The financial advice process is a personal experience for each client. It combines elements of both financial planning and investment management. In this article, I break-down the different stages of the process which will help you gain an understanding of how they interplay.
What is financial planning?
The first step in the financial advice process is to create your map or ‘strategy’. This part of the process is known as financial planning.
During the financial planning phase, we look at your personal financial goals and develop your financial blueprint for success. During this step we’ll help you answer a variety of questions such as, ‘How much do I need to save for retirement?’ ‘What can I do with my super?’ and ‘How can I fund my kids’ education?’.
Based on the needs you identify, we will then put your plan into action. We do this by helping you with a variety of services. They can include, cash flow management, tax-effective investment structures, retirement planning, debt reduction, asset protection (insurance) and anything else that will help you achieve your financial goals.
Investment management and financial planning are both important steps in the financial advice journey.
What is investment management?
Investment management, on the other hand, is the step in the process where we utilise investment expertise to make your money grow. During this process, we invest your money. We may invest in, shares, bonds, property or any number of the hundreds of other options available. Of course, all within your own personal comfort zone as to risk. We work with you to build your portfolio, establish proper asset allocation, buy and sell securities and rebalance as needed.
One of the most common ways that we practice investment management at Infinity is by helping clients grow their superannuation balances. We believe in actively managing money in order to maximise returns. By increasing a client’s superannuation returns, we can help ensure they retire with enough money to enjoy the retirement they deserve.
Do I need both?
At Infinity, we believe it is important to take a holistic approach to financial advice. This means combining both financial planning and investment management. We know clients get the best results when they start with a plan, then partner with advisors to help them through life’s changes.
Coming from Allegiance Financial Planning, I was looking to join forces with an investment management firm who would complement my financial planning skills. I also needed a partner who would add in-depth investment advice for clients. I found this firm in Infinity. Our combined knowledge will enable us to provide full-service, transparent and ongoing financial planning and investment advice for clients.
Another extremely important factor to consider when choosing a financial advisor is whether they are aligned with any banks, insurance companies, fund managers etc. Checking alignments will ensure there is no conflict of interest that could result in an advisor putting you in a fund solely because they have to, not because it is in your best interest.
At Infinity, we have our own Australian Financial Services License with no ties to any banks, insurance companies or fund managers. This means we remain unconstrained to provide advice that is truly client first.
I believe the future of professional financial planning will be best served by advisors who are client-focused, honest, open, flexible and prepared to listen to their clients. I have aspired to these traits for the last 20 years that I have been a Financial Advisor and I have found them in all of the Infinity staff.
I’m excited to merge Allegiance Financial Planning with Infinity Financial Advisors. They’re a perfect fit to provide a broader, full-service financial planning and investment advice service.
Infinity’s financial advisors from L to R: Andrew Lindner, Maureen Rose, Ian Hamilton, Louise Evans and Andrew Masson.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about the financial advice process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find our contact details here.
Thanks for reading.