What is a financial planner?

  • Staff Reporter | May 24, 2018
Financial Planning - Career Advice

An understanding of wealth is a study into the future of finance.

Growing wealth as a financial planner

A financial planner is a qualified professional who helps their clients, whether individuals or businesses meet their financial goals over the long term. Whether that’s growing an investment portfolio, ensuring clients have enough money to enjoy retirement, minimising the amount of tax owing each year, planning for an estate after death, or having the right insurance – financial planners can help.

How do financial planners work?

Financial planners do this by putting a financial plan in place that outlines the steps clients need to take to achieve their goals.
 
Initially, financial planners will meet with their clients to understand their financial goals and assess their current situation - the assets, liabilities, insurance coverage and investment or tax strategies currently in place. The financial planner will then work with the clients to prepare a financial plan, including recommendations for financial strategies, services and products.
 
Clearly, being a financial planner places you in an incredibly important position of trust, particularly if your clients are in a vulnerable position or not financially literate. Good financial planners will thoroughly explain the workings of the proposed financial plan, including the risks and projected costs, and answer any questions the clients may have.
 
Once the plan is signed off by the client, the financial planner will often work with other professionals – like solicitors, accountants and portfolio managers – to enact the plan. The financial planner and the clients will regularly review the plan together to ensure it meets their needs and is on track to achieve their goals.
 
Good financial planners will often work with their clients for many years and enjoy building a strong relationship over this period.

What is a financial planner

Why do clients need financial planners?

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There are literally tens of thousands of financial products on the market, and the average person doesn’t have the time or knowledge to invest in understanding these offerings. That’s where a financial planner steps in – a dedicated individual who knows the ins and outs of the market and the regulatory environment. This specialist knowledge gives clients the confidence they need to move forward with a well-researched and understood plan.
 
Additionally, Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P’s), 2016 Global Financial Literacy Survey showed that only 64 percent of Australians have basic financial literacy (deemed to be an understanding of risk diversification, inflation, numeracy and compound interest). Engaging the services of a financial planner could mean the difference between security and ruin for these people.

Becoming a financial planner

The legal requirements to become a financial planner are changing. From January 2019, all new financial planners will need a degree, undertake a professional year and pass an exam. Existing financial planners will also need to bring their education in line with these expectations.  

Let’s get started!

There is a range of reputable Registered Training Organisations in Australia which offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in financial planning. See what's available in your area or online!
 

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