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Ongoing advice from your financial planner or money coach is a valuable resource you shouldn’t overlook if you really want to take control of your financial future.
By Julie Nipperess.
You know that email that arrives in your inbox once a year from your financial planner inviting you to make an appointment for your annual review?
Well, a lot of clients tick the box that says “No thanks, I’m ok for now” and let a beneficial opportunity slip by. Of course, sometimes life circumstances seem like they’re not changing – you’re doing the day-to-day … still paying the mortgage … still paying the school fees and putting money regularly into super and everything is running along smoothly, just the way you like it, without any big surprises. And that’s perfectly fine.
At other times, things just get really really busy and finding time for a 90 minute conversation can be difficult to fit into the schedule! And that’s fine too.
But here’s what you’re missing – the chance to talk about anything and everything to do with your personal finances.
We can fall into the trap of ‘day-to-day’ living and look past the chance to assess: perhaps realign goals, consider other ways to grow assets, or take a new ‘step up’ on the wealth journey.
Growing wealth is as much about commitment as it is about timing, and what I mean by this is there is no ‘get rich quick’ scheme – taking incremental steps and conducting an annual review give you a chance to assess how you’re going as well as maximise every opportunity that’s available to you.
Aside from this, what I generally find is that clients do have something they want to talk about – even if it’s just an ‘idea’ they’re mulling over. For example, I have a client who is currently considering selling her investment property. She took advice from a local real estate agent around price, but during the course of our conversation I suggested she actually have the property professionally valued, before sale. The difference was $10,000.
While real estate agents do usually have a good feel for current market prices, market price doesn’t always reflect real value, and in this case, after the valuation, this client was in a position to insist on a higher sale price. It was something she just hadn’t even considered until our conversation.
In other similar circumstances, I’ve had clients who’ve had a property valued only to work through the maths and then realise they’re not going to get the capital gains they’d hoped for, so they choose not to sell until further down the track.
I have other clients I spoke to recently who have been thinking about shopping around for a lower mortgage rate. After talking it over, they felt more confident following through with the process: knowing the right questions to ask, and the extent of the information they needed to gather to make a fully informed decision.
Another big issue at the moment is the new regulations which stipulate that some super industry funds need to value their ‘unlisted assets’. The fact is, this could actually devalue super balances significantly for a lot of people, and at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has already created havoc with the investment markets.
With this on the horizon, right now is definitely an ideal time to be reviewing your super.
The point is that even when you think there’s nothing to discuss, there’s usually something. Even if it is something simple like buying a car, or saving for a wedding.
Both are absolutely worthwhile discussing with your financial planner.
Why? The answer is simple: You’ll get objective, independent financial advice from someone who is not emotionally attached to the circumstances.
It’s human nature to get so wrapped up in an idea that we can’t actually look at it from an impartial point of view.
Or worse, we turn to our ‘nearest and dearest’ for advice. And this is not always the best strategy.
I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve met who have financial ‘regrets’ – whether it was wishing they’d taken more interest in the management of their superannuation at an earlier age, or starting a school fund for the kids the moment they were born, or – and this is a really common one – letting a great property slip through their fingers because ‘Mum and Dad’ or their mates or their spouse talked them out of taking a risk.
And taking a risk is perfectly ok from time to time, so long as it’s a properly assessed risk and you fully comprehend what the risk entails.
So – don’t undervalue the opportunity for an annual review. Even if you only use it to make sure your personal insurances are up to date.
We’re here to help, so contact us at any time.
This is general advice and should not be treated as personal advice. Julie Nipperess is an authorised representative of Step Up Financial Group Pty Ltd ASFL No: 512509.