When it comes to finances, a lot of us are wandering through the dark. Over one-third of Australians don’t feel confident when it comes to managing their money, and a similar proportion finds finances to be stressful and overwhelming, according to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
The same report shows that nearly half of all Australians don’t have a five-year financial plan in place. What would life be like then without financial planning, given this affects so many?
Take someone for example who wants to live a comfortable and balanced life, plan for the future, provide for their family and contribute to issues that are important to them. What if he/she doesn’t work with a financial planner? What would change?
Without seeking expert advice, how would they know what’s achievable? Would they be as well prepared if something unexpected came up in the future? Would they know what they could afford to do and plan for? Would their family be as well looked after? How would they feel about money?
Working with a financial planner equips you with a clearer vision of the future and helps you to make smarter and more confident choices – but it doesn’t come for free.
Let’s take a look at the cost vs. benefits of seeking financial advice.
Financial planning, especially in its early stages is not about how much money you have, or want, or could have. It is about discovering and exploring your dreams and goals, your hopes for the future, and uncovering what is important to you about money so that you can work towards living your best possible life.
If we look at it another way, when asked “what is the secret to living a happy and fulfilled life?”, it is unlikely anybody responded by saying “an investment that delivers good returns”. This, however, may indeed play a part in the bigger picture.
Invest Blue’s process is about firstly getting to know clients on a personal level, helping them to identify what is truly important to them, and then working with them to realise their goals and dreams for the future.
To many, it’s about exploring the possibilities, understanding what is possible, achieving personal goals and having the power to plan for the future and enjoy life. It is also about being equipped to weather any unexpected storms that may come along.
There is no set industry-wide scale when it comes to fees for financial planning, as required services and payment structures vary between different clients and planners. A financial planner, or adviser, can provide one-off advice around particular investment options or go so far as to build a comprehensive long-term financial plan and work with you year in and year out as your life unfolds.
At Invest Blue, we focus on offering comprehensive financial advice that connects our clients’ financial world with the things that matter most to them. We believe that to make recommendations about securing wealth or choosing an investment option, we first need to understand what is important about money, to you. When it comes to cost, we will work with people when we can add value to their lives. You can discuss fees with an adviser during the first meeting, and there is no obligation to proceed. Learn more about what to expect from working with us by seeing how our process works.
At Invest Blue, you’ll pay fees by way of:
The benefits you receive from working with a financial planner generally scale up according to the commitment you have to receive advice. While one-off advice can certainly help you make informed, practical financial decisions, a longer-term relationship with a planner can help keep you on the path toward success in all aspects of your life.
There are many tangible benefits from advice, and they will be discussed with you directly as you work with an adviser and establish your goals. You may, for example, be recommended more efficient insurance cover or a streamlined investment option that saves you dollars. You may be deterred from making a quick emotion-based financial decision that would have been costly. By focusing on clearer goals, you may find you spend your money in different ways, shifting your send from ‘nice-to-haves’ to ‘this is important to me’.
There are also countless intangible benefits. Time after time, when we work with clients and ask them what they value most, their response is emotive. They worry less. They feel more confident. They are reassured. They have less to argue about with their spouse/partner/parents. They are more excited about their future. They are grateful for the freedom of knowledge permits.
At Invest Blue, we believe our Clients are our best advocates and have compiled a list of Client Stories that demonstrate how our advice has helped many Clients to live their best possible lives. We encourage you to check these out and find one that resonates with you. We work hard to ensure it is our Clients that are the central focus of everything we do.
The benefits of working with a financial planner are supported by research from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Clients of financial planners were surveyed twice, 15 months apart, to assess the impact of financial advice over time. The study found that clients’ satisfaction with their financial situation grew 12 percent on average over the 15 months. Clients who had been using a financial planning service for longer periods perceive themselves to be in a better financial position and are more likely to agree that professional advice has contributed to well-being in other areas of their lives. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we may help you.
Beyond financial well-being, planning was also reported to have a positive impact on physical well-being, mental health, and family and social relationships.
When considering if long-term financial planning is worth your time and money, it’s important to remember the benefits it can bring versus DIY finances.
While DIYing your financial planning may help you plan for the future, personalised advice from a professional can help you clarify your options, highlight different investment or saving avenues you may have otherwise been unaware of, and give you the confidence and support needed to make positive changes.
At the start of the Invest Blue process, we’ll have a structured conversation with you to understand your goals and circumstances. There are a series of meeting steps we go through to develop financial plans. This includes our core steps of:
The above structure allows us to deliver tailored advice using a consistent method that has been tried and tested with many Clients. We have a strong team of professionals who, as well as having years of experience, have high levels of expertise.
Financial advice is about more than just picking investment options. Even if you have little interest in accumulation, your financial planner can work with you to address how you’re managing the money you’ve got. An ongoing relationship can help you build a budget that works to achieve your goals, and break down mental blocks that are holding you back.
A financial planner can also help you organise your finances to improve your future financial outlook. While this is specific to individual goals, it is very important for areas like superannuation, loans, assets, investments, education, and retirement.
Personalisation is always at the centre – Invest Blue financial planners won’t try to put you in a box, but will instead help you manage money in a way that prioritises what’s most important to you.
Thinking about your financial future doesn’t have to be scary. With a professional financial planner on your side, you can rest assured you have access to the knowledge and tutelage you need to be prepared for future events. For example, a financial planner can help you assess the right insurance and superannuation options to see you through potentially difficult times and into retirement.
In your fact-finding conversations with an Invest Blue financial planner, we’ll ask you some general health questions. These help us better understand any potential health issues which may need to be factored in when designing strategies to protect your physical and financial future.
Picture financial planning as caring for a garden – planting the seeds is only the start of the mission. Keeping your garden healthy requires regular care and adapting to any changes in the environment. The same is true for your finances. The greatest value in a financial plan is in the process of planning, not the plan itself.
With an Invest Blue financial planner on your side, you’ll be invited to regular check-ins to assess how your plan is tracking and if any changes are needed to steer you towards achieving your dreams and goals as they develop, always in pursuit of you living your best possible life. Get in touch with us today.
Financial health is a vital part of life. Make sure your financial decisions leaves you feeling good by getting in touch with an adviser from Invest Blue today.
 2012, Richards, Carl: The Behaviour Gap P.xii
What you need to know
This information is provided by Invest Blue Limited (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.
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