What to expect when seeing a Financial Planner

14/06/2016

 

Provided EISS.

You may be hesitant about seeing a financial planner, but you shouldn't be. Remember that this is a step in taking charge of your financial future.

What happens on the first appointment?

Your first appointment should be free. It is a chance for the planner to find out your needs and goals, and get a picture of your assets, debts, income and expenses.

Usually you will be sent a questionnaire before the appointment so that the planner can get details on your situation. You may also be asked to provide the planner with authority to ask for info from your super funds and other investment products.

What will I pay?

The fees will depend on:

  • Your needs, as the more complex your situation, the higher the fee
  • The planner, as some people will just charge more. Remember that expensive isn't necessarily good, and low cost isn't the same as good value.

Some planners may appear more expensive than others because the fee is all upfront. Other planners make money from ongoing fees. Just be sure you know what you are going to pay over, say, the next 5 years. Ask the planner to detail it for you. Also find out exactly what you get for your money.

50% of any upfront fee for a pre-retirement plan may be deducted from your EISS benefit. More details are here.

What if I don't understand what I get told?

Ask questions. If you don't understand the answer, ask again. If the planner can't or won't explain things to you, consider whether you may be better off with a planner who can.

Remember, it's your money, and the planner is working for you.

What if I don't like the person?

Go somewhere else. You are not obliged to use a planner just because you have had an initial appointment with them.

In fact, even if you do like them, get a second opinion. Yes, it'll cost more, but it's your financial future. It's a bit like getting your leg cut off. It's worthwhile seeing if there is another option before the saw gets pulled out.

How do I know I can trust them?

The vast majority of financial planners that we come across are trying to do the right thing by their clients. There are several ways to help you feel more comfortable:

  1. Ask to see their qualifications, and make sure that they are at least a member of a professional association (such as the Financial Planning Association).
  2. Trust your instincts. If you're not sure, don't commit to anything.
  3. Get referrals; from your friends and workmates to professional financial planners (not to your mate's friend Bob up the road who has this hot tip on residential property in Turkmenistan).
  4. See a second planner for another opinion
  5. Go to some free seminars. Most financial planning firms run them. Check out the company and make sure that their message doesn't come across as a sell job. EISS runs some seminars, which are advertised on our website and in newsletters.
  6. Get somebody you trust to review the advice that you've been given. Does it make sense to a third person?

We can refer you to Mercer Financial Advice, Level 6, 70 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Phone 08 8110 3458. You don't have to go to these guys, but they have some experience with the Scheme, and have been used by members in the past.

This information has been prepared by EISS. The information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should not act on this information if you have not considered the appropriateness of this information to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. You should consult a licensed or appropriately authorised financial adviser before making any financial decision.
 

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