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