Our Advice Process
People often ask us “what do financial planners actually do?” And more importantly, “what do I do when I see one?” So here it is; the whole process, from when we first meet to the ongoing relationship.
Note: Financial planning is a pretty intimate process when done properly. You’ll need to divulge a lot of very personal information. If you don’t feel comfortable with us you may withhold information and we may not be able to do the best possible job. Before we commit to working together we like to meet with potential new clients for a brief chat over coffee in our office (at no charge) as it’s important that we both feel we can work together openly and collaboratively.
1. Fact Find Meeting Preparation
Before our fact find meeting, we’d like you to print out and complete this form. Please follow the instructions on the front page. Doing this saves our time and therefore your money.
2. Fact Find Meeting
During our fact find meeting we explore your financial position and goals and identify the emotional and environmental factors that help or hinder you in reaching them. By the end of this meeting we will have a reasonably comprehensive understanding of your current financial circumstances, your attitude to risk and what you need and hope to achieve. We then decide whether it makes sense for us to enter into an advisory relationship. If yes, we’ll agree the terms of engagement. These set out the scope of works required, the estimated time to completion and our fees.
If it’s just the two of us meeting, we might decide to give the boardroom a miss and talk while we walk instead. And of course, when face to face isn’t possible, there’s always Skype
3. Strategy Development
After we’ve thoroughly researched and reviewed your current situation, we build a comprehensive financial model. We use this to test the impact of different strategies under a range of economic conditions and life events. We put considerable thought into building and stress testing your financial model because we don’t believe in painting a picture of an endlessly refulgent financial future; we need to prepare for the black swans too.
Sometimes we’ll prepare a short discussion paper comparing different strategies. We do this in circumstances where there are several possible solutions that we need to fine-tune before we make final recommendations.
4. Strategy Presentation
We then meet again to present and discuss our recommendations. These are detailled in a document known as a Statement of Advice (SoA). We try to keep your SoA as succinct as possible, but it's a difficult balancing act; we need to ensure it ticks all the compliance boxes but isn’t the size of a telephone book.
5. Strategy Implementation
The next stage is implementing your strategy. This can mean anything from making an investment, setting up a company, trust or SMSF, opening bank and share trading accounts or applying for insurance.
6. Ongoing Relationship
After our recommendations are implemented we’ll usually continue working with you on an ongoing monthly retainer basis, to ensure your financial strategy evolves to match your changing needs and you stay on track.