Finance Planning Feature

Personal Finance

Financial Planning Is…

4 Sep , 2014  

Nikhil (Nik) Sreedhar
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Nikhil (Nik) Sreedhar

Founder at ProAdviser
Nikhil's dream job is to be an exotic car salesman. His favourite colour is orange and it shows as he is the 23 year old entrepreneur behind ProAdviser. You should follow him, he gets lonely.
Nikhil (Nik) Sreedhar
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When someone mentions financial planning, what are the first thoughts that come to mind? Too costly, not worthwhile, you don’t have enough to invest, there’s plenty of time to think about it later, or you can do it with online tools?

Some of your perceptions may be accurate, and some of them may be more myth than fact. Before you rule out using financial planning services, take a few minutes to explore some of the more common misconceptions.

They’re All the Same

One mistaken belief held by many, is that financial planners are all the same. However, under the financial umbrella thee is a large variety of specialist topics that different planners address. While most financial planners can advise clients on superannuation and various types of insurance plans, specialist planners have expertise in areas such as self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF’s), direct share ownership, business risk insurance, and business succession planning.

A number of financial planners out there focus on selling financial products to receive commissions or percentage-based trailing fees. However, many of these planners are connected with bank-backed dealership groups. There are also many independant planners (also found on ProAdviser), who prefer to have no ownership influences.

Financial Planning

They Get Hefty Kickbacks and Charge Too Much

In Australia, everyone who is authorised to provide financial advice are bound by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regulations, in order to make transactions as transparent as possible.

Clients must receive a Statement of Advice (SoA) that clearly outlines all monies to be received by the planner for implementing a client’s proposed financial plan. Some financial planning companies operate on a fee-for-service or fixed fee payment structure; they do not receive commissions from any investment products recommended to their clients.

My Accountant Can Take Care of My Financial Needs

While your accountant can take care of many financial needs such as preparing your tax return or advising on small business matters, he or she may not be a qualified financial planner. Your planner will take a more holistic approach to your money matters by focusing on your life goals, creating and managing your portfolio, and helping implement a plan to reach your financial objectives.

Too Young, Too Expensive, Too Poor, Too Little, Too…

Too many people have too many “too’s”! Let’s eliminate some of them:

  • You are never too young to start saving for your retirement. The longer amount of retirement planning time you have, the fewer investment risks you need to take – and the greater your potential investment results.
  • You may believe you have too little income to justify working with a financial planner. But people of all financial levels need to draft a will, designate guardianship of any minor children, prepare a Durable Power of Attorney, a Medical Directive, and Letter of Instruction. These are tools that help the person(s) you authorise, to act on your behalf if you are unable to. A financial planner can help you with each of these steps.
  • You may believe you have too little money to invest. A financial planner can help you invest in shares or managed fund for a very modest price and find other ways to more effectively budget for all your needs – including investments.
  • Too young for life insurance? Not if you have dependents (or significant debt).
  • If you believe a financial planner’s services are just too much for you, ask yourself what it would cost if you had to plan each step without good advice. Many elements of your plan intersect; they must be coordinated to maximise your investments, ensure that taxes are properly handled and that insurance and estate-related matters are appropriately set up according to your wishes and needs.What would all that cost you to successfully accomplish AND manage on an ongoing basis?


Before you completely discount the value of professional planning services, take time to explore any pre-misconceptions you may have. You may discover that not only will you highly benefit from a financial planner; they can also save you time and money.

When you are ready to explore financial planning services, contact the financial specialists at to learn how you, and your financial well being, can benefit from ethical and thoughtful financial planning.

By Nikhil Sreedhar
Nikhil - Profile PicNikhil is the CEO of ProAdviser. He is an experienced financial services professional with a particular interest investing in small businesses, shares and property.  ProAdviser is a specialist professional adviser marketplace that connects consumers to leading financial planners, broker, accountants and lawyers. It is completely automated, efficient and highly effective. To get started simply click on “Ask An Adviser”  

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