We do a lot of listening in this first consultation. The more we understand your past, present situation and future aspirations, the better equipped we are to help you. Fiducian’s experienced financial planners will ask exactly the right questions to help you think about your life and values and articulate how you see your future.
And of course, at this first meeting we talk about money. As well as the facts of your financial situation (your level of savings, home ownership, super, any insurance cover), we try to understand your psychological attitude to money and in particular how you feel about investing, because this will have a huge bearing on the financial strategy we’ll eventually recommend.
Some of our clients first come to us because they want help with a single more specialised aspect of their personal finances, rather than for advice on their holistic situation. This is fine too – a Fiducian financial planner will be equally happy to meet if you’d like to concentrate on a particular topic such as aged care, or estate planning.
This is where we define and agree on exactly what we will provide for you, and what fees and charges will apply.
For complete transparency, this will be set out in a letter of engagement and signed by both parties.
There is likely to be more information we’ll need from you before we can start putting a plan together. Typically, this will be things like copies of your superannuation statements, insurance policies and investment information.
If your plan involves investing we’ll work together to develop your risk profile and investment time frame and consider which types of assets (such as shares, property and fixed interest) might suit you best.
This stage involves your financial planner researching possible products, considering strategy options, and weighing up the pros and cons of all possible scenarios.
Only then do we put together a recommended plan of action for you to consider.
We present our recommendations to you in a document called a Statement of Advice (SoA), which may contain options for you to consider and showing the costs and potential benefits of each option.
Depending on the complexity of your circumstances and goals, an SoA can be quite long – so we’ll work with you to make sure you fully understand all of it, and will answer any questions you have. Only when you’re 100 per cent comfortable with what we’re proposing will we move to the next stage.
This is the exciting part – the stage when your journey towards a brighter financial future properly begins.
Once you’ve given us the permission to proceed, we’ll manage the paperwork and put in place any new investment portfolios, insurance policies or superannuation accounts.
Everyone’s life changes – gradually over time, and sometimes abruptly and dramatically. A Fiducian financial plan is designed to be adaptable to change. We therefore see it as critical that the construction of your initial financial plan is merely a starting point, not an end in itself.
Irrespective of changes in your life, we do a lot of ongoing work behind the scenes to make sure your plan remains on track. Our technical and legal experts stay on top of any changes to the law or government policy that could affect your strategy (superannuation is particularly prone to legislative change). If necessary, and after getting your permission, we’ll make the required changes to your portfolio or alter your strategy.