The relationship business of Financial Planning encompasses a wide range of areas which include retirement planning, superannuation advice, investment advice, personal risk insurance, estate planning and social security advice and to some extent taxation advice although detailed taxation advice is typically serviced by accountants. Current legislation is strict and an individual providing personal financial planning advice must hold a licence to provide the advice.
Financial Planners who belong to the Financial Planning Association, Australia’s leading professional community of financial planners must meet strict criteria and higher standards than required by law. Certified Financial Planner professionals have achieved the highest qualification in financial planning worldwide.
At an initial meeting, the financial planner will gather information relating to the client’s financial and personal situation. This will include the outcome the client is hoping to achieve, their attitude to risk, their past investment experience and their knowledge of investment markets. The financial planner will base his recommendations on this information and it is important that the information provided by the client is correct.
Following a detailed analysis of the client’s situation and requirements, the financial planner will construct a Statement of Advice, previously known as a Financial Plan. It will explain the strategies, products and services recommended to the client. The Statement of Advice also sets out all fees relating to the advice. A presentation meeting will follow and further discussions will take place to ensure the client understands the recommendations made by the financial planner. If an agreement is reached to put the new arrangements and strategies in place the planner will proceed with the implementation of the advice agreed upon.
Once all the recommendations are in place an ongoing relationship between the planner and the client follows and regular reviews of the arrangements are conducted to ensure that the implemented strategies continue to remain effective and in the client’s best interests.