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Do I need a financial planner?

What a financial planner does – and when it is time to see one.

Accountants are fast becoming trusted advisers for many clients, especially if they specialise in superannuation funds. As a result, all accountants must now be covered by an AFS licence to provide a range of services relating to SMSFs, in order to ensure that financial planning services are compliant with the highest industry ethical standards.

However, even though consumers can expect more certainty and confidence from the new certification, it can still be difficult to decide when the right time to see a financial planner is.

Essentially, financial planners can help you choose investment options that maximise your returns and achieve your retirement goals.  They will assess your risk profile, and determine what type of investor you are.  Once they have completed this assessment, they will try to match investments to suit your investment profile.  This involves selecting investments that suit your risk appetite and provide you with a return within your investment timeframe.

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If you are older, you may be chasing income in the next few years, so you might be more concerned with protecting your super savings. On the other hand, if you are younger, you might consider higher short-term risk investments that provide strong growth out over the long term.

Professional advice is valuable and recommended, especially as you reach milestones in your life, including: marriage, starting a family, receiving a windfall or an inheritance, and retirement.

The type of advice you need depends on your age, structure and the complexity of your financial situation.

A financial planner will meet with you, assess your structure and goals, and devise an investment strategy or plan.  They usually get remunerated both from charging up-front fees for the advice they provide, and from commissions if they sell you investments or insurance.

Prior to committing to any advice the planner gives you, the planner will issue you with a statement of advice.  The fees are usually only incurred, once you have signed an authority to proceed.

It is recommended that you discuss your financial advice needs with your accountant in the first instance.  They may be able to help you up until a certain point with factual information, and advise you of when it is time for you to see a financial planner.

Source Accounting can assist you with the initial discussions and assess whether you require the services of a financial planner. Call us now on (07) 3394 4622.

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