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what a financial adviser does
Some people may think that a financial adviser’s role is to forecast the direction of the share market from month to month and invest clients’ money accordingly.
This is not the reality, of course. Investments are only one small part of what your financial adviser can provide for you. Some of the key areas that your adviser may be able to assist you with are described below.
knowledge is power
Consider for a moment the amount of newsprint, websites and broadcast time dedicated to financial topics these days. Australians seem to have an insatiable appetite for understanding finances.
Whether it’s the latest share market activity, economic news or the constantly changing tax and superannuation rules, your financial adviser can answer your burning questions and save you the hassle of finding it yourself.
money and time
Sometimes the benefit you receive from a financial adviser can be spelt out in dollar terms. It might be the income tax you have saved by re-structuring your salary, or a new concession from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or Centrelink that you didn’t know you could get.
If you agree that time is money, then think about the time your adviser saves you when you make important decisions. If you had to do it all yourself, how would you choose the best super fund, investment options, or insurance company? How frustrated would you be stuck on the phone trying to get regular information from the ATO or Centrelink?
With all this confronting you, it’s no wonder that many of our important financial decisions stay in the “too-hard basket”. Remember, your financial adviser deals with these things every day. He or she is in an ideal position to explain everything you need to know, and to simplify your options.
personalised advice, every step of the way
The finance section of your newspaper probably includes a regular “advice” or “Q & A” column. By law, these columns must warn readers that the advice does not take into account your personal situation or needs and you should consider its appropriateness before acting.
In setting your financial strategy, your financial adviser doesn’t use this “general advice warning” because they have taken the time to get to know you and your circumstances. This means that everything recommended to you—the investment portfolio, super contribution strategies, savings plans and insurance advice—is tailored to your personal needs, goals, and tolerance to risk.
As the years go by, some of your financial strategies will need adjusting due to changes in the broader environment or something closer to home. Whatever the case, your financial adviser is there to help you make the most of the good times and the bad.
And meeting your financial adviser for a review doesn’t always mean major changes, but at least you’ll know that you’re on the right track – and you’re not alone.