Wondering where you planner is? We don’t blame you..
Looking for your Planner?
The planners of Wealth & Security Planners and Streamline Financial Planning have been locked away in their bunker, updating systems and improving processes as we move to the Australian Financial Directions licence. Exciting changes are under way, and we’ve been getting the basics right so we can better help clients move ahead in this time-constrained and ever-more-complex world..We have now busted out of that bunker, and are likely to be far more visible and more vocal than you’ve been used to this recent past. And a good thing, too. There’s much to do and time stops for nobody!
So I thought this was as good a time as any to pause for a moment, and recap some of the basics of this who financial planer/ financial planning, thing..
Looking for your planner to update details?
As a financial planner the one thing I notice more than anything else is that NOTHING stays the same for very long.. Phone numbers change, new and funkier homes beckon, and jobs and careers move in a snakes-and-ladders board game, as we all strive to improve and build a better life for ourselves and our families. Updating your planner with changes doesn’t have to be an annual or when-we-meet task – to my mind these updates are best done as they happen. Keeping your planner up-to-date with changes in your life helps your planner to better stay in contact and to better comprehend when these changes may impact your financial position or planning.
Yet all of this updating can become a bit tedious, can’t it? One of the improvements our business has been looking at is providing clients with the ability to update their details online. In fact, we’re looking at every facet of our operations to see where we can improve and provide more of the things our clients ask for, with less fuss.
Looking for your planner – How about a clean start?
This is where I adopt the Planner’s Stare..
Yes, that’s right – it’s time to go through the basics, and start your planning from the ground up with a quick financial health checkup… You can either click on the image above – and it will take you to an earlier post where I set out how to do a quick overhaul of your basic financial planning – or you can click on this link here. It’s the same end result, which is appropriate because the basics will always remain the basics, and a good place to start.
What do planners actually do, anyway?
Good question. Line up a parade of planners and you will most likely find that no two do the same work day-to-day, and that the range of services on offer is diverse and highly individual. I’m not sure if that is because we planners are all pig-headed and arrogant and don’t like being like everyone else or whether it’s a simple reflection of the large range of wants and needs that people have when they seek out a financial planner? Maybe it’s a bit of both?My thoughts are that each person grows and evolves a set of skills particular to their knowledge, training and experience, which in turn attracts clients seeking those capabilities and that specific knowledge. For example, there are planners who specialise in :
- Personal superannuation
- Corporate superannuation
- Life and disability insurances
- Tax planning
- Gearing and margin lending
- Property investment
- Share investment
- Share trading
- Fixed Income investments
- Portfolio and asset mix balancing
- International investment advice
- and lots more..
Some planners take a more “holistic” approach to financial planning. This usually means that they will provide advice and services across almost anything financial that impacts their clients. To some extent, this is the approach Wealth & Security Planners advisers take and one that I personally get the most enjoyment from. The holistic approach is based on the idea that no one person can be the perfect source of all knowledge – therefore you instead look for one person to be the focal point from which you obtain perspective and information on all matters financial. In other words, the financial planner understands the clients’ situation, and seeks the input of professionals across a range of disciplines, sifting and sorting the data and information to see what is likely to suit a set of circumstances, and what is less likely to be helpful or appropriate. Planning at this level is a sophisticated process, requiring high levels of communication, information sharing and trust – all of which tend to be best achieved through the accumulation of time and experiences, rather than through one-off visits and questions.
Just do it
Great phrase, don’t you think? Nike’s public relations people did a great job of owning that little phrase because it applies to so many things in life other than shoes. Financial planning sounds boring and can really BE boring – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Financial planning that focuses on helping you understand more of your position and the options available to you is financial planning that is exciting and helpful and action-based. It’s what keeps me interested in what is otherwise a very mundane and nerdy occupation. It is also a process that my business partners and I obtain enormous enjoyment from as we tackle the challenges of converting rules and laws and processes and procedures into something materially useful and worthwhile for our clients.
The Great Disclaimer
There really isn’t all that much to disclaim in this post. It’s a rather rambling affair, touching on the basics of financial planning and highlighting a few changes in the business that I am part of. However, nothing in the public sphere seems to be important or useful unless it includes a disclaimer, so I’m going to have a go at it anyway..
Nothing in this post or on this site is to be considered to be personal financial advice. It is general advice only and does not take into account your personal situation or circumstances. You must not take any action based on this post without first considering whether it is appropriate for you to do so. Other than maybe the bit about stopping to think through your basic planning needs and position – that’s probably a safe bet for general advice in any circumstance.
Should you ever encounter something that doesn’t sound correct or maybe looks a little shady in the financial world then a good source of impartial information is the retail website maintained by the industry regulator – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”). The website is found at www.moneysmart.gov.au – I think it is a fantastic public service and well worth a wander through, should you have the time.