Who would you ask to help you achieve financial goals that require money and planning to achieve?

Written By: Hamish Ferguson

Only 23% of Australians would state that they would rely on a financial adviser to answer this question.

40% would rely on family and friends and 30% would prefer to rely on “Google” rather than seek out someone that would call themselves an “expert” in this area

People will often turn to their accountant, lawyer, mortgage broker or even real estate agent for investment advice, but not a financial adviser.

What is changing?

The landscape today in the world of financial advice is much different to what it was even 5 years ago.

  1. The Government – is determined to help people become less reliant on the aged pension and wants people to get advice.
  2. The Industry – has been forced to be more transparent and in most cases, commissions no longer apply. Most industry funds have now aligned themselves with a financial adviser so that they can steer their members to someone able to give advice
  3. Accountants in 2017 are in the limelight, being forced to becoming licensed to give financial advice if they want to be able to guide their clients in this area, especially the fast growing industry of Self-Managed-Superfunds(SMSFs).

Why do you need one?

Most Australians (37% to be precise) say they would like financial advice in the area of budgeting and debt management followed closely by retirement planning (35%). Financial advisers are most suited to help you

  1. Work out how to manage your cash flow effectively.
  2. Understand what investments are suitable for you personally and if you give them permission they should tell you when not to invest as well as when to invest.
  3. Help you work on financial goals to aim for. This gives peace of mind that you will be able to cope with any curve balls that life throws you.

One of the typical problems that the advice industry has is that they are only measured by the success they achieve for a client financially, not by the mistakes they help prevent, or even how they help with cash flow management. A phrase I have heard on many occasions is: “Just help me invest my money properly. I will spend my other money however I want”. For effective planning to occur, we need to join these two themes rather than keep them apart. Most of us struggle to give permission to an outsider to advise on household cash flow.

Start with the end in mind

Let’s say you were about to run a race. You are at the starting line with all the other contestants, the race official has his (or her) gun and as you look up, you realise you are not sure how long the race is.  Panic goes through your mind and you ask the questions… Am I in the right race? Do I know how far I am going to have to run? Is this the 100-metre sprint or 800-metre race? Now, this example might seem a bit unrealistic, however, my point is that depending on the race we are running, we might have a different strategy. We might have to take different risks to achieve our end goal but unless we know the destination, we won’t be able to plan for the race. Financial advice should be about helping you understand what destination (or goals) you want to aim for. Typically when we get to pick the destination, we are a lot more motivated to get there.

What should you do next?

If you would like help either understanding how to articulate your goals, or even if you have goals working out a strategy to achieve them, click here to understand what questions you should ask your financial planner or if you don’t have one, let us help you take the next step.

About the writer: Hamish founded Vision Newcastle in 2001 and is still passionate about this industry. You can email him at hamish.ferguson@visionpf.com.au

 “Hamish is a passionate businessman who takes a strong personal interest in his clients financial and personal success.” Jamie Gilmore, Managing Director Little Green Frog Strategic Marketing Group.

Hamish Ferguson and FNP Solutions Pty Ltd trading as Vision Finance Newcastle are Authorised Representatives of PATRON Financial Advice (ABN 13 122 381 908), AFSL 307379

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