There exist numerous misconceptions and myths about seeking financial advice. To dispel these and gain a better understanding of the experience of meeting with a financial adviser, we interviewed Terence - a 27-year-old contractor, residing in a shared living space and passionate about his contracting business.
"I realized that I needed to take control of my finances, but I was uncertain about how to begin." to 'fess up and deal with the fact that it was time to take action if "future-me" was going to enjoy his life, too. So I booked a consultation with a financial adviser that one of my housemates referred me to. Leading up to it, I felt:
In preparation for my meeting with a financial adviser, I had to carefully consider my goals and the type of assistance I required. It was important for me to clarify what I hoped to accomplish and how this consultation would potentially influence my financial future.
Did financial advisers only cater to wealthy or older individuals with existing investments? That's what I thought. However, I didn't have any investments - in fact, I had a loan I took out for the business.
I was uncertain about the process and had limited knowledge. Would I have the capacity to respond to the questions? Would I appear unprofessional? Should I groom my beard? Was I genuinely ready for the information I would receive?
Words from a Wealthsmith™:
Financial advisers can guide anyone, from any income bracket to establish and work toward achieving their financial goals (long and short term). A meeting is a good opportunity for you to reflect on your own financial aspirations. You can choose to bring along recent bank statements, tax returns and salary slips or chat to your HR department about company benefits before your meeting.
During our meeting, which took place at a nearby coffee shop close to my workplace, we engaged in an hour-long conversation filled with numerous inquiries and discussions. As the meeting progressed, I experienced a range of emotions:
I felt relieved that my financial adviser wasn't intimidating. I appreciated how he explained new terms and gave me an upfront overview of the process, which helped me know what to expect. Understanding both the big picture and day-to-day details was valuable.
I came to understand that a fundamental aspect of the process involved defining my objectives and establishing specific timeframes. During the meeting, we discussed various savings plan alternatives and investment portfolios that aligned with my unique circumstances and investment preferences.
During the meeting, we conducted a "financial snapshot" that involved disclosing personal financial information, some of which I was not particularly proud of. We discussed my monthly income, expenditure, savings, and identified areas where I needed to cut back. This helped me determine my financial goals and the steps I needed to take to achieve them.
Words from a Wealthsmith™:
Financial advisors customize their approach based on your specific goals, whether it's paying off debt, purchasing a home, or taking an annual vacation. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, as each area of your finances should be addressed separately, including retirement annuities, insurance, disability coverage, basic budgeting, and more.
The first meeting helped establish a foundation for the financial planning process. It allowed me to start from a solid starting point and gradually progress towards my goals. I learned that financial planning is a long-term commitment, and it's important to approach it with a marathon mentality rather than a sprint. The meeting helped me understand my own values and readiness for change, and since then, I have felt:
After meeting with the financial advisor, I gained a clearer understanding of my current financial situation and what steps I need to take to achieve my goals. I now have confidence that my savings are being allocated effectively, and I have established a trustworthy partnership with my advisor.
Having established specific and achievable goals with reasonable deadlines, I am more motivated than ever to work towards achieving them. Although I won't need to meet with my adviser frequently, I have made a commitment to having an annual meeting to review my progress and adjust my plan as needed. My advisor will contact me and will always be in contact with me whenever I need them.
I became aware of the strong connection between my role as a strategist and my financial planning. This was a new perspective for me, and it has inspired me to continuously seek ways to enhance and expand my knowledge of financial management.