The Crest Financial Services team understand that there a questions their clients have about their first appointments or if they should seek financial advice. To help answer these frequently asked questions, we have provided answers to these below.

For  further assistance contact us.

Question: What is financial planning?

Answer: Financial planning is about developing strategies to help you manage and work towards your goals. A professional financial planner will help you reach your goals; even if retirement may seem a lifetime away, the sooner you start planning the more likelihood you’ll have to achieve financial independence and peace of mind. They have the expertise and ethical standards to ensure your finances are in safe hands. 

When you work with a financial advisor, you’ll answer questions about your income, spending and goals. Your advisor will help determine how much money you’ll need to reach those goals, then guide you through the steps you need to take to get there. Financial advisors also typically help you choose investments, and manage them going forward. 

Financial Planning puts a roadmap to your finances, maximising each dollar – no matter how many you have. The value of financial planning goes beyond dollars and cents – it can simplify your life and give you a sense of security and peace of mind about your current and future financial position.

Question: When should I seek financial advice?

Answer: Most people think that they either don’t need financial advice until they reach a milestone (such as buying a house, or retiring) or have a lot of money that they should invest. In actual fact, this is usually too late to build significant value or they may have left it so long that they have lost out on potential savings over the last few years.

In reality, Financial Advice isn’t necessarily about radically changing everything about your finances, but educating and assisting you along lifes challenges, with annual reviews an adviser will assist you through changes to your life, alterations to legislation, waves in the economic cycle and helping you build and achieve your financial goals.

The clients who get the most benefit out of their financial advice are those that seek it younger, well ahead of reaching those milestones and have planned for them and adjusted over time to adapt to them.

So in essence, if you haven’t already, go and speak to an adviser now to see how they can help you.

Question: Do I need a minimum amount of assets?

Answer: No- It’s about making a start. In order to build further assets clients firstly need to align themselves with an adviser/firm that they feel comfortable in working with, discuss their goals and map out ways of achieving them. Then take action to work on them and constantly review to ensure that they are being achieved.  

Question: What does financial planning cost?

Answer: The cost of financial advice can vary considerably, depending on a range of factors, including the type and extent of advice that you receive.

There is no cost for an initial meeting with a member of our advice team. During this meeting we will discuss your goals and timeframes in which you wish to meet them. After this we will work with you to implement a strategy to best assist in meeting your goals. Our advice costs do vary dependent on the complexity of the strategy, which your adviser will discuss with you. We also do not believe in the set and forget method and so will consistently evaluate your strategy to make it is still helping you move toward your goals. As a result of our ongoing service, we do charge an ongoing advice cost, which will be discussed by your adviser.

Financial decisions are among the most important that any person ever makes in their life. It is smart to make an investment into your financial future and seek professional advice to achieve your goals.

Question: What should I bring to an initial financial planning appointment?

Answer: It’s important to provide us with accurate information at our first meeting to enable us to appropriately assess your current position. If you leave something out, the advice we provide you may not be the most appropriate for your situation. 

We need to obtain a clear picture of your financial situation, so please come to your initial meeting with details regarding your:

• Financial Goals – what you want to achieve financially
• Assets – what you own, including any properties, superannuation, savings, shares and other investments
• Liabilities – what you owe, including mortgages, loans and outstanding credit card balances
• Income – from all sources
• Regular Expenses – details regarding your living expenses and cash flow position
• Personal Insurances – information regarding any life, disability, income protection or critical illness insurance
• Estate Plan – whether your estate planning arrangements are up-to-date

Question: Do I need to review my financial plan? Is my financial plan permanent or subject to change?

Answer: Your circumstances, lifestyle and financial goals are likely to change over time, so it’s important that your financial plan is regularly reviewed, to make sure you stay on track.

While changes in your personal circumstances will affect how you are tracking towards your goals, so too will changes in the broader economy.

Opportunities often arise with changes in the rules relating to your plan that allow us to present new strategies to help you reach your goals sooner.

We keep abreast of all the changes in the markets and the economy and meet with you on an ongoing basis to readjust your plan to take advantage of any new opportunities, and explain the changes to you in a way that is easy for you to understand.

Question: What are the various ways in which I can maintain contact with my financial planner?

Answer: Maintaining contact with your financial adviser is of the utmost importance. Given that we live in a digital age, communication is now easier than ever. Skype, email, mobile phones are all viable methods. However, nothing beats sitting down face to face with your adviser and engaging in the process.

In reality, it is not just the ‘How” that is important but the ‘Why’. Financial advice is specifically tailored to our clients based on their circumstances. Our lives are ever changing. You may have recently been married, had a divorce, bought a property, retired from work etc. and as a result, financial advice that was suitable in the past may not be suitable in the present or moving forward. This is why it is essential that our advisers have a clear understanding of where you are in life so that we can offer you the most value.

Question: How do advisors maintain a high level of knowledge and skills, whilst also staying up-to-date with all regulatory changes?

Answer: The financial services industry, like many others, is constantly changing and evolving. The quality financial advice that we pride ourself on at Crest, incorporates many different areas of one’s financial well-being. As a result, our advisers must maintain a high level of knowledge and skills to ensure we provide the best advice.

Furthermore, as a requirement under the ‘Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics 2019’, advisers are required to develop and maintain a high level of relevant knowledge and skills. Advisers do this in many ways, including attending seminars, workshops, conferences, as well as running in-house training sessions and updates.