You’ve finally made the decision to take control of your finances and begin making the first steps toward securing your fiscal future. In order to provide yourself with a solid foundation, calling in some professional experience and advice will go a long way. A financial adviser helps you to assess your current monetary situation and thereby develop a personalised fiscal strategy for you in order to maximise your potential overall wealth and safeguard your eventual retirement.
The key to a successful first meeting with a financial adviser is preparation, preparation, preparation!
A reputable financial planner will always offer a free initial consultation. If not, look elsewhere. Your relationship with your financial planner is one that could potentially last for many years into your retirement. It is imperative that your planner is not only within your budget and best qualified for managing your particular situation, but also is someone with which you can maintain a good working relationship.
Think of your first consultation as something like an interview for grad school. It is important that you feel as comfortable working them, as they do managing your portfolio. The free consultation is also the time to establish how the adviser is to be remunerated as it varies from planner to planner. Some planners work on a commission only basis, others charge flat fees, or even a combination of both. Do not be afraid to ‘shop around’. Meeting with a few different planners will give you a better idea of clarifying your own personal fiscal goals and in turn give you more confidence in asserting those goals to your final chosen adviser.
It is crucial that you know what you want before you step into the consultation room. This doesn’t mean a vague vision of your own private island and 10 Ferraris, this means a realistic set of goals and objectives as relative to your current financial situation. These may entail finally cutting up the credit cards once and for all, placing a deposit on a holiday house, or planning for your children’s education. This will help your adviser accurately assess your current situation and develop a more successful financial strategy for you.
Don’t Expect An Immediate Solution
Financial advising is unfortunately not a one-stop, end all solution. As mentioned, it is a long term working relationship between you, as the client, and the adviser. As you grow older, your family grows and your financial situation changes. Your funds will need to be allocated in different ways in order to keep you on track in achieving your goals and objectives. Your adviser will need time to get to know you both in a professional sense and how you personally approach your financial interests in order to develop the most effective strategy for you. Your adviser obviously has a responsibility to work as efficiently as possible in providing you with a financial plan but you can greatly increase the effectiveness of that plan by providing as much information as you can about your current financial situation.
Make sure that you bring as many documents as possible to your first meeting that illustrate your current financial status. These could include payslips, contracts, mortgage documents, leases, health insurance, tax certificates, account statements and so on. Be prepared, and maximise the success of that first consultation.
Nathan Rossiter uses his years of industry experience with the team at Steinpag to contribute to a wide variety of financial planning and legal services blogs. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and helping families maximise their income and achieve their financial goals.