What does a financial advisor do? This is one of the most common questions we hear – and get asked – by our clients. While the stigma around financial advisors used to be that they were reserved for the wealthy, this misconception is finally starting to shift.
Financial advisors can benefit you at any stage of life. Keep reading if you’re wondering what a financial advisor does or how they can help you.
What does a financial advisor do?
At Inovayt, our financial planners tailor solutions and provide goals-driven advice. Once we understand your objectives, we can provide strategic advice that covers the following:
- Superannuation and investment advice
- Risk insurance
- Cash Flow planning and budgeting
- Tax planning
- Retirement planning
When it comes to goals-driven advice, our team of expert financial advisors works with you to determine your long- and short-term financial goals before coming up with a plan tailored to your situation.
Financial planning vs a financial advisor
When it comes to financial planning and financial advisors, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. A financial advisor is a trained professional that helps you with your financial plans. Financial planning refers to the process a financial advisor goes through with their clients – the long-term plan set in motion to help the client achieve their future financial goals.
How can financial planning help me?
Financial planning isn’t only for the old and the rich. In fact, the sooner you start with a financial planner, the better off your finances will be. Each of these life stages has specific needs that our financial planners work with you on. Regardless of what stage of life you’re in, a financial planner can help.
Young to mid-life
If you’re establishing or building your career, launching a business, or perhaps starting a family, a financial advisor can provide guidance and advice. This includes budgeting to save for your first home, navigating insurance options to protect you and your family against unforeseen circumstances, or showing you how to start investing for your future.
This is your consolidation stage, where you aspire to achieve a comfortable lifestyle and start thinking about your future. You may be looking at investments, inheritance, tax management and paying off debt.
Your priorities at this stage of life will depend on how much preparation you’ve done up to this point. No matter your financial circumstances, a financial planner can advise you on how to maximise your superannuation, protect your assets, make plans for your estate, and even strengthen the financial security of your children.
From 65 years onwards, you’ll no doubt be looking forward to using your time to indulge in hobbies or travel, enjoy your family and prepare to transfer your wealth. You may think of aged care planning, gifting to your family, and understanding how to make your money last.
The Inovayt financial planning process
The financial planning process begins from the moment you contact one of our financial advisors.
Your discovery meeting is the initial opportunity you’ll have to meet your financial advisor. They will use this meeting to understand your financial position, needs and wants, as well as the areas you feel like you need some support with. The most important aspect of this discovery session is for the financial advisor to get to know your financial goals so that they can tailor a solution to match your financial situation.
When you come in for your discovery meeting, you’ll need to provide information on the following:
- Your personal situation
- Insurance policies
- Estate plans
Research findings and recommendations
After your initial meeting, your financial advisor will take some time to research your situation and analyse potential strategies that might be appropriate. Once the research is complete, a second and possibly third meeting will be scheduled to present the findings and finalise a statement of advice. This stage of the financial planning process ensures both parties are aligned regarding the areas of advice and what the final recommendations may involve.
Statement of Advice
The final part of the initial financial planning process is the presentation of the Statement of Advice (or SOA) document. This document provides the findings made by your financial advisor and strategies that they have recommended to achieve your financial goals. The SOA will detail the advantages (and any risks to be aware of) of their advice and will explain why this strategy is in your best interest.
Your SOA should do the following:
- Address your financial goals and situations
- List your financial details accurately
- Have a level of risk that you’re comfortable with
- Explain what the advice does and doesn’t cover
- Explain how the recommended strategy fits your financial goals, risk profile, time frame and financial situation
- Explain how investments will be managed – for example, through an investment platform
- Detail how any recommended products fit into the plan
- Detail pros and cons of switching to another financial product (e.g. changing super fund)
- Clearly show all fees that you’ll pay, how they’re paid and whom they’re paid to
Ongoing support with your Inovayt financial advisor
When you use an Inovayt financial advisor, our work doesn’t stop after the presentation of the SOA. We work alongside you throughout every stage of your financial journey, tweaking and adjusting your plan where required.
When you’re receiving ongoing advice from an Inovayt financial advisor, you’ll discuss things like:
- Any changes to your goals, situation, or finances (including changes to your income, expenses or assets)
- Whether the level of risk you’re comfortable with has changed
- Whether your current personal insurance coverage is right
- How you’re tracking against your goals
- Whether any changes to laws or financial products could affect you
- Whether you’ve received everything they promised in your agreement with them
- Whether you need any adjustments to your plan
It’s time to take the next step
Whether you’ve found yourself wondering, “what does a financial advisor do?” or “what’s the difference between a financial advisor and financial planning?” the team at Inovayt is here to answer all your questions. We provide tailored solutions to suit your needs and provide ongoing service through every stage of your life. Get in touch with one of our experts today.