Your first meeting with a financial advisor is an important step to getting your finances in order and setting yourself up for a secure future. This is where you’ll learn if you’re in the right place to achieve the goals you have in mind and if an advisor is really worth it. So, what does a financial advisor do, and why isn’t it a good idea to advise yourself?
What is a financial advisor?
Put simply, a financial advisor, also known as a financial planner, is someone who helps you set realistic goals for your future and build a financial plan to help you achieve them. We’re not overbearing and we don’t control your money for you. Rather, you make your own informed decisions based on the expert advice you receive. But what should you expect when first meeting with a financial planner, and how do you choose the right person for your situation?
Meeting with a financial planner for the first time isn’t a daunting process. As with most client relationships, a financial advisor will first have a phone conversation with you to discuss your needs and arrange a time for the first meeting. At Financial Spectrum, this initial meeting is complimentary and obligation-free, allowing you to work out whether financial advice is right for you prior to committing.
The initial meeting usually takes about an hour. Our financial advisors perform face-to-face client meetings mainly in our Sydney CBD office, but we also have Balmain, Bondi Junction and Chatswood offices. Alternatively, we can do video conferencing if that would suit you better. This process is supposed to make you feel comfortable, so your financial advisor will do what they can to make it easy for you and make you feel welcome.
Getting to know you
Prior to your first meeting, your financial planner will send you a questionnaire so that they can get to know you, your circumstances and your aspirations. This will give them a better understanding of who you are, what you value and what you want in the future so they know where to focus in your meeting. Your financial advisor will also ask about your financial situation and your relationship with money.
It’s worth taking the time to provide as much information as you can so that you can get the most out of the first meeting. Make sure you’re truthful too – the more your financial advisor knows, the more they can tailor their advice to you.
First financial strategy meeting
At the initial meeting, your financial planner will go through your current financial situation, any particular challenges you’re facing and begin to create a picture of both your financial and life goals. Together, you’ll start to build a road map to help you get what you want to out of life and your financial advisor will model various financial strategies to get you there.
Over a series of meetings, your financial planner will present and refine the strategies they’ve prepared for you and talk you through how they’ll drive you toward your goals. Once you’re comfortable with your chosen financial strategy, your financial planner will prepare a more comprehensive version of your financial plan, called a Statement of Advice. They’ll then work with you to put your plan into action.
What you need to prepare for your first meeting with a financial planner
The list below details the information you’ll need for your first meeting with your financial planner. Completing the new client questionnaire provided by your financial advisor will help guide you through this information gathering process.
Information for your first meeting includes:
- Your employment and income
- Your expenses
- Your assets
- Any debts or loans
- Your superannuation and fund
- Any insurance you hold
It’s also a good idea to think about your short, medium and long-term life goals and discuss these with your partner if you have one. However don’t worry if you’re unsure of these as your financial advisor can help you get clear on what you’d like the future to look like through the advice process.
Getting all of your personal and financial information together may feel overwhelming. But remember this process is helping you to get control over your money and your future. The more we know, the more we can tailor our advice to your needs and the better financial outcome you will get.
Financial Spectrum — home to some of the best financial advisors in Sydney
At Financial Spectrum, we’ll work with you to set clear goals for the future and give you a tailored financial strategy to meet them. If you would like to know how you’re tracking for things like retirement, home ownership, or even paying off loans or education, we can help you plan accordingly. To discuss our services and how you can find a financial advisor you can trust, book an appointment today. You can also search our helpful blog on a broad array of personal finance topics.