10 things a financial planner can do for you

Many years ago, I realised there was a big gap in people’s understanding and knowledge of financial planning and the role of advisers.  

Fast forward to today and many people still don’t recognise the breadth of what an adviser can do for clients.

Of the services advisers provider, here are my top 10.

1. Managing your cash flow
Knowing how to set a budget, updating it, and making sure you stick to the plan can be difficult on your own. Your adviser can help you understand how you can spend less than you earn, and can help you set up a budget that suits you, your lifestyle, and your goals to set you on the path to achieving your best future.

2. Setting up a savings plan
The success of your financial wellbeing is rooted in savings. It’s not about how much you earn but how much you can save. Your adviser can help you develop a savings plan which incorporates how much you can afford to put aside for your short-term, medium-term and longer-term goals, and how best to reach them.

3. Providing education and insights on investments
Your adviser will provide investment insights to help you make smarter decisions on where to put your money to best achieve your goals. They’ll spread your investment across the short term, medium term, and longer term. Your adviser will help you establish your risk profile and suggest investment plans accordingly.

4. Investing your money
Once the adviser has developed an investment plan and you’ve reviewed it, they can help you invest your money, whether that’s in shares, managed funds, ETFs, bonds, cash, or whatever else you choose. Some may be able to help with property, gold, and more. They can also suggest investment platforms where you can track all your investments in one place.

5. Keeping you on track
Many financial advisers also see themselves as financial coaches, checking in regularly to make sure you’re still working towards the goals agreed in your plan. Even if you see them once a year, they are still there to keep you on track. This isn’t to say your goals and plans will stay the same – your financial adviser will also work with you to adapt and reshape your plan to meet new goals.

6. Planning your retirement
This is the big one for advisers. Most people will see an adviser to help them set their goals for retirement, manage their superannuation choice, set a strategy for their retirement, work out a transition to retirement, and help them eventually achieve the retirement of their choice. And it doesn’t have to end there – there are financial decisions still to be made once you finish working and your adviser will be there to help you live your best life in retirement, too.

7. Protecting your future
We all know things don’t always go to plan. A financial planner can help you insure against some of those risks through a range of insurance options. While not all advisers will offer insurance themselves, they are still able to refer you to the right people to protect your future.

8. Taking care of your estate
A financial adviser can assist in making sure your estate is structured effectively so that when something happens to you or a loved one, it won’t upset your financial plans. While a solicitor will draft documentation, a financial adviser can help with the structuring of your assets. 

9. Keeping you updated on financial news and trends
When markets are volatile, inflation is increasing, or interest rates are fluctuating, a financial planner can keep you abreast of what this means for you and your finances. They will help keep you on track to reach your goals while monitoring your financial positions and investment assets.

10. Bringing together a team of experts
Your adviser works with other experts and can refer you when needed. This might include an insurance broker, mortgage broker, solicitor, family lawyer, accountant, estate planning expert, aged care expert and others. The idea is that they work together so your plans can come together seamlessly.

In addition, and importantly, an adviser is a sounding board who can run the numbers and model scenarios for you to give you confidence when things happen in life.

The Money & Life website is operated by the Financial Advice Association (FAAA). The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not those of the FAAA.  The FAAA does not endorse or otherwise assume responsibility for any financial product advice which may be contained in the article.  Nor does it endorse or assume responsibility for the information accessible via any links provided in the article. Please consider seeking advice from a qualified professional to ascertain how the information in this article and the links provided may relate to you.


Julia Newbould is a freelance writer and speaker. She was recently managing editor at Conexus Financial curating content for events for superannuation chief investment officers, and financial advisers and licensees. Prior to that she was managing editor of Money magazine. In 2020 she published her first book The Joy of Money, co-authored with financial adviser Kate McCallum. The Joy of Money won the Best Personal Finance and Investment book at the Australian Business Book Awards in 2020. It was also a runner up in the Health and Wellbeing category. Julia has more than 20 years’ finance journalism experience and was previously editor of Financial Planning and Super Review magazines at Reed Business Information; managing editor at InvestorInfo and managing editor at Morningstar Australia. Her passions lay between helping women gain greater equality in all areas of life and supporting financial literacy in all areas of society.
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