Starting your Financial Planning JourneyJul 14, 2023
by: Michelle Bryant, Parc Wealth Management
The thought of engaging with a Financial Planner, setting goals, sorting out your finances, taking out personal insurances and building an investment portfolio all sounds great right! Nothing says “Look at me – I’m Adulting” like securing your financial future!
It’s a bit like making a New Years resolution or joining a new gym. It sounds good at the time – but when you actually go to start, it can all feel a bit overwhelming.
Going to see a Financial Planner is a big commitment – but it doesn’t need to be scary.
And a little bit of planning and some self-reflection before you engage a Financial Planner can really help you make the most out of the experience.
The first thing you should know before you start your journey is, your Financial Adviser is going to know A LOT about you. So, make sure you find someone you feel comfortable talking to and disclosing personal information to. If you want to look into the benefits of personal insurances, your Financial Planner is going to have to ask you questions about your medical and health history. This can seem a little invasive, but you should know that Financial Planners are professionals and will make this process as comfortable as possible. This is why you need to find someone you’re comfortable working with.
When you’re starting out on your financial planning journey, look at the Adviser Ratings website.
You can search for Advisers in your area or who specialise in the type of Advice you’re looking for. There’s even a short bio on each Financial Planner so you can get to know them a bit before you contact them.
Contact a couple of Advisers and just ask to have a chat before you decide to go in for a meeting. Tell them about your current situation and why you’re looking for an Adviser. Ask them to explain how the Advice process works. This should give you a feel if you’re comfortable going to the next stage and meeting them in person.
What do I need to prepare before seeing a Financial Planner? 👩🏼💼
You’ll be asked to provide a few things for your first meeting. Usually, you’ll be asked to bring ID documents, either a driver’s license or passport is fine. You’ll be asked to bring superannuation statements, bank statements, details of investments, any life insurances, property information and tax returns. Having this information ready before your meeting can make the whole process easier for both you and your Financial Planner.
The most important thing to do before you start your Financial Planning journey is to think about your goals. This is a question you will definitely be asked in your first meeting. Financial Planners are great at helping you clarify your thoughts, work out your objectives and help you set a path to meet your goals. But thinking about what those goals are before you start is really helpful.
If you arrive at your initial meeting and say you want to put aside enough money to quit work, buy an Aston Martin DB9 and spend your days stalking Chris Hemsworth, your Financial Planner might suggest that you think about some goals that you’re more likely to reach.
When thinking about goals it’s helpful to use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound. Do you want to pay off your mortgage in 10 years? Build an investment portfolio that will support you in retirement? Or do you want to ensure that you and your family are financially secure in the event you are unable to work because of illness or serious injury? These are all goals that you can talk to your Financial Planner about.
Or maybe you do really want to buy that Aston Martin DB9…and if you do, can I have a ride? 🤭