Do You Need A Financial Planner

If you only have a short investment period the answer to this question is probably no. This is because financial planners tend to take a holistic approach to your finances, planning for investments across the short, medium and long term.

However, saving for the future, investing an inheritance, being made redundant, approaching retirement, embarking on a wealth accumulation strategy, mortgage elimination, superannuation or looking for life insurance are just some of the circumstances when a financial planner can be of service. Talking to an experienced and licensed financial planner will assist you by:

  • Providing advice on how to best invest your money and meet your ongoing financial and lifestyle requirements;
  • Providing resources and education to help you make an informed decision about your money;
  • Providing a logical step by step documented plan to meet your needs;
  • Selecting the products that suit your needs and investment objectives; and
  • Reviewing your financial plan on a regular basis to ensure ongoing suitability.

Entrusting your financial position and future wealth into the hands of a stranger may be a daunting task for some. Choosing a suitable person with the knowledge and expertise requires care and resolve. The following provides the steps we recommend to find a suitable adviser to establish an ongoing financial planning relationship.

Financial Planning Preparation

It is vital that you have the right attitude to financial planning. The role of a financial planner is not to make the decisions but to provide quality advice and support to ensure you are able to make an informed decision.

The first step in preparation is to write down what you want your adviser to do. This includes what you want to achieve financially and when you want to achieve it. This requires you to examine your short, medium and long term goals, your current assets and liabilities, your income and expenditure, as well as what level of risk you are comfortable with.

The best way to start looking for a financial planner is to ask around – your friends, family, colleagues, accountant, solicitor or your employer. If an adviser is recommended, ask questions to determine the advisers experience, areas of expertise, level of ongoing service and the level of satisfaction of the person who has referred you.

It is also prudent to obtain a copy of their Financial Services Guide (FSG) before proceeding with the meeting. This document outlines the services provided by the dealer group to which the adviser belongs. The guide should be used to check that the adviser either holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or is an Authorised Representative of an Australian Financial Services Licensee. It is imperative that you deal only with licence holders or their Authorised Representatives. You may wish to check this information through the ASIC website at or by telephoning 1300 300 630.

The other information provided within the Financial Services Guide is how the adviser is paid and whether the adviser works for, or is connected with, an investment company or bank. These details may affect the extent of products available, the quality of advice you receive or the payments required to secure the adviser’s services.

The other industry organisation you may like to contact is the Financial Planning Association (FPA). This is the professional organisation for the industry, and you can contact them for your nearest member. Visit their website at or phone them on 1800 626 393.

Please contact Ramshead Capital on 02 8220 7708 to arrange an appointment with one of our Advisers.

Investors are able to gear investments into direct shares and property as well as managed funds and unit trusts:

  • Deposits and ongoing investments can be in a smaller quantity and arranged as regular instalments;
  • Maintenance issues are not the direct responsibility of the investor but the investment manager;
  • Pooling of funds allows for smoothing of tenancy problems and other risk factors;
  • Investments are professionally managed;
  • The investment is more liquid and cheaper to redeem;
  • The complete investment does not need to be redeemed, with the ability to downscale the amount invested.

Investors in the higher marginal tax brackets achieve a greater tax advantage due to the reduction in tax payable from the deduction. This generally assists in providing greater long term benefits.

Risks Involved In Gearing

There are risks involved with gearing that make it unsuitable for some types of investors. It is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme. Although gearing can magnify your capital gains it can also magnify your capital losses. It is possible that your investments will fall in value, however, it should be remembered gearing is not a short term investment and fluctuations in your investment value will occur.

To find out more

To find out more or to determine the suitability of gearing to your financial situation, we recommend that you speak with a Ramshead adviser on 02 8220 7708.

Please note that the content above is based on our understanding of the current taxation laws and is current as at the 12th of August 2013. You should also obtain a copy of and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for any financial product mentioned before making any decision to acquire a financial product.

This information is of general nature only and is not intended as a personal advice. It does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making a financial decision you should assess whether the advice is appropriate to your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. We recommend you consult a professional financial adviser who will assist you.

Basic RGB

The first step in preparation is to write down what you want your adviser to do. This includes what you want to achieve financially and when you want to achieve it.

ASIC’s Guide to Getting Advice

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Ramshead Capital Pty Limited is an Authorised Representative of The Wealth Partnership Pty Ltd AFSL: 303000 ABN 67 119 153 043