The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Financial planning is not just about investing money

| by Matthew Ross, CFP®

The role of a financial planner is not just to invest your money, but rather to show you what you can do with your money.

Don’t get me wrong, investing is part of what we do but it isn’t why we exist; our primary role is to help you to use your money to get what you want in the future.  So if you ask a financial planner “how should I invest my money?” the response you should expect will be “I don’t know enough about you yet, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve”.

A financial planner helps you define what you do with your money in the future.  A financial planner will want to know how much you want to spend in the future and what you want to spend it on.  We will also ask how much your career or work is important to you; whether you enjoy it, how long you intend to do it and when and whether you want to make work optional in the future (believe it or not, some people don’t intend to ‘retire’).

Once we know what you want and what is important to you, we are in a position to show you what you can do with your money; show you what is and isn’t possible.

This is financial planning: detailed financial modelling to show you the path to achieve your goals.  A financial plan is not a Statement of Advice that says “rollover your super here and get this insurance cover”.  A financial plan is a financial model that shows you how much you can spend on your lifestyle and how and when each of your other financial goals (holidays, renovations, school fees, repaying the home loan, achieving financial independence – often referred to as “retirement”) will be achieved.

And it also shows you which financial strategies you should implement and why, and assessing risks you may need to take to get what you want.  An example of risk assessment is calculating what rate of return you need to achieve on your investments (including super) to achieve your goals.  Once this is established, then the financial planner can recommend what you invest into.

All that work has to be done before we can answer that question.  Anyone that answers the question “what should I invest my money in?” without doing this analysis, isn’t following the financial planning process.

The moral of the story is don’t expect quick answers.  If you get quick answers, quickly get the hell out of there because chances are you’re not on the path to getting advice, you’re probably being sold something.

A financial planner increases the probability of you getting the things you want in life, when you want them.

Matthew Ross CFP®

Roskow Independent Advisory

Matthew Ross, CFP®

Roskow Independent Advisory
Roskow Independent Advisory Pty Ltd (AFSL 429377)

Matthew is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional with over 17 years experience in the financial planning profession.  Matthew believes that the true value of financial planning is about empowering and educating clients about all the options available and helping (you) the client select the option that makes the most sense to you. When advice is delivered this way, it leaves (you) the client feeling confident and at ease about the future.

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