What does a Financial Planner do? What do I do for you? What can I do for your family, for your future? It seems like such an easy question doesn’t it? But for an easy question, it seems the answer is a little more complicated, or elusive. So, who am I? What am I? What can I do for you? Am I a bird? Am I a plane? AM I your family’s SUPER planner? That sounded so much cooler in my head. But you get the idea.
This question is on a lot of people’s minds thanks to the Royal Commission into the Banking Sector. There were many horror stories which emerged from this Royal Commission, including alleged bribery, forged documents, lying to regulators and charging fees to clients who have died. (The Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/20/banking-royal-commission-all-you-need-to-know-so-far)
I am in no way connected to all these horrible things, however, some mud sticks purely because of the industry. And so, I wanted to know if people knew what it was that we really do? What is the true function of a Financial Planner? I put the question out onto Facebook and got a mix of replies from a wide range of people.
Alison, a married working mother of two, says
“A financial planner assists you in meeting your goals re saving/investing/home purchasing all the way through to retirement
As opposed to a financial counsellor who helps you budget for day to day life expenses and maybe a bit of savings”
While Monique, a 19 year old student just beginning her journey into financial adulthood said –
“Isn’t that like the dude you go to and show your money to and they tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with it?”
Yes, Financial Planners help you understand and set GOALS to achieve with your finances. While I can help you budget and it is within our skillset, I want you to be in control. I want you to understand the power of your money and what you can do with it to achieve things like owning a home, taking a well-earned holiday, or planning for the day when you no longer have to work.
You can show me the money if you like, and certainly it helps to know what we are working with. I will not TELL you what to do, but I will advise you. You will have the ultimate decision making power.
Kristian, a recently graduate student in his early 20’s says-
“The biggest challenge is having to know that you can trust them with some of your most sensitive information and that they’re coming from a place of assistance and support.”
This is certainly true. We very rarely talk money in open discussion with our friends and family, and yet you are trusting me with all your financial details. I am covered by legal documents and confidentiality to not reveal anything to anyone else. Most importantly, I am not here to judge. I have seen and heard many interesting tales of money, often it is simply that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. I am here to help with that.
James, a married father of 2 with a good job believes of Financial Planners:
“They alleviate the mental and emotional burden of having to make decisions about money, and try to harmonise your financial choices with your overall life choices so there is a meaningful impact to your wellbeing.”
And this is very true. I help you with strategic advice, on managing money, minimising tax, leaving an inheritance or something for your children. I can help manage your behaviours which sabotage your efforts to achieve your goals. And the advice and service I give is all-encompassing, addressing cash flow, debt, risk management, estate planning and more.
What I do not do is sit there with your money trying to beat the stock market. I don’t have a special app, or a guy on the inside getting the best deals, the shady advice to reap you huge rewards. That is not what I do.
And I can’t promise you the largest returns on your investment. That may sound counter-intuitive, but I am not a stock-market jockey. I am here to help you plan for the long game, for retirement, estate planning, giving back to your family. As part of that, I will educate you on your investment options and how markets work to help you get a better return on your money, just not necessarily the best return.
And a final word from Julie, a divorcee in her early 30’s with a burgeoning career –
“I think financial planners are seen as being passive, I’d like to know that they active and will work hard to ensure I am working towards my financial goal”
With this in mind I regularly hold free seminar/webinars and low cost workshops, to help empower you with your money and your future. Visit www.jenbury.com.au/events to find out more, or call me on 03 9762 0640 to talk more about how you can get your money working for you.