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The SMART Financial Planning Process


You wouldn’t renovate your kitchen without considering all of the finer details. It’s the attention to detail that’s the difference between the end result being something really beautiful and functional, or something that’s potentially a bit of a mess. Having a sound financial plan involves considering all of the finer details; the sum of which makes a big difference to the end result. Our financial advice will help you identify and set realistic financial goals, and put strategies in place to achieve them ensuring your plan is beautiful and well considered.
 

Our relationship with you may be a one-off Statement of Advice, or it may be ongoing if you would like our assistance to help keep you on track and to continue adapting your financial plan to reflect the changes in your life. Whichever you choose, it's important to stay actively engaged with your financial plan. After all, it's your financial plan.

Our financial planning process involves us getting to know your finer details, including your current situation and your goals. We will analyse and assess opportunities and make recommendations to assist in achieving your goals. These recommendations are delivered in a Statement of Advice which is heavily governed by ASIC and our licensee.

Initial Client Engagement

Making the decision to see a financial planner means that you want to make a positive difference to your financial future. We truly believe everyone needs a financial plan. We can help you to understand the intricacies of investing, taxation, and the ever-changing legislation around superannuation.
We will send you a link to our 5-minute Financial Health Check and our About You Questionnaire, along with our financial services guide which provides you important information about us and our business. In addition, we will email you our Budget Planner, Risk Profile Questionnaire and Health Questionnaire.
Your relationship with your financial planner is similar to your relationship with your GP. You will be discussing some very personal matters so we need to ensure you feel comfortable with us and that we are the right fit for each other.

Initial Client Financial Planning Meeting

As a financial planners, we must first get to know you before we can develop a functional financial plan for you. We call this the 'fact-finding meeting' as we will be asking a lot of questions to help us establish your financial goals and objectives. Some questions may seem invasive. We'll ask about your personal health. We'll ask about your current financial position (warts and all). We'll ask if you plan to have a family. Or if maybe you already have a family but are divorced and paying child support. Do you want to send your children to private school? Do you want to buy an investment property? Do you intend to travel? Do you need to support ageing relatives?

These are just examples of how your family and health are intertwined with your financial plan.

OUR FEE: We are a fee for service firm. We charge a flat fee of $500 + GST for our initial client financial planning meeting which is payable at the end of the meeting. If you wish to proceed with a financial plan we will off-set this cost against the cost of the Statement of Advice fee.

Data & Information Gathering

Following on from our meeting there will be some additional information that we may require from you to ensure we have all of your current information. We will contact your existing insurance and superannuation companies using the signed authorities from you to request the full product information and your current amounts for our analysis.
It is important that all of your financial information 'connects' so during this phase we will review the financial information provided and ensure your take-home family income reconciles with your tax return information and current payslips, your business financial income (if applicable) and analysis of your expenses. This is critical as many strategies will be based on your surplus funds, so getting this correct is important.

Develop & Research 

In Shannon's opinion, the next part is super fun as this is where she comes up with strategies to meet your specific goals and objectives. For each of these strategies, she will review and consider the financial outcome if implemented, the costs associated, and what other alternatives may be available.

During this stage Shannon may contact you if she comes up with some ideas and wants to discuss some of these possible options with you. This stage can take Shannon many variations in financial models and research to achieve her final recommendations. Depending on the scope of our advice, our time investment can vary.

Present the Financial Plan (Statement of Advice)

To assist with going through the Statement of Advice (SOA) we prepare a summary that highlights all the recommendations and references to the detailed SOA. Please allow 2 hours for this meeting as you will be provided with highlighters and post-it notes as well!

We will show each of the financial focus areas separately. For example, if insurance is included in your plan it requires research and quotes from providers. We'll show this inclusion as a separate task in your plan so you understand the value of this advice.

 Our goal is to ensure you understand. No question is a dumb question! We want you to ask. Whilst we understand you may never love finances as much as we do, we want you to understand and feel empowered by your financial information so you can make better financial decisions in the future as we work as a team. This is your financial future.

Implement the Financial Plan

Once we all agree on the next steps forward, our team will work on getting the wheels in motion to realise all facets of your financial plan.

This step involves a lot of admin from our end. The implementation timing can vary dependant on the responsiveness of your existing superannuation and / or insurance providers. Rest assured we aim to maintain consistent contact with these providers to expediate the process where possible. Once everything is in place, you will be notified so you can feel confident in knowing your financial plan is in action.

Ongoing Service Review


You've invested in your plan. Now you need to stick to it!
It's not always easy to remain accountable to yourself, so we also offer a service where we will consistently check in and re-assess your plan as time moves forward. Our aim is to make sure your plan works for you, and is a living plan that can flex and change as life inevitably does too.

Step 7 is a big one. There's a lot involved and much to digest. Find out more about what happens in Step 7 here.

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Come and see what happens when the precision of accounting and foresight of financial planning collide.

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