What do I need to think about before I start the financial planning journey to make it work for me?
If you are going to start the process of putting together a financial plan, commit to the process and follow it through to completion. Do it once and do it right.
Have a rough idea of what you want to achieve or where you want to get to in life before you meet with a financial planner. Getting to that point can take a lot of thought and you want to have that done before you take the next step.
Get all of your financial information together for the adviser either before you meet or if they request it. The better the inputs to the planning process, the more specific the advice is going to be coming back to you.
Be prepared to educate yourself as part of the process. A good financial planner gives you enough information so that you can make a fully informed decision about what you are going to implement and not implement in a financial plan. Keep asking questions until you have all of the answers that you feel that you need to move forward.
What kind of things will be covered at the first meeting
We will have a chat about what your goals are in life and why they are important to you. I may ask you some other questions to fill in the picture of what you would like your life to look like at various stages from this point onwards.
I will ask you for some detail around where you are currently at financially and how you have achieved this.
We will talk about Plan B – what thoughts/plans you have in place in case something unexpected happens
At the end of the meeting, I will give you a rough guideline of things that I have picked up on, and if you are happy to proceed, I will start working on a way forward for you.
The process – what sets you apart and allows you to provide results?
Our process is comprehensive. We look at the basic building blocks – your cash management (yes, that means budgeting), and your debt – how, what, where. We will review what your personal risks are, work out how big the holes are that you could fall into and then come up with a solution to make sure that you have a bridge over them. We will check that your estate planning is all there and that it will all do what you think that it will do when you die or when you can’t manage your finances for yourself any more. We will see if you can afford to retire and when you can afford to retire, and if you don’t like what you see, what can be done to change that. The ultimate goal is to put a plan together for you that can actually be implemented without you having to sell that isn’t nailed down. It has to be PRACTICAL!
What’s the best time to start financial planning?
The sooner, the better – if I knew at 25 what I know now, I would be in a better place financially!
It can take many years of astute money management to achieve the outcomes that you want to achieve, so the sooner that you know what you have to do to achieve your goals, the more likely you are to get there.
What about how you work will make me believe that this is not just words and that you will actually deliver this?
That is a hard question to answer! I can refer you to some “real” clients and you can talk to them about how it has worked for them, and whether I keep my word. But I will tell you that you don’t take on any advice that I give you until you have the confidence that it will work for you.
Credibility – what concrete information about your background will give me confidence that this will happen?
I (Janet Natta) have a Bachelor in Business Studies and a Diploma in Business Studies endorsed in Financial Planning from Massey University.
I’m an Authorised Financial Adviser.
I’ve been working in financial services for my entire career – I’ve been with Advice Financial since 2006 and I bought my business in 2008.
I’m a Member of the Institute of Financial Advisers, and am currently on the National Council.
I’m also a member of the NZ Financial Advisers Association.
I’m well regarded by my industry peers (some of whom refer me clients).
Nearly all of my new clients come from referrals from other financial advisers, professionals and clients.
How do you choose what kind of investment is best suited for me?
There are several factors that are key to this decision.
These are: the time frame for which the money is to be invested – is it a short term investment for a few years, or a long term investment such as for retirement.
How comfortable you are going to be with ups and downs in the value of your investment.
Both of these questions are strong influencers of the asset allocation of the portfolio i.e. how much we put into stable investments, and how much we put into growth investments
How much you have to invest. This affects what investment structure we use to place the investment for you
How can I be sure that I won’t lose all of my money
Firstly, we always recommend diversified portfolios. That means that you are not putting all of your eggs in one basket, and this means that if the basket drops, you will have other eggs! We research all of the investments that we recommend, and we do focus on return OF capital as well as return ON capital. Secondly, I will never ask you to make a cheque out to ME for your investment funds. The funds will be paid directly to the investment company, or in the case of our tailor made investment portfolios, to the custodians of the external investment platform provider, One Answer. This ensures that your money is held either by a trustee or a large, trusted investment manager.
How long will your financial advice last?
Financial advice changes as your circumstances change.
The plan is not going to be set in concrete for the rest of your life – it will change as you move through life (for example, purchase property, get married, start a family, start a business, etc).
Financial planning is actually a journey, not a destination.
So make sure that you like me – we will be talking for many years to come!