Are you getting the most out of your Financial Planner?

When the time comes for you to put your money towards an investment, your financial planner should be knowledgeable in accommodating any inquiries and provide you with appropriate suggestions on how to achieve your investment goals. Are you getting any form of skepticism or hesitation from your financial planner? Here are key signs to consider in spotting a poor financial planner:

Vague explanations. Providing clients with vague explanations show inexperience in certain investment types. Your financial planner should be able to explain all key points in detail and accommodate all your inquiries as specific as possible.

Dismissing the idea right away. As their job involves explaining the investment types that suit you, dismissing the idea outright is a key sign of a poor financial planner. They are more concerned about what’s easy and not what is best for you.

Encouraging you to invest without saying why. Sure, they see that the investment type is perfect for you, but why should you invest? If they are unable to provide you with an answer that you’re satisfied with, move on as your financial planner should provide advise that is not only suitable for you, but something that you should be comfortable with.

Read more about this on the Your Investment Property website.

Macquarie in hot water for bad financial advice

Global banking group Macquarie will start contacting clients for bad financial advice provided by their financial advisory arm, Macquarie Private Wealth. 160,000 will be sent out to affected clients, after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission flagged them for poor compliance.

ASIC has called on Macquarie to entertain clients in the remediation process within 5 months and compensate those that suffered financial losses due to bad advice.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Get the most out of your financial planner: 10 questions to ask

Are you tied to any financial institution? Do ask your financial planner if they are receiving any form of commission from other businesses to ensure that your best interest is prioritized and you will be aware of other conflicting influences. When hiring a financial planner, always follow the money trail.

Can you explain your fee structure? For financial planners, less doesn’t mean the best. Some financial planners cost more than others as they specialize and are licensed in certain areas. Always check if the fees are justifiable, and understand why.

What are your affiliations? Is your financial planner a member of a financial body? It is important that you ask who they are affiliated with, as it may be of benefit to you in the future. Investigate the legitimacy of the affiliation for your own peace of mind.

Are you licensed? There are several forms of financial licenses available, so it is very important that you check what type of advice your financial planner is licensed to provide.

How far down the line can you support? Explain your goals and verify if your financial planner can guide you all the way through or whether you’ll have to be passed on to someone else.

What is your specialization? Property advisers specialize in a vast array of dwellings, so it is imperative that you ask what type of property they specialize in. Ensure that the property type is aligned with your investment goals.

Do you have professional indemnity insurance? This gives you protection in case something goes wrong, most especially for buyers’ agents. The coverage and rules of this insurance type varies between states and territories.

Is there a way to file a complaint or feedback? Not only does this promote an open line of communication between you and your planner, but this also provides you an appropriate venue to air out your concerns, especially if you’re not happy with the service provided.

What areas are your strongest suits? Allow your financial planner the chance to provide you an account of their strengths and weaknesses.

Read more about this on the Property Observer website.

Digital currency to change the landscape of the Financial Industry

Labor senator Sam Dastyari has urged banks not to turn a blind eye with the rise of Bitcoin, the digital currency that is headed to change transactions in the future.

74 banks and organizations such as the Reserve Bank of Australia, ANZ Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac have been approached by the inquiry committee to provide feedback as to how Bitcoins can be controlled, as online transactions with the digital currency have remained unregulated across the globe.

Banks have been highly cautious, and at times, confused with how to treat digital currencies. The National Australia Bank has kept distance from Bitcoins, saying they were too risky, with other banks still yet to make a stand on digital currencies.

Because of its popularity, Bitcoin values have surged to as much as $US 1,000 a unit, compared to around $US 1.00 just two years ago.

Read more about this on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Get on the path towards financial wellness

Having a financial plan can help you on your journey towards financial wellness. People want to free themselves of having to manage their finances, yet they don’t have a plan and goal in place. Here are several things you can do to attain that much needed peace of mind.

Commit to change. If you spend so much time thinking about the numerous aspects of your finance without getting anywhere, chances are – your finances are in disarray. The success of your financial plan starts with a commitment to change.  It can be as simple as coming up with a budget plan, or cutting down debt.

Assess your finances. You have to be honest with yourself. If you are having doubts about your financial health, or if you are having trouble catching up with expenses and debt, it is not too late.  Sit down and write down how much cash is coming in, and how much is going out.  Lis t down those expenses that are important, and those that you can live without.

Tackle your finances head – on. The reason why most financial plans fail, is because people have a hard time accepting the problem. Having a “can fix” attitude is good, but in this situation, financial honesty can go a long way. Set realistic and concrete goals. If you plan to save a certain amount every paycheck, make sure to do so. Most people also have a hard time admitting that they need help. If you cannot keep your finances in order, there are people that can help.

Understand your credit report. A credit report can help you determine your financial wellness, as you can see the numbers. Understand everything on your credit report, and if you find errors, be quick to have it changed, as this will cause complications should you wish to secure a loan in the future.

Save, save, save.  Saving is key for you to succeed financially. You have to make sure that you have enough to spare for emergencies and unforeseen expenses.  Make sure that you come up with a solid savings plan to help you achieve this. It is also important to have self-control and spend only on what you really need.

Where do you stand financially? Let us know if you need help. A certified financial planner can help you achieve the peace of mind you deserve as you get on your way towards financial freedom.

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