Talking to a financial adviser could literally change your life. And like any professional consultation, a little preparation will help you make the most of their expertise.
The more information you can bring to your meeting, the more you’ll get from it. After all, your adviser is there to help you create a roadmap for the future, taking you from where you are today to where you want to be. To do that, they need to know as much as possible about your current situation, your goals, and the financial resources you can use to move from one to the other.
Your first meeting is also a chance to get answers to all your questions about investing and the financial planning process. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, don’t be afraid to ask — because when it comes to planning your financial future, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. The decisions you make now will affect your lifestyle for years to come, so you need to know what you’re doing and be completely confident you’re heading in the right direction.
What to expect
Your first meeting is all about understanding your hopes, dreams and plans for the future, then laying the groundwork for a plan to achieve them. Your adviser will have a long list of questions, covering topics like:
- The kind of lifestyle you and your family want to achieve.
- Important milestones and events you’re looking forward to — from buying a house or having a child, to making a sea-change or retiring completely.
- Your regular income and expenses.
- Your assets and debts, including your home and your super, as well as any investments or loans you have.
- Any insurance cover you may have, including life and income cover.
- Whether you have a Will.
- They’ll also seek to understand your investment experience and the level of risk you are willing to take, so they can recommend an approach you feel entirely comfortable with.
How to prepare
Start by talking to your family about the big questions — what’s most important to you, where you’re going in life and when you want to get there. If you can, list your short-term and long-term financial and lifestyle goals, from paying off your home loan to achieving true financial independence.
Next, gather all the information you can about your current financial position. Even better, use our quick online budget tool to create a complete snapshot of your income, expenses, assets and debts. It’s a fast and easy way to get a head start on the information-gathering phase of the planning process, so you and your planner can make more informed decisions about your financial future.
You can even save the results as a PDF or spreadsheet so you can bring them to your meeting, along with your most recent tax returns, bank and super statements, and other financial documents.
It can also be a good idea to make a list of the questions you’d like to ask. For example:
- What can I expect to get out of the planning process?
- How does it work?
- What will it cost?
- How do you keep me up to date?
- What happens if my investments don’t perform as I expect?
Finally, be ready to talk openly about your hopes, fears and aspirations. Remember, the better your adviser understands what makes you tick, the better they can serve you.
Timothy Donlea & Artemas Wealth Management have been providing advice to clients for over 20 years. Contact us by clicking here or alternatively by calling us for a confidential discussion on 02 9221 9699.
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