Working with your Financial Adviser
In your first meeting or meetings with an adviser, you’ll need to provide detailed information so that the adviser can give you good recommendations.
It’s up to you to decide whether you want one-off advice or on going service.
Think About Your Situation
Do some advance thinking about what you want to achieve and what your priorities are. The more preparation you do, the better the advice you’re likely to get.
Take a close look at your financial situation (where relevant to the advice you’re seeking). For example, if you want a full financial plan on a range of issues you could start by working out:
- What you own – assets including your home, superannuation, car, shares or other investments and personal property
- Who owns what – for example, are assets owned personally, jointly or in family trusts
- What you owe – debts including mortgages, loans and outstanding credit card balances
- Income and expenses – the Sorted website has budget calculators that can help
- What insurance you have and how much cover.
If you’re looking for specific advice on only one issue, you will only need to prepare information relevant to that issue.
- What are my priorities and goals in the short, medium and long-term?
- What do I need to achieve financially to reach my goals?
- Who depends on me financially and what do I want to provide for them?
Provide relevant and full information
Give your adviser accurate information. Sometimes your adviser will need very detailed information, especially when giving retirement planning advice. This is because they’ll have to consider tax and government retirement entitlements as well as your retirement needs. Your adviser should tell you what information to bring to the meeting such as savings account statements, superannuation account statements and pay slips.
If you are not completely honest with your adviser or don’t disclose something you don’t see as relevant, you could get the wrong advice. Tell your adviser if you can only give limited or incomplete information. They need to know if they have only part of the picture.
If you’re only looking for general advice (‘class’ advice), your adviser should only ask you for basic information to determine which general group of customers you belong to. You will not need to give full information about yourself if you are only getting general advice.
The first or second meeting is a good opportunity for you and the adviser to have a discussion about investment risk. This is sometimes called risk profiling and helps the adviser understand how much investment risk you are willing to accept. Based on the information you provide, the adviser will need to recommend what type of investment is suitable for you based on your risk profile. For more information, see risks involved in investing.