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Investor Centre

What can your adviser do for you?

1. Manage your cash flow

It’s a simple statement to say that you’ll never get ahead if you spend more than you earn, yet in many households spending more than you earn is what happens on a regular basis. Your adviser can work with you to develop a budget, one that suits you and your lifestyle and will set you on the right path to live the life you want now and in the future.

Did you know?
One in four low-income households and one in five older Australians admits to having no savings, despite a substantial portion (close to one third)indicating  that current economic conditions are refocusing their attention towards saving.

Source: Dun & Bradstreet’s Consumer Credit Expectations Survey September quarter 2012

2. Put your debt to work

There are different types of debt — good and bad. Your adviser can explain the difference and make sure that — where possible — your debt is working
for you and your future.

  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Investment loans
  • Business loans
  • HECS
  • Personal loans
  • Margin loans

Did you know?
Many people feel that their financial circumstances and assets do not warrant getting financial advice. This can be especially true if you are in debt or are
struggling with everyday financial management. However, financial advice can prove to be very useful for people in these circumstances.

Source: ASIC Access to Financial Advice in Australia 2010.

3. Assist you with a savings plan

The benefits of a good, regular savings plan cannot be stressed enough.

How do you start?
How much can you afford?
What will your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals be?
What will your savings milestones look like?

As your financial coach, your adviser can help you develop a plan that will work for you and will also help you meet the goals you set together.

4. Invest your money

Saving is one thing and without the discipline of putting something aside it may not be possible to invest. Investing is something else — it is making sure your money is working as hard as possible. Knowing where to invest is a difficult decision. Your adviser is qualified and has the experience to help you navigate the myriad opportunities available to give you the best options available.

Did you know?
From 1900 to 2011 the All Ordinaries Index has provided investors with positive returns approximately 4 out of every 5 years.

Source: Standards and Poor’s.

5. Help you realise your goals

There are a few steps required to achieve your financial goals. The first step is to talk through and understand your goals. Next is to make a plan — the plan should be clear in showing how you are intending to reach these goals. The plan may change over time as your priorities change and goals need to adapt to changes of mind or circumstances. Your financial adviser will be able to work with you in adapting and reshaping your plan to meet these new goals. But without a plan in place reaching your goals will be much more difficult.

Did you know?
The sense of confidence, control and engagement with financial matters that can come with accessing advice is of significant value. It can motivate
consumers to stick to a budget, save for a purpose or look forward to a more comfortable retirement.

6. Keep you on track

Making a plan is one thing. Sticking to it is quite another. It’s much more difficult and takes willpower and perseverance. Like working out, having a coach is better than doing it all alone. A financial adviser is your financial coach and will help you stick to your plan. This doesn’t mean not being flexible but it does mean making sure you stick to it even when temptations abound and times become tough.

Did you know?
Industry studies have shown that consumers who access financial advice generally benefit financially as a result of the advice, even after the cost of the advice is taken into account.

Source: KPMG Econtech Value Proposition of Financial Advisory Networks, report prepared for the Investment and Financial Services Association (now known as the Financial Services Council), 29 October 2009.

7. Take care of your retirement

You want to stop working when it suits you. Your adviser is there to make sure that — using the right plan — you are able to make an informed decision about when it’s the right time for you to retire, and to ensure you retire with the lifestyle you desire. Your plan should ensure that your money is accessible enough to maximise your income in retirement and continue to do the things you most enjoy doing. Retiring is not the end of life as you know it but the beginning of life the way you want to live it.

 Did you know?
The life expectancy of Australians is currently 84.0 for females and 79.5 for males, and rising. While that’s great news, longevity is a double-edged sword. Spending more years in retirement means people will need to accumulate even more capital to fully fund their own retirement.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012.

