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What does a financial adviser do?

24 Nov 2014 1:03 PM - Why Australian's don't seek financial advice...
A recent report, Connecting with Consumers, published by BusinessBlades 2014, revealed that the main reason people are avoiding financial advice is because of confusion about what a planner actually does. Despite all the negative press around the industry, only 9% of respondents said lack of trust was the reason they didn’t seek advice. 
So, in order to clear things up, I thought I would give some detail about what Greeve & Associates actually do as financial advisers.
In a nutshell, I provide my clients with a roadmap to help them achieve their desired lifestyle in an ethical and sustainable way. They walk away secure in the knowledge that their financial security is assured. 
The process starts with talking to you about the type of life you currently lead and the life you want to live. We talk about your hopes, dreams and goals for the future. We talk about what’s important about money to you. It’s important I understand what motivates you; what’s really important to you, so I don’t impose my values or beliefs on to your financial plan. 
Once we have established what it is you are trying to achieve we then talk about money: what it will all cost; what you have or don’t have. We look at your budget (or help you figure out how to develop one). We talk about your tolerance for investment risk and your preference (or otherwise) for Socially Responsible Investment. 
Don’t panic about the word budget. It’s a way of determining what your current lifestyle costs. If that’s the lifestyle you want to enjoy, then that’s our starting point. If you are overspending, it helps you determine where you might make adjustments. 
Once we have all the information, we then start with the financial modelling. We consider the different options you might have to achieve your goals. The option we recommend might not make you the “richest” but will be the one that most closely aligns with your goals, values and desired lifestyle. 
After the modelling, we then work on a Statement of Advice (SoA). This is the road map; the document that details the advice we are recommending for you. The SoA might recommend you invest in a financial product or buy some personal insurance; or it might not. Financial advice isn’t about selling a product; it’s about advising you how to achieve your financial goals effectively.  
Once we have presented the advice to you, the education part begins - making sure you understand what we have recommended and why and how it works. We don’t expect you to be an expert, just have enough understanding to be comfortable with your financial decisions. After this, we help you implement our recommendations. 
We give the new financial structure a couple of months before we meet again to see how it is going and make any “tweaks” to the plan. Maybe we were a bit tight with your budget or maybe you have more spare income than you thought… this is normal. 
After the plan is fully implemented, you aren’t on your own. We conduct at least an annual review to check how we are progressing towards the achievement of your goals and make any adjustments that may be necessary. If anything changes from your end we can review more regularly: you started a new job, or lost your job; you got married or divorced; you had kids, or they grew up and left home. Everything changes, which is why it is so important to regularly review your financial plan. 

So I hope that now gives you some idea of how we operate at Greeve & Associates. If you are an existing client and have found value in our process, please tell your friends (if you haven’t, please tell me so we can work with you to fix it!). If you think this process is right for you, then please contact us for a complimentary first appointment. 

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