When I meet clients for the first time I often hear them apologise for their lack of knowledge about all things financial. They say things like: “I think I should be a high growth investor but I don’t really understand what that means,” or “I think we have insurance in our super but I don’t know what it covers,” or even something as simple as, “I know I should have consolidated my super but I just never got around to it.”
Does this sound familiar?
The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in finance to work with a financial adviser. In fact, a lot of the work we do is helping our clients to become more educated about things like super, insurance and investments.
And there’s no point in setting up a plan for your future if you don’t understand what it means. I encourage all my clients to ask questions throughout the process. If you don’t know what a specific term means, or how a strategy is meant to work, how can you know if it’s something you want to move forward with? Just because an adviser recommends something, doesn’t mean you have to accept that recommendation blindly. You need to be an active participant in your financial strategy and asking questions is the best way to do that.
Once you become comfortable asking questions, you may find yourself like one of my clients, John*. We’ve been working together for a few years, and John has become quite financially literate. He recently read an article online about income protection and it raised some questions in his mind about his own strategy.
The article was written in response to a question from a consumer (yes, there’s even questions here) who wanted to know whether it was still worthwhile holding income protection after she turned 50. John is also getting close to the half century, and he thought the article raised some really interesting points. “I still see the value in my income protection cover,” said John via email, “But it’s becoming really expensive. Would I be better off extending my waiting period to reduce the premiums?”
John was not due for a review for another six months, but off the back of his email we arranged an appointment so we could go through his entire financial position. Together, we looked at the pros and cons of extending his waiting period – as well as a couple of other alternatives – and settled on a strategy that John is confident meets his changing needs.
John is a great example of an active participant. He takes the time to ask questions about his strategy and proactively makes contact if his circumstances change. But he didn’t start out this way. In our first appointment, John didn’t even know what income protection cover was. This is the power of working with a financial adviser.
So what are you waiting for? Take control of your own financial education and make your first appointment, today!