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There are a lot of myths and misconceptions around the topic of financial advice. To get to the bottom of what it really feels like to meet with a financial adviser for the first time, we chatted to someone who'd been through it... Meet Ryan. He's 27, lives in a digs, works as a strategist in advertising and is a serious sneaker fan.


"I knew it was time to get a grip on my finances, I just didn’t know where to start"

I enjoyed earning and spending my salary on the things I love (sneakers, partying and eating out). Life was good but I needed to 'fess up and deal with the fact that it was time to take action if "future-me" was going to enjoy his life, too. So I booked a consultation with a financial adviser that one of my housemates referred me to. Leading up to it, I felt:

Confused: What did I actually want to achieve through this? What kind of help do I need? I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to get out of this session. How was this meeting going to impact my life?

Apprehensive: Weren't financial advisers only for rich (or older) people who already had investments? I didn't have any… in fact; I had the opposite. I had a student loan.

Scared: I didn't know much about the process. Was I going to be able to answer the questions? Was I going to look unprofessional? Should I trim my beard? Was I actually prepared for what I was going to hear?

Words from a Wealthsmith™:

Financial advisers can guide anyone, from any income bracket to establish and work toward achieving their financial goals (long and short term). A meeting is a good opportunity for you to reflect on your own financial aspirations. You can choose to bring along recent bank statements, tax returns and salary slips or chat to your HR department about company benefits before your meeting.

We met at a quiet coffee shop near work and chatted for about an hour. There were lots of questions and lots of talking. As the meeting went on, I felt:

Relieved: My adviser wasn't intimidating (phew!). He made sure to explain all new terms as he spoke about them and he also outlined the process upfront so I knew what to expect. It was good to get a grasp of the bigger picture as well as the day-to-day stuff.

Intrigued: I realised that a crucial part of the process was setting my goals and allocating timelines. We talked about different types of saving plan options and investment portfolios that were best suited to my situation (and approach).

Vulnerable: We did a "financial snapshot" where I shared personal financial information (not all of which I was proud of). We covered how much money I make monthly, how I much I spent and what I was saving (and where the gaps were). This was also a good opportunity for me to identify where I wanted and needed to cut back.

Words from a Wealthsmith™:

An adviser should facilitate a discussion to give you a view of how much you have available to reasonably save or invest monthly. This sets the path for how they can help you achieve your goals, which could be anything from paying off debt or buying a house to a big holiday every year. There's no one-fits-all solution; each area should be approached separately (retirement annuity, insurance, dread disease and disability cover, basic budgeting etc.).

I can see how the initial chat set in place the ground rules. It was a place I could start and work my way up. I appreciate that I need to approach my financial planning like a marathon, not a sprint. It took time to set my goals, and will take even more time to realise them. A lot of what I experienced was about addressing my own values and my personal readiness for change. Since then I've felt:

Empowered: I have a much better grasp of where I am, where I want to go and practical ways to actually get there. I feel assured I'm allocating my savings to the right places and that I've established a partnership based on trust.

Determined: Having outlined tangible goals with realistic timelines makes me even more driven to make them happen. I won't see my adviser too often but have committed to annual check-ups to review the "health" of my finances and see if I need to make any changes.

Confident: I realised how closely linked my job as a strategist and my financial planning are. I'd never considered this before but now I'm motivated to keep finding ways to improve and build on my savvy saving approach.

Are you ready to get your financial planning on track?
Call us on 087 350 9075 or click here to find your closest BlueStar adviser.

 

 

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