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Many Australians do not quite get what a financial planner does, as there is great misunderstanding out there. Here are the top myths about financial planners.

For example, many people think that financial planners can only help you if you’re wealthy. However, the benefit of seeing a financial planner is really for everybody.

Whether you are a teenager starting out, or you are 65 with a little bit of money in superannuation and wanting to retire – seeing a financial planner can provide a great benefit for you.

Most people want to understand something tangible, like ‘what they will get’ if they see a planner. This may include what services or what products they get, but the products are really just a small element.

Why it’s essential

When meeting a financial planner, getting an understanding of why they are doing what they are doing, is essential.

For instance, I am a financial planner and run a growing business. I have been doing this for 25 years and have looked after all types of clients in all types of financial situations. I have clients that are just starting out, clients in financial difficulty and quite wealthy clients that just want someone else to manage their affairs.

The real glow I get is when I see a client’s attitude towards money changes. Also when their stress goes away and they no longer lie awake at night worried about their finances. It’s rewarding when they can actually see that they can retire with a future that has clarity. Another great one is when a young family walk away knowing they have a direction and financial security.

These are the reasons I do what I do, as I know that we reduce anxiety and we allow people to enjoy their life rather than stress about money.

Here is a way to explain, from a tangible side, what financial planners can do for you:

  • look over your Superannuation and advise on how to get the most out it of it
  • advice on personal insurance – like life disability and income protection
  • help educate, inform and direct you with wealth creation
  • guidance with investing in shares
  • manage the risks and returns when investing

Making the decision to use a financial planner is a big one. You’re basically asking an individual to ‘help secure and look after your financial future’ – which takes trust.

Trust in the financial planning industry over the last 10 or so years has hit rock bottom.

Quite frankly, broadly speaking, the financial planning industry has failed many Australians. It is always that small percentage of people in any industry that can ruin a reputation. The facts are out and Australians are less trusting in financial planners.

It’s a real shame since there is such a need out there to provide strong prudent financial advice and guidance. Not only 95% of financial planners will offer this and provide diligently.

So how will the average Australian know who to trust and who will suit them?

Unfortunately, it’s a matter of interviewing them and perhaps getting referrals from your family and friends.