8. Protect your lot

Building your assets is vitally important for your future, but protecting your assets is equally important. How much protection is enough? If something happens to you — or your partner — how will you continue the life you are accustomed to — how much will it cost to maintain your lifestyle for the present and the future? If you don’t have enough insurance, your life may face drastic and unpleasant changes just at a time when this would compound other difficulties facing you. Your adviser can help you to determine what type of protection you might need to when preparing for the worst. It is good to know that whatever happens, in you and your family’s life, you can continue as best possible in changed circumstances.

Did you know?
One in five families will be affected by the death of a parent, or a serious accident or illness that renders a parent unable to work.

Source: Heart Foundation, Statistics.

9. Look after your estate

Families are at the heart of financial planning. Making sure that everyone is looked after when one member dies is something that can make a huge difference to the financial position of the rest of the family. This is even more important when a small business is involved. A financial adviser can ensure that your estate is structured effectively so that when something does happen to you or a loved one your financial plans won’t be another thing you have to worry about.

Did you know?
Around 45% of Australians die each year without a Will or any significant Estate Planning and many of the remainder die with wills that do not reflect their current needs.

Source: NSW Trustee & Guardian Attorney General & Justice.

10. Explain how things work

If finance isn’t your specialty you can rely on your financial adviser to assist you through the jargon and explain simply financial terms and concepts and make sure you understand how it all works.

  • Gearing
  • Salary sacrificing
  • Offsetting
  • Asset classes
  • Transition to retirement
  • Co-contribution
  • Risk tolerance
  • TPD and trauma
  • Dollar cost averaging

Did you know?
About one in two Australians does not have the skills required to make informed choices in their interactions with the financial services sector.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Adult literacy and life skills survey results, cat.no. 4228.0, ABS, Canberra, 2006, p. 5. ASIC Access to Financial Advice in Australia.

11. Keep you informed

In good times and bad, your financial adviser will keep you informed of how market moves are affecting you and your portfolio and strategy. They will also let you know about pertinent events that may affect your investments — including elections, global unrest, changes in legislation natural disasters and the like. You have more important things to worry about than the state of your portfolio at any given time, but your financial adviser does not.

Did you know?
Tending an investment portfolio is a lot like gardening. Most small gardens don’t require much attention and large ones require more. But they both require some.

Source: Barron’s Guide to Making Investment Decisions.

12. Teach your family basic concepts

You can’t do it alone. If your family isn’t on board with the plan it will be more difficult to reach your goals. Your adviser should be able to explain basic concepts to your children so they understand how to manage their money and your money. Good habits are best to begin early. And bad habits should never be allowed time to take hold.

Did you know?
Three in four Australians (77%) admit they’re confused when it comes to their super. Gen-Ys are Australia’s worst super offenders – one quarter (26%) say their retirement savings balance is ‘pure guesswork’.

Source: Galaxy Research online survey conducted on behalf of BT Super for Life 2010.

13. Plan for your future

As your circumstances change you will need to update the way your finances are structured. A financial adviser can do this for you — make sure you are in the best shape to take the next step on your financial journey — from single to married to parents to new jobs, no jobs and even grandparents and retirement.

14. Offer you special investment opportunities

Sometimes a financial adviser can offer investment opportunities which are not available to the general public. They will be opportunities that you know will be appropriate to you and your circumstances. And you can rest easy that the offer will be made in your best interests. As a member of a financial planning industry body – the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) or Financial Planning Association (FPA) — the code of ethics bind your adviser to make
sure your interests are served before their own.

15. Connect you with experts

Your adviser is a professional and is connected to a range of other professionals and specialists they can refer you to for other miscellaneous requirements. This might include an insurance broker, a mortgage broker, a solicitor, accountant or other. The adviser can also work with your existing professional  elationships, if you already have an accountant or lawyer. The idea is they all work together and make sound decisions that will make your financial strategy more seamless to manage.

Did you know?
Tax matters but shouldn’t be your only focus. A financial adviser will help show you how to achieve your financial goals and an accountant for showing you the best structure to save on taxes and maximise investments. The two go hand in hand.