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Financial advice

Getting Advice – how do you get started?

Chris Morcom
Partner/Private Client Adviser
18 Mar 2013

For those who have never met a financial planner, the prospect of opening up to a stranger about all your financial affairs can be daunting.  There are some simple steps that you can take before your first meeting to ease the anxiety and to make your first experience with the adviser more productive.

  1. Get Organised
    1. The first thing you need to do is get yourself organised.  You need to be able to provide your adviser with detailed information about yourself, and this will require a bit of homework.  My suggestion is to:

i.Make a list of what you own, and what you owe;

ii.Work out how much it costs you to live each year – this can take some time, but is one of the most important aspects of your financial life;

iii.Gather together your financial documentation – superannuation statements, Life & Disability insurance policies, loan statements, and any other financial statements you have;

iv.Spend some time thinking about what it is that you wish to achieve by obtaining financial advice – it might help to break these goals down into one, five and ten year plus goals.  Be specific, and make sure you are being somewhat realistic.

  1. Do your Research
    1. If you haven’t already done so you need to find yourself an adviser you can trust, and who is experienced in dealing with clients like you.
    2. Do some research about the adviser and firm you are going to see – you should be able to find out what sort of clients they usually deal with (hopefully they are like you!), and also the way their fees are levied.  Make sure you are happy with their approach, and make a list of any questions you would like to ask them.
    3. Visit the Financial Planning Association of Australia website (www.fpa.asn.au) and find out if the adviser you are about to see is a Certified Financial PlannerTM(CFP®).  There are tips on this website on how to find an adviser, and questions you should ask in your first meeting.
  2. Get a referral
  3. The best way to find an adviser is to get a referral from someone you trust – a family member or your accountant is a good place to start.  But still do your research and arm yourself with questions.


Getting financial planning advice can make a huge difference to your financial position, and can make the confusing mess that is your financial life, much easier to navigate.  Most importantly, your financial adviser should provide you with the peace of mind that you are on track to achieving your financial goals.

If you haven’t already done so, make this year the year you will take control of your future and buy professional financial advice.

Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.