Battles come in many forms, it’s not always swords, bows and killing machines. Some battles are greater than others, some are far bloodier but shorter, and some we’re bound to fight for a very long time.
A key to winning a battle is to have the right people. Numbers don’t win battles but having the people who are well versed in fighting will definitely help your cause. Unlike what is usually portrayed in movies, an all too powerful hero is not required, rather a trustworthy partner that will guarantee your success.
The battle towards financial freedom begins as soon as one starts earning. Of course, no one wants to work forever, you want to work until you no longer have to and all that’s left is to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
The lasting fight towards financial freedom is easy for some, but others can still be overwhelmed, under armed and left without a proper partner. A financial advisor is an essential teammate you will need that will help you succeed in this fight. They bring the knowledge, expertise and guidance to identify your financial goals and help you reach them. Despite their proficiency in the field, you are still in control of your decisions. They will be working closely with you up front to understand who you are and what you’d like to achieve, taking into account your entire financial situation.
Here are some of the specific ways a financial advisor can help:
• Super and retirement – A financial advisor can help you work out which super fund is right for you and advise about your super investment options, or help you set up a self-managed super fund. This might include advice about budgeting, investing, super, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance and taxation. They can help you plan the type of retirement you want to have and achieve it at the same time.
• Insurance – Insurance is an important part of financial planning and wealth protection. A financial advisor can explain how different types of insurance work, what they cover you for, and help put in place the right amount of protection in case things don’t go according to plan.
• Debt and cash flow – A financial advisor is well versed in handling debts, helping their clients get their finances in shape for today and the future. They can help you form a strategy to help you better manage your debts and expenses, so you can make the most of the money you have.
• Investments – A financial advisor will help you in managing your portfolio and recommend investments that are suited for you. They will explain the different types of investments and educate you throughout the whole process, including the risks that are included.
The (Financial) Freedom Fighter
A financial advisor is your partner, therefore you have to be honest and accurate about your current personal and financial situation so that they may be able to provide you with the best advice.
Before meeting with your financial advisor, it is best if you already have a clue of how the meeting will go:
• Identify and agree on the advice you need, you are still in control and can decide how involved you want them to be in your decision making with things such as:
Assets, such as property, cars, savings
Spending habits and expenses
Family situation, such as number and ages of dependents
Career, employment and earnings
Mortgage or rental payments
Debts, such as personal loans or credit card balances
• Collect information and discuss costs upfront, be honest about your financial situation and make sure that the details you provided are accurate and updated
• Define your goals and current position, it is best to make a list of the goals you want to achieve for yourself and your family:
Setting your kids up for the future
Saving for your retirement
Buying an investment property
• Look at your attitude towards risk, be open to uncertainties surrounding every decision and discuss and agree on recommendations
The Battle Plan
It is expected for your advisor to ask numerous questions about your circumstances depending on your goals, both short-term and long-term, and motivations for seeking advice. You should also discuss how involved you want your advisor to be. The Scope of Advice, an agreement between the advisor and yourself, should address your goals, objectives and needs and must be discussed with you prior to proceeding. Setting these guidelines clearly will help the advisor to determine the cost of their advice. While the initial meeting with an advisor may be free of charge, the costs after that vary depending on the complexity of the advice, frequency of advice and the types of financial products recommended.
After sufficient information is gathered through discussions and further research, the advisor will put together a written document called a Statement of Advice with detailed recommendations to help you achieve your goals. The statement of advice is not complimentary but the costs will be explained to you and provided in writing before you agree to proceed.
In the event that your advisor would recommend any products as part of their advice, they are required to provide you with the Product Disclosure Statement, which outlines the product’s features and charges. All advisors must only provide recommendations to products that are in your best interests and not theirs, a stipulation under the Best Interest Duty policy. It’s recommended that you review the product and strategy in detail and only agree to commit if you fully understand it.
Once you’ve put a financial plan in place, you are expected to review it annually and ensure that it is updated and meets your goals, which are likely to change over time.
Choose Your Fighter
Achieving financial freedom can be a gruelling war, yet a war that can be won with the help of professional partners whose skill and experience is unquestionable.
At Forward360, we have a team of dynamic and highly qualified financial advisors that will closely work with you towards achieving your financial freedom. We will expertly create a strategy that will work best for you, guiding and educating you throughout the process in the simplest way possible. You are in control, we are your teammate, we are your partner. Engage with us, today.
Co-founder and Managing Director at Forward360. Simon ensures all clients get the financial advice they need to reach and exceed their financial goals — both personally and professionally.
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