What happens in the financial planning process?
When you decide to seek financial advice, there are a number of steps you will need to follow.
Selecting a financial planner
Before you select a financial planner, you should consider how comfortable you are with the planner and what services they will be able to provide. Find out more about selecting a financial planner.
Making an appointment
To make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner simply call or email your local Bridges office. Find a planner.
Setting your goals and gathering information
At your first appointment with a Bridges financial planner, your planner will discuss with you your financial and lifestyles goals, both for the short, medium and long term.
Once you have discussed your goals, the financial planner will ask you questions about your income, expenses, investments and superannuation. This information will assist your financial planner in understanding your personal circumstances. To see what information you should take to your appointment, read our article on what you need to bring with me for my planner.
After your Bridges financial planner has gathered the required information at your first meeting, they will make an appointment for a second meeting to discuss your options and present their recommendations.
Reviewing your options
At the second meeting, your Bridges financial planner will present you with a range of options and recommended strategies that can assist you in achieving your financial and investment objectives. These options and strategies form a financial plan, now referred to as a Statement of Advice.
Following the discussion of the Statement of Advice, you can decide whether you would like to implement those strategies.
What does a Statement of Advice contain?
A Statement of Advice contains information about:
- Details of your personal financial situation and objectives
- Your financial plannerís strategies and recommendations as to how you can achieve your goals which may include:
- Investment strategy
- Asset allocation
- Taxation position
- Social security issues
- Estate planning and insurance needs
- Ongoing financial advice needs
- Initial and ongoing fees
- Additional information such as projections and graphs
When you are comfortable with the strategy your Bridges financial planner has recommended, it's time to set the plan in motion.
Your Bridges financial planner will assist you in preparing the paperwork necessary to invest in the selected products, and then lodge them on your behalf with the appropriate organisations.
Donít set and forget
Financial planning is not, however, a set and forget process. You need to keep your financial plan under review to ensure that it remains appropriate to the investment and regulatory environment as well as continuing to meet your changing circumstances and needs.