What should I expect at my first meeting?
Your initial consultation with a financial planner will give you a chance to get to know each other. Most provide an initial consultation at their own time and expense.
Your financial planner will explain how their service works, and how it can work for you. You should receive a Financial Services Guide and an Adviser Profile and have these documents explained to you. You’ll have the opportunity to talk about your current financial situation and your financial goals.
Some questions to consider before your first meeting:
- Reflect on what you want in life. Start with the next few years. Are there any changes you’d like to make, or things you’d like to do? What about 5, 10 or 25 years from now? Where do you want to live? What do you want to be doing? Is retirement on your radar? Are there specific goals you’d like to meet in the near future?
- Consider your attitude to money. Are you a spender or a saver? A risk taker or someone who prefers more certainty? When it comes to spending and managing money, what do you enjoy and what keeps you awake at night? You can complete a Risk Profile questionnaire that can provide you with you personal risk profile in relation to different investments. You might be much more aggressive when investing your superannuation than you would be if saving for a home deposit.
- Think about the financial issues you find most challenging. Where do you think you could be making better decisions? What do you think you need to better understand? Do you know you have downfalls in specific areas?
Talk to your spouse or partner about these issues too. When you visit a financial planner, you’ll want to discuss what it is you want to achieve together as well as your individual dreams.
Many people also neglect to educate their children about money. What issues did you wish you knew about when you were younger. Is there something you could pass on to make their life a little easier going forward?
What to bring along
To help your financial planner gain a clearer understanding of your current finances and the services that could be right for you, a little preparation can go a long way. If possible, try to gather the following information before your first consultation:
- Your income. If it’s easier, feel free to bring in tax documents, especially if you have income from multiple sources or you’re self-employed. Otherwise, a recent payslip is helpful.
- Your assets. Including property, superannuation, savings and investments. Do you also have different structures like Trusts that hold assets?
- Your budget. An estimate of where your money goes each month, including your mortgage or rent, personal or business loans and credit card debt will be helpful.
- Insurance covers. Especially life, disability and income protection policies, if you have them.
- Questions. In addition to a list of your short and long-term financial objectives, bring any questions or concerns you may have. And write them down so you don’t forget any!
Your first meeting is informal so don’t worry about gathering all the details if you can’t lay your hands on everything. The important thing is to get started thinking about your financial future. If you choose to proceed with your Adviser, you can nail the details in subsequent meetings.
To find out more, contact us and we can guide you through the process.