Our "Six Steps to Successful Financial Planning"
Many people wonder what financial planning is about and the benefits it can bring to our lives. In a nutshell, financial planning is the process of identifying both your financial (income, assets, liabilities) and lifestyle goals (values, dreams, wants, needs, time horizon), then to develop and implement a plan to achieve these goals.
By working through our "Six Steps to Successful Financial Planning" with our financial advisors, you benefit from their knowledge and advice that results in a realistic and balanced financial strategy that considers your resources, risk profile and current lifestyle and enables you to comfortably meet your goals.
The first step in the financial planning process is essential as it marks your realisation that you need to seek independent advice to help you to achieve your lifestyle and financial goals. For us it is an important step too, as it allows us to understand you better – what's important to you and how we can frame our professional working relationship around your individual needs.
This initial meeting will outline your current asset and liability position, the resources you have to reach your goals and the next steps. Most importantly, this meeting is absolutely obligation-free!
The second step in the process is where we analyse all of the information that you have provided as well as additional information we request from other financial service providers, investments and insurers (with your authority) and establish a baseline of where you are currently at. From here we can then do further research and modelling to develop a strategy that will get you to where you want to be.
The third step is designed to ensure that you understand the proposed strategy – we meet with you to discuss an outline of the proposed strategy including the benefit and value that the strategy will offer by proceeding to the next step - the Statement of Advice (SoA). This is also an excellent checkpoint to make sure that we are all on the same page, and we discuss and confirm any fees and the timing of these.
The fourth step of this process is the integration of your overall financial strategy with each underlying area into one holistic financial planning document known as the Statement of Advice (SoA). This is a comprehensive tool that will be the foundation for your financial strategy – it includes clear recommendations to you based on your circumstances and goals as well as why those recommendations are suitable. The SoA is a working tool that we review annually with you and it should be used to check back against as your circumstances change. Any remuneration paid to your financial advisor is detailed in this document.
The fifth step is where we commence the implementation of your financial strategy with your authority. Based on the SoA recommendations, we set up the investment platforms and any applications on your behalf. We keep you informed throughout this step of any potential issues and let you know once the implementation of your financial strategy is complete.
With your financial strategy implemented, we continue to monitor your investments and review your strategy on an annual basis or more frequently, if required. As part of our ongoing advice service, we continue to support you and your financial strategy. Our ongoing reviews help us to ensure that your portfolio is re-evaluated in line with personal, economic and legislative changes at least once a year.