So, you’re thinking of speaking to a financial advisor? Congratulations! This could be one of the best decisions you make right now for future-you. But what should you expect from a financial advisor? What should they be providing – initially and moving forward?
What is a financial advisor?
First things first. What exactly is a financial advisor? A financial advisor is a finance professional who helps plan and implement wealth strategies. They may help manage your finances or manage them for you. A great financial advisor should work closely with you to understand your unique wealth journey, develop a road map to help you get and stay on track to meet your financial goals, and guide your progress along the way. Depending on your personal financial circumstances they may help you reduce debt, save more, invest wisely and/or plan for retirement.
What should I expect from a financial advisor?
1. Breadth of knowledge
Unless you’re looking for simple, single-issue advice (how much to contribute to your super, for instance), your advisor should be capable of offering holistic advice that covers your total financial well-being. This could range from savings, superannuation, investments and risk management to insurance, taxes, and retirement planning.
2. Clearly defined parameters
To ensure a productive advisor-advisee relationship, your advisor should clearly explain their value proposition, investment process and how they get paid. You should have clarity over how they’ll manage your money, how often you’ll meet, how they’ll consult you on decisions, and how they’ll monitor and manage your investments. You should also understand how your advisor will choose products to recommend to you.
3. Fact finding
Just as you are an individual, so too is your financial situation. A good financial advisor should spend time asking the right questions to uncover not only your life goals and plans, but also your wants and dreams. Your advisor should work to clarify any ambiguities, whether about your current situation or about what you want to accomplish and why.
4. Client education
A financial advisor who can take complex concepts and explain them simply and clearly is the advisor you want on your team. You may not have the time (or inclination!) to learn how to use sentiment analysis to predict stock movements, but a good financial advisor should provide adequate explanation so that you are confident in the decisions you are making together. This should not be a relationship in which you just smile and nod while the relevant information is going over your head!
5. Proactive assistance
You want to know that your money is working hard for you, but you also want to know your financial advisor is doing the same. From responsible stewardship of your finances to innovative planning ideas, your financial road map should not be a ‘set and forget’ system. A great financial advisor will challenge your thinking, educate you about investing and managing money, steer you clear of dubious investments, and be passionate about maximising your financial potential.
Getting started with a Geelong financial advisor
At LBW, our dedicated financial planning team are here to help you make smart financial decisions. We believe that whatever your life stage – whether you’re building wealth, preserving wealth, or optimising your wealth plan for retirement – great financial advice is paramount to success.
If you’re looking for the certainty and peace of mind that comes from knowing your financial future is secure, why not discover your wealth potential and reach out to the team today.