We consult experts regularly about areas where we lack expertise. We visit specialists for our health and mechanics for our cars, so why not a financial adviser for our wealth?
The majority of Kiwis don’t seek advice when it comes to making the most of their money. But why wouldn’t you want to live your best life possible? While there is a lack of trust in the advice community, there is also a void of understanding of what a good financial adviser can actually help with.
What is a good financial adviser
A good financial adviser will help you identify what you want out of life, and smart ways to grow your wealth so that you can achieve your aspirations. They should work with you to understand your lifestyle goals, develop a tailored financial strategy to help you achieve these goals, and then partner with you through the implementation of the strategy, to help you keep focused on building your personal wealth.
In other words, good financial advisers are about much more than simply putting you into sound investments – they help you create your future. They help you build a clear and easy path to follow, from where you are now, to where you want to be.
Most of our everyday actions have a financial impact. So, it can be immensely beneficial to get help with all aspects of your financial situation, to ensure that you’re making the most of the money that you’re earning.
You’ll have more clarity and control over your money and the freedom to do what you want, when you want, without worry. All of this leads to less stress, better relationships and more happiness. Now, who wouldn’t want that?!
But it’s really important to seek a financial adviser who isn’t obliged to recommend specific investment products. One that doesn’t receive commissions and is empowered to provide objective advice across the full suite of investment options. That way, you can be assured you’re getting the best advice and recommendations for your unique personal situation. Financial advice isn’t about investing, it’s about making good financial decisions.
Should I go to a financial adviser if I’m not earning or investing much money?
Many people think that they don’t have enough money to make seeing a financial adviser worthwhile. People think it’s only high-end investors who can benefit from financial advice. However, that view is far from the truth. Whether you are starting out in your first job or nearing retirement, whether you have loads of money or not enough, you can benefit from financial advice.
Financial advisers are not only experienced and knowledgeable on money matters, they can also help remove emotion around financial decisions. They can help you take a rational approach towards investment, rather than an emotional one. This is particularly useful when the market is volatile.
There are many simple but powerful ideas that can be adopted into everyday life that may improve your long-term financial prospects, or take the pressure off your current finances.
Plenty of young professionals want to get more out of their money, but don’t know where to start, or what sort of help is out there. When you’re not sure what to do or how to start, you fall into the inertia trap.
You keep doing what you’ve been doing and may miss opportunities to save, invest, and move closer to a desired lifestyle. The earlier you start the more power you have to create your dreams. But it’s also never too late to make a difference.
What should I prepare before visiting a financial adviser?
It’s common for a financial planner to ask you to complete surveys. They need to get to know you, your financial situation, and your attitude to risk, so they can understand your needs. If you want to be well prepared, a general understanding of your income and expenditure, assets and liabilities is a good start.
Do I need a clear idea of my goals before visiting a financial adviser?
It’s a good idea to have a think about what you’d like your future to be like in five, 10, 20+ years time. Perhaps you want to buy or renovate a home. Start or grow your family. Send your children to private school. Travel more. Retire early. Or all of the above! The more clarity you have, the more you’ll get out of the session with your adviser.
But don’t worry if you don’t have clear goals. A good financial adviser will be able to guide you through the goal-setting process, so you get a clearer picture of what you want out of life.
Even if you have no idea of your life’s goals, a good financial adviser can still help you make good financial decisions. They can put you in a position so when you work out what you want to do, you can back up those decisions with actions.
What documentation should I prepare?
To get the most out of your time with a financial planner, it’s a good idea to know the value of your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. If you have any financial products – such as super, insurance, or shares – a print-out or statement will help, too.
Your financial adviser should be able to provide you with the financial and budgeting tools to make this process easy.
What happens in a financial planning consultation?
A financial adviser will help you get a crystal-clear perspective on your current financial situation. This may involve simplifying your finances, through budgeting and cash-flow planning.
A good adviser will take the time to get to know you personally and learn about what’s important to you. They’ll want to know about your future dreams and lifestyle goals, and provide guidance on what’s achievable. As an outcome, you should expect to identify a series of achievable short-, medium- and long-term goals.
Once you are clear about your financial situation and have set your future targets, your adviser should be able to develop a financial strategy to help you reach your goals.
This includes, identifying suitable investments, tax minimisation strategies, debt restructuring and insurance to protect the wealth that you build. They will also give you tips and tricks to manage your day-to-day finances better.
If you’re heading to a financial adviser, it’s worth checking if your current bank is the best fit for you and your financial ambitions. Canstar compares a variety of accounts across different banks so you can take a look:
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