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What does a financial adviser actually do?

How can a financial adviser actually help me?

What does a financial adviser actually do?

We get asked these types of questions all the time from prospective clients, friends and even some family who don’t really know what we do. I could give you some corny line about “realising your vision of financial success” or “bringing people back in control of their finances and empower them to plan for a financially better future” but what does that really mean?

While the following list is not a complete list of everything we do for our clients, it should give you a pretty good idea.

A professional financial planner
  1. Cares more about you and your money than anyone who doesn’t share your last name.
  2. Guides you to think about areas of your financial life you may not have considered.
  3. Formalises your goals and dreams by putting them in writing.
  4. Helps you prioritise your financial opportunities.
  5. Helps you determine realistic benchmarks.
  6. Makes you accountable for your own strategies through regular reviews.
  7. Studies possible alternatives that could meet your goals quicker or with less risk.
  8. Helps you work out your best superannuation contribution strategies
  9. Prepares a “big picture” financial plan called a Statement of Advice for you.
  10. Provides strategies to pay off your home loan and other debts in the quickest possible manner.
  11. Ensures you are maximizing your potential social security benefits.
  12. Reviews your superannuation and if required sets up a new fund or SMSF (if required) for you.
  13. Works out how you will pay for your kids schooling costs.
  14. Provides reminders about updates to key financial planning rules and changes to legislation.
  15. Checks with you before the end of the year to identify any last-minute financial planning needs.
  16. Guides you on ways to fund health care and other lump sum expenses in retirement.
  17. Assists in preparing an estate plan for you.
Investment Strategist
  1. Recommends an asset allocation, so you can achieve the best long term return depending on how much risk you are willing to take.
  2. Stays up to date on changes in the investment world.
  3. Monitors your investments.
  4. Reviews the investments and fees in your super fund.
  5. Helps transition you and your investments from accumulation phase to providing a retirement income in the most effective manner.
  6. Researches and keeps records of your cost basis on shares and property
  7. Provides you with reliable investment research and often differing views from a range of sources.
  8. Provides you with personal investment analysis.
  9. Determines the risk level of your existing portfolio.
  10. Helps you consolidate and simplify your superannuation and investments.
  11. Can provide you with technical, fundamental, and quantitative investment analysis.
  12. Provides recommendations to potential new investment opportunities.
  13. Shows you how to access your statements and other information online.
Tax Advice
  1. Suggests ways to plan and therefore reducing future tax liabilities.
  2. Recommends alternatives to lower your taxes during retirement.
  3. Stays up to-date on tax law and legislation changes.
  4. Helps you reduce your future tax payable.
  5. Helps you determine and fund your desired income in retirement and minimum pension payments.
  6. Re-positions investments to take full advantage of tax law provisions.
  7. Facilitates the transfer of investments from individual names to trust(s), or from an owner through to beneficiaries.
  8. Works with your accountant and lawyer to help you meet your financial goals.
A personal Financial coach
  1. Monitors changes in your life, career and family situation – and alters plan as appropriate.
  2. Proactively keeps in touch with you with news and ideas, educating you along the way.
  3. Helps you manage your cashflow in the best possible way to meet your goals and dreams.
  4. Explains things like your bank/super/investments statements and is a human glossary of financial terms.
  5. Provides referrals to other professionals, such as accountants, auditors and lawyers.
  6. Shares the experience of clients who have also faced circumstances similar to yours.
  7. Helps with the continuity of your family’s financial plan through generations.
  8. Keeps you on track with reviews to achieve your objectives.
  9. Identifies your savings shortfalls and offers strategies to improve.
  10. Develops and monitors a strategy for debt reduction.
  11. Is a wise sounding board for ideas you are considering.
  12. We provide the necessary resources to facilitate your decisions, and explaining the opportunities and risks associated with each option.
  13. Helps you sleep at night as you are not stressed about money.
  14. Is there for your spouse and family should anything happen to you.
  15. Is honest with you, always, even when disagreeing with your decisions or having to say no.
Insurance & Family Protection
  1. Assesses your needs for personal insurances and recommends increasing or decreasing depending on your circumstances.
  2. Reviews and recommends income protection, life, Total and Permanent disablement, and trauma/critical illness insurance policies to protect your family.
  3. Advises on the best tax structure to for the cover in terms of inside or outside of superannuation (or other structures) to hold the policies.
  4. Advises on which entity should own these policies to achieve the desired outcome in the event of a claim.
  5. Looks at Key person cover, buy/sell and Business Expenses Insurance for professional and small business clients.
  6. Holding your hand or if the worst happens, your family’s hand while we process a claim with you in the event of illness, injury or death.