Future thinking should be shared. With that in mind our team publishes insights weekly to help keep you in the (k)now.


Hewison Private Wealth - Insights
Hewison Insights
Financial Planning
Financial planner

5 Questions to Ask when you work with a financial planner

JTB Studios
Private Client Adviser
20 Aug 2013

In Hewison’s recent paper, Getting Started with a Financial Planner, we go into detail about the questions you need to ask in order to get the most out of the financial planning process.

The key is to arm yourself with a basic level of knowledge, so that you can make an informed decision. Just as you would research a car purchase before you walk into the dealership, you should do no less when choosing the person or organisation who will help to shape your wealth, lifestyle and future.

Here are five questions to ask yourself and your prospective financial planner:

1. Am I clear on my objectives?

A financial planner will give you a roadmap, but you need to be clear on the destination. This means having clarity around your financial goal and the reasons for reaching it. The approach that you develop with a financial planner must be built on achieving the goals that are most important to you.

2.Do I understand risk?

Any investment decision entails some degree of risk. It’s not possible to or even necessary to avoid all risks – the key is to understand them, and then ensure your investment advice takes account of them. Risk is also closely linked to your time horizons for investment. To read Hewison’s Guide to Financial Risk, click here.

3. What management approach do I need?

Building and protecting wealth means choosing the right investments for your needs and ensuring you have a selection of investments that requires the least amount of risk to achieve your goals. Your investment strategy needs a level of active management that can weather all market conditions and remain consistent with your personal financial goals.

4.What are the fees and costs?

The thinking behind many of the FOFA reforms is that if financial planners receive commissions when they recommend investment products, this will sway their recommendations. Therefore, doing away with this type of incentive is a positive step.

But there are still other ways that fees can eat into your investments. Consider whether you are paying twice: one fee to the financial planner and another to  any fund managers they recommend. Direct investments are one way to avoid this cost.

5. Are our values aligned?

Values are an intangible thing, and very hard  to measure.  But it’s important that you feel comfortable with a financial planner and have the right chemistry with them. Consider how they interact with you:  if they ask you questions about your life and goals; if they spend time listening to you; and if they transparent about fees.

The best advice is unbiased. Look for an independently-owned financial advice provider, who is not constrained by the need to sell only their own products, but who can make recommendations based solely on your needs.

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.