebecca on 1300 187 894.

*This article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such. Before making any commitment of a financial nature you should seek advice from a qualified and registered financial or investment adviser.

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