Top 5 Benefits of Financial Planning for the Adventurous Go-Getter
You feel that you’re entering a pivotal stage of your life and you would like some guidance on how to approach some of your money and lifestyle goals, but you are hesitant to speak with a financial adviser – why?
There could be a number of reasons. Maybe you are afraid of paying fees for an unfamiliar service, or perhaps you feel that your income is not high enough and you don’t fit into the mould of a “typical” client.
At the end of the day, this is not just a one-off transaction, it’s a professional relationship with someone who can listen to your financial concerns and help you map out an appropriate solution. As with any relationship, trust is key, and it’s important you feel that you’re gaining true value from the advice you receive.
It’s also a common misconception that financial planning is only for retiring folks or ultra-rich people that own yachts and million-dollar homes. In fact, most of our members at Pursue Wealth comprise of young professionals, new families, and ambitious tradies wanting to get ahead of the game.
As much as Australians are known for our laid back and relaxed outlook on life, we cannot approach our personal finances with the same “let’s wing it” attitude.
A recent study revealed only 15% of Australians seek advice from financial advisers, yet 89% of these people believed that professional financial advice was extremely valuable. It is evident that many more people can be benefiting from the knowledge and resources on offer, so we hope by the end of this article we’ve provided you with enough reason to seek out an adviser to discuss how you can improve your financial position and wellbeing.
First, let’s begin with the most fundamental question.
What is financial planning?
In short, financial planning is about developing strategies to help you manage your financial affairs and achieve your personal lifestyle goals. These strategies can encompass many things, including cashflow management, investments, superannuation, asset protection, life insurance, and retirement planning.
Financial advisers are not accountants and we cannot complete your tax returns, establish discretionary trusts, or maintain financial records for your business. Similarly, we are not estate planning attorneys, and we cannot establish your wills and power of attorneys. However, your financial adviser can help you facilitate those conversations by working together with your accountant and estate planning attorney.
It is important to note that a good financial plan will always be personalised to your unique circumstances, and should ensure your strategies are tax-efficient and fulfil your estate planning objectives. Different practices and advisers may specialise in various areas of financial advice, so it may be worthwhile doing some research and speaking to numerous advisers to find the one who is the best fit for you.
Likewise, your financial goals will develop as you progress through life. It is always a good idea to plan ahead so you can feel financially secure even as your circumstances change. Below we have depicted the typical wealth stages people experience, ranging from your first job (‘wealth establishment’) all the way to retirement (‘wealth retention’). At Pursue Wealth, we specialise in the ‘Wealth Accumulation’ and ‘Wealth Distribution’ phases – which explains our large demographic of young families and professionals!
What we’re all aiming for is to have a plentiful harvest we can draw on even after we retire!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the next big question.
How can a financial adviser help me?
This is an excellent question because having a financial adviser may not be for everyone. Don’t get us wrong, we definitely believe every person should be able to articulate their goals, and should regularly spend time reviewing their financial game plan, however, even incredible financial advice is redundant if it falls on deaf ears.
At Pursue Wealth we only work with people who are motivated to change, are open-minded, and are willing to learn. It’s okay if you’re time-poor, after all, that is a big reason why people come to us in the first place, but it is vital that you seek advice with the right mindset.
As a result, the extent that a financial adviser can help you ultimately depends on you and how much you are willing to receive help. If you are ready, a financial adviser can add immense value to your life through the following ways.
A recent ASIC report, “Financial Advice: What consumers really think”, surveyed more than 2,500 Australians about their experience with financial advice and found the statements which participants most commonly agreed on were as below:
- “Financial advisers have expertise in financial matters that I don’t have” (79% agreed)
- “Financial advisers can recommend products I would not normally find on my own” (75% agreed)
- “It is the job of a financial adviser to read the fine print and notify their client of anything important” (74% agreed)
- “Financial advisers can introduce me to good ideas I might not have thought of” (69% agreed)
Beyond the essentials of cashflow management, financial planning can be a large mine field of rules, policies and fine prints, that is likely to change over time. Whilst we encourage everyone to having a working knowledge of their cashflow, superannuation and investments, we understand it can be highly overwhelming for people who have no educational or working background in finance.
As such, an adviser can take away the stress of comprehending technical financial jargon on your own, and help you build an appropriate strategy and explain everything to you in simple terms.
2) Build your wealth
This is often the foremost goal people have in mind when they seek out an adviser. Many Australians are already doing this by having personal goals to save their monthly cashflow surplus for an emergency fund or a home deposit. If you work full time, your employer is also legally obligated to pay you at least 9.5% super per annum to fund your future retirement.
A financial adviser can work with you to create a robust investment strategy that ensures you meet your financial and lifestyle objectives. Using their knowledge and expertise, your adviser can recommend high level investment methods, and products that you have never considered before or may not have access to as an individual. This ultimately leads to a more reliable improvement in wealth, compared to implementing your own strategy or leaving your money sitting in a cash savings account.
3) Objective perspective
An unexpected swing in the market and a few days of consuming embellished media can often lead to misinformed or impulse buys and sells. Inexperienced investors are especially vulnerable as you are more likely to make financial decisions based on emotion rather than logic (i.e. an investment strategy).
Australians, in particular, are a huge fan of property and can make some poor financial decisions on the path to securing your first residential home or investment property. A financial adviser can help provide a sounding board for your new investment ideas or upcoming financial decisions, whether that be buying property, starting a business with a partner, or lending money to a friend.
Having a professional opinion will help you make a well-informed decision on whatever financial venture you choose to pursue.
A Financial Fitness survey by Westpac revealed the two top reasons people fail to achieve their savings goals are:
- Unexpected expenses or change in financial circumstances (41%); and
- Lack of willpower (27%)
Like developing good habits in exercise or having a healthy diet, a change in financial behaviour is going to require enormous persistence and practice. Although it is likely that at some point you will ‘fail’ to exert the behaviours you want, don’t allow human nature to dictate a continued bad streak of spending or accruing consumer debt.
Financial advisers can be like your personal trainer, checking in and motivating you to move forward towards your financial goals. There’s no shame in admitting this is where you need help! Having someone to stay accountable to increases your likelihood of achieving your goal by up to 95%.
5) Peace of mind
The last and most underrated benefit of having an adviser is financial peace of mind. If money is a constant source of anxiety or stress in your life then you may be the biggest benefactor of financial advice. Having access to an expert who can present viable solutions to your financial problems and create a structured approach to your ongoing wealth management will ease some concerns relating to your personal finances.
A recent survey of 521 participants and non-participants of ongoing financial planning revealed those who received advice experienced:
- 21% overall increase in peace of mind
- 19% less likely to have arguments with loved ones
- 13% greater levels of overall personal happiness
Whilst those that didn’t receive advice were:
- 22% more likely to have their sleep disrupted due to money concerns
- 15% more likely to feel stress and anxiety
- 11% more likely to feel concerned about their finances