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Planning for your first meeting with a financial adviser

So you’ve made the decision to meet with a financial adviser. The next step is to get ready to make the most of your first meeting. The better prepared you are, the better quality conversation you can have.

It starts with a conversation

Your first appointment with a financial adviser is really a ‘get to know you’ session that helps your adviser understand your financial situation before they make any recommendations.

You might be interested in a specific piece of advice, like life insurance or superannuation, or more holistic advice about your finances in general. Either way, most advisers will look at your complete financial picture as different aspects of your finances are often connected.

What to take?

· A summary of your assets (home, car, investments etc.) and liabilities (loans, credit cards etc.)

· An estimate of your monthly income and expenses

· Your most recent tax return or pay slip

· Your most recent superannuation statement

· Policy Schedules for any life insurance policies you have

· Your Tax File Number

What to think about?

What are the big goals (financial or otherwise) you'd like to achieve in the next:

· 1-2 years

· 3-5 years

· 5-10 years

What they should give you?

1. A financial Services Guide stating their relevant qualifications, license number and fees.

2. A Statement of Advice (SOA) which incorporates facts and goals about your life, compares fees, lays out all possible outcomes and areas of concern and then offers a recommendation. This document is typically provided at a later date.

3. An understanding on how often your plan will be reviewed.

What happens next?

Your adviser will come back to you a short time after the first meeting with their recommendations and proposed costs, which will be included in a ‘Statement of Advice’. They will talk you through their recommendations and give you the opportunity to accept or decline the offer to go any further.

Financial advice is an ongoing process, so expect your adviser to invite you to review your plan every 1-2 years. The frequency and scope of these meetings is something you can discuss with your adviser, but the main thing is to make sure you’re getting what you want from the relationship.

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