Most financial planners provide advice on investment and/or insurance products and some manage investments or model portfolios. Most take into consideration your goals as well as your financial situation (such as your tax bracket, marital status, risk tolerance). They may or may not create a written financial plan, and it may be comprehensive or address one or two areas of your finances.
We like to look at all areas of personal and business finance including cash flow, debt, all forms of insurance, economics, investments, taxes, retirement planning, education planning, charitable giving, and estate planning.
Some financial planners may be paid by commission from products they sell, others may be paid a fee (hourly, flat-fee, retainer or percentage) for advice and/or for managing investments, and some receive both kinds of compensation.
Good advice from an experienced, well-informed adviser can help people save money, protect against risk, manage debts, grow assets, reduce tax liabilities, plan for retirement, identify entitlements for government benefits, and plan what inheritance is to be left to the next generation. A financial adviser’s first responsibility is to the client, not to an employer, a product manufacturer, to him/herself or to anyone except the client.
When providing personal financial advice an adviser must take into account the individual client’s circumstances and goals. The advice may or may not involve the recommendation of a financial product. The role of a financial adviser is not to sell financial products.
A financial planner sets out to understand each client’s different needs and financial objectives and to recommend an appropriate financial strategy.
There is an established six step financial planning process which our advisers follow with every new client:
- Gather financial information about the client
- Identify financial and lifestyle goals
- Identify any financial issues
- Prepare a financial plan
- Implement the plan
- Review and revise the plan at regular intervals, or when circumstances change.