Four Tips to Getting Great Financial Advice
There are some fairly simple things you can do that will help you get the best from any financial adviser – and to be sure you get great advice!.
Have a budget.
Whether it is a formal budget that looks ahead, or just a good record of where your money has been spent in the past, the better the information you have on your own cash flow the better the advice you can get from a professional. Good information makes for good recommendations and advice.
Ask good questions.
It is not always easy to know what to ask, and sometimes clients feel it is a bit rude to ask too many questions. Asking good questions helps the adviser work out where you need some more information or help, or, helps the adviser work out where you do NOT need to waste time.
Be clear about who else matters.
There will be people in your life who matter when it comes to your financial decision-making. The most obvious of course is family members, as they are often the main reason for a client wanting to plan ahead. However, if you have trustees, or other professionals (e.g. accountant, lawyer), or there are key relationships such as potential guardians for your children in the event of a tragedy, it is really helpful for getting great advice. The better the adviser understands who else matters in your planning and decision making, the better the job they can do for you.
Know your needs and wants.
Often people are a bit vague about what they want as opposed to what they need, which means an adviser may have to be guessing about the relative importance of issues or plans. If you can be clear on the things that are essentials for you (the show-stoppers) and what would be nice to achieve (your aspirations), then the adviser will be able to give you much better advice about how to manage both.
Great relationships that work well are founded on good communication and clear understanding, and everyone knowing their role. These are the key areas that clients can manage that help the professional relationship, and will lead to you getting great advice.