What Happens When I Meet A Financial Planner?
If you have not met with a financial planner before, you may be wondering what to expect. Financial planning has some fundamental requirements. Therefore the structure of most financial planning meetings is the same. Therefore, no matter which financial planner you are meeting, the meeting should follow a pattern. This ensures the financial planner has sufficient information to advise you.
Before The Meeting
It is important to prepare for the financial planning meeting. This will ensure you gain the maximum benefit from your time with the financial planner. If this is your first meeting with a particular financial planner, this is a job interview for them. You need to think of questions you want to ask them to make sure they are suitable. For more information on what to look for in a financial planner, see my page on Choosing Your Financial Planner.
To provide you with accurate financial advice, a financial planner will need to know about your personal finances. They will need to collect together information on 4 main areas. These areas are your income, expenditure, assets and liabilities. Therefore have details of each of these items readily available for your adviser. All advisers will need this information to provide you with accurate advice.
If there is a particular aspect of your finances you want to speak about, tell the financial planner before the meeting. Then you will need to think about what you want to achieve from the meeting and the questions you want to be answered.
Location Of The Meeting
The meeting should be somewhere free of distractions. Often the best place is the financial planner’s office. Where this is not possible your home may be the next best choice. Virtual meetings are increasingly popular.
In The First Meeting
Financial advice is given through a series of meetings. The first meeting is a discovery meeting. You are getting to know the financial planner and they are getting to know you. Usually, these meetings are free and without obligation on either party.
Most advisers will spend a few minutes introducing themselves. They will highlight their experience, qualifications and how they can help you. This will help you know if this is a person you should be working with. If you have any doubts at this stage, you should ask them some of the questions in my choosing a financial planner page before talking about your finances.
Assuming all is well, the financial planner should ask you how they can help and you will then have the floor. Meeting with an experienced adviser should be more like a conversation rather than an interrogation to complete a form. They will cover each of the parts of your personal finances. They will ask how you accumulated the money you currently have. What your main concerns are and what you want to achieve with your money.
Where you are investing money, risk should be discussed. The financial planner will need to know, what level of risk you are comfortable with generally and what level of risk you can afford to take with your money. They may discuss the level of risk you need to take to achieve your goals. You should tell the financial adviser if you have preferences about how your money is invested based on religious, moral or ethical bases.
Having obtained the required information from you, the adviser should summarise what has been agreed and what the next steps are.
After the Meeting
After meeting the financial planner, the adviser may need to conduct some research into your existing financial assets. Once the data has been collated, a report summarising your existing position and your objectives will be prepared. Some advisers will send this report to you whilst others will meet with you to go through the report with you in person.
The adviser’s report should make appropriate recommendations on your finances. These recommendations should be justified showing how they help you achieve your goals. Attention should be paid to any charges for stopping the product or service and details of how much the advice will cost.
During the second meeting, your adviser will go through the report. It is important to ask questions if you do not understand anything. Often knowing what questions to ask is difficult if you have little knowledge of the subject. I have therefore compiled 10 questions for you to ask with guidance on what to watch out for in the answer. You can access them here.
Assuming the questions are answered to your satisfaction and you feel comfortable with the adviser and their recommendation. The adviser will guide you through the application process and establish a service agreement.
Meeting with a financial planner can be physical or virtual. There are usually at least 2 meetings. The initial meeting is usually free of charge and without obligation. The objective of this meeting is to see whether the adviser is able to offer the service you want. The meeting will focus on your needs and current financial circumstances which are your income, expenditure, assets and liabilities. The meeting should be followed up by a report summarising your circumstances and making recommendations. A second meeting is normal to discuss the content of the report, to answer your questions and when appropriate apply for the recommended product or service.
To discuss your financial planning needs, please contact me on 050 594 5217 (what’s app is available) or arrange a meeting via ZOOM for free by clicking here.