Financial planning process

Learn about the financial planning process, from initial consultation through to preparing and implementing the financial plan, and conducting ongoing client reviews.

The process undertaken when preparing your financial plan is a partnership with you. No two people are alike and your goals and objectives will be unique. Therefore it is important when commencing a financial plan to view it as a partnership along a journey. The journey is one of mutual collaboration working together to achieve your goals and objectives.

The following diagram illustrates the process that we undertake together. The process is not just a beginning and end, rather it is an ongoing process of review and development. As your circumstances, goals and legislation change, your strategy also needs to change and be updated in order to ensure that we help you meet your ever changing needs.

Step 1 – Work out your current situation

The first step is to determine your current financial situation.

To do so, you'll need to gather information about your:

  • assets (e.g. superannuation and investments);
  • debts
  • income
  • expenses
  • tax deductions
  • insurance cover (e.g. life, total and permanent disablement, trauma and income protection) and
  • monthly budget (if possible)

While it might be time consuming, gathering this data is a crucial part of managing your finances. You might even identify a few quick wins - such as consolidating some of your debts.

Step 2 – Define what you want

Your next task is to ask yourself what you want in life. Financially, where do you see yourself in a few months, a few years, a decade, and beyond?

When creating a financial plan, we will use your goals to guide the strategies and recommendations. This ensures your financial plan not only complements your attitude to risk, but also your short, medium and long-term objectives.

If you don't have a clear picture of where you want to be, you have no way of checking if you're heading in the right direction.

Step 3 – Consider the facts and strategy

Once you have gathered your financial data and set your future goals, you are ready to consult with an adviser.

The initial meeting is often complimentary. In this meeting, specific advice is unlikely to be provided; it is more an information gathering exercise. You provide us with information about your circumstances, needs and wants. In turn, the adviser provides you with information about what you can expect, and the broad investment concepts available.

Subsequent consultations will further explore specific recommendations, your options and the lifestyle implication of these.

For example, can you afford to invest $200 a month into a regular savings plan or is $100 more realistic? Are you comfortable to adopt a new budget now but wait 12 months before implementing your planned investment portfolio?

This is where we will agree on the scope of advice you want, so that we can create a strategy that meets your needs and expectations.

Step 4 - Develop and implement your plan

This is where much of the hard work is done by your financial adviser. With the assessment of your goals, financial needs and current situation complete, we will create a financial plan that will help you achieve your goals.

Whether it's a rework of your budget, setting-up a savings plan or creating an investment portfolio, this is where we will create a tailored plan for you.

The written plan should clearly outline the proposed strategy and is the culmination of your work so far, but it also represents a beginning of a long-term relationship with us. In most instances, we will regularly review your plan to make sure it adapts to changes in your life, goals or financial needs.

Step 5 - Review your goals and current situation

As you progress through life, your circumstances and financial and lifestyle goals may change. It is important that you regularly review your plan with us to ensure that it continues to be relevant.

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