So you’ve found a new financial adviser.
It’s the morning of the first meeting with your new financial adviser. How do you want it to go?
You might want to start listing questions – about the adviser, about the process, about your situation, about lots of things.
But to ensure you get the most out of the opportunity, it’s important you take a little time to prepare. As American IndyCar driver Bobby Unser once said: “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
The first meeting is usually about getting to know each other, understanding how the process works and gaining a feeling that you can work together.
Your adviser may ask you to do some things before the meeting, such as collect information. It’s really important you follow through on these requests. It also makes sense to take the time to get yourself ready. After all, it is all about you!
HERE ARE FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO
Write down your questions. There is always a lot to think about when doing anything for the first time. As things fly through your mind, write them down so you can be in a position to ask them in your meeting. Some ideas you might want to consider are:
- What do you want to know about your adviser?
- How will you choose whether you will continue to work with an adviser?
- What are you hoping to get from an ongoing relationship?
- What, specifically, triggered you to make an appointment?
- What are the burning issues that you would like addressed in the first meeting?
A lot of these are likely to be addressed in the first meeting. You can tick them off as you go and come back to any that aren’t covered to your satisfaction.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL POSITION
You aren’t expected to know everything or have a tight grasp on all of the detail of your current position at the start. But it does make sense to have an idea where you stand. This is your starting point in the journey to achieving your life goals.
Your adviser will want you to bring information, like recent loan statements, superannuation statements, investment account balances, group certificates and insurance information. Don’t worry about trying to work out what it all means. Your adviser will help you make sense of the information.
If you have a budget, that’s great. Take it with you. If you don’t, that’s fine, but give some thought to how much you realistically earn, spend and save on a monthly basis.
THINK ABOUT YOUR GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS
What’s important to you? What unmet aspirations do you have that require money, time or planning to achieve?
It’s easy to get caught up in the detail of conversations around money. Now is a great time to step back and think about the bigger picture. How can creating a financial plan help you achieve the things important to you?
Understanding your current position gives us a starting point for your journey. Understanding your goals and aspiration gives us a destination.
SORT OUT THE LOGISTICS
It’s often easy to miss some of the key details, so sort out the logistics in advance of seeing your adviser. Make sure you know where you’re going for the meeting and how you’re going to get there. Make sure you know who you’re meeting, at what time and how long the meeting is expected to take.
Importantly, ensure your spouse, partner or other key decisionmakers can be at the meeting. Often in a relationship one partner is primarily charged with managing the finances. However, it is really important that everyone is on the same page about the process and what’s important. There is no better time to cover this off than right at the start.
OPEN YOUR MIND
When it comes to financial advice, there are lots of opinions. There is a lot of noise from the 24-hour news cycle and it’s easy to get caught up in it all. And, it can be scary. But most of this noise is irrelevant to your situation and often not indicative of what you are likely to experience.
In selecting your financial adviser, you will have done some research, maybe online or through referrals, and may have an idea of what to expect. That’s great and will give you some comfort.
From there I would encourage you to open your mind. Park your preconceptions at the door. Be willing to enter into an open conversation that may go to places you never expect, which in turn may lead to outcomes beyond your wildest dreams.
THE REALLY SIMPLE GUIDE TO MONEY | OCTOBER 2015
The information provided in this page is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek independent advice from your financial adviser before making any decisions.
AUSTRALIAN MORTGAGE AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS (AMAFA)
Phone: 07 3378 2056
Fax: 07 3378 2069