Q: I have used a Financial Planner for advice and they want to conduct a review.  I am unsure if I need to meet as not much has changed. What should I expect from the process? 

A:  A Financial Planning review should be conducted on a regular basis.  Developing and implementing a financial strategy is just the first step necessary in achieving your financial objectives.  Reviewing your strategies, investments and insurance on a regular basis is also an integral part of the financial planning process.

In order to ensure that your strategy is appropriate in meeting your needs, goals and objectives, your financial planner must review your circumstances, objectives and portfolio on a regular basis.

Even if you believe your circumstances have not changed significantly since your last review, external factors that could impact you, such as economic conditions, investment performance and legislative or compliance requirements may have.

A review is an opportunity to assess how you’ve done financially over the past twelve months and make sure you are headed in the right direction.

A regular review provides you and your Planner the chance to review your goals and objectives along with the timeframes and action required to achieve these.

Whilst reviewing portfolio performance is important, there are other critical elements of a review that need to be considered from a strategic perspective.

For Superannuation and retirement planning it may include reviewing your contribution and drawdown strategies and monitoring that you are on track to meet your retirement goals.

With regard to insurance, it may include a review of costs but could incorporate consideration of the features and benefits you require to ensure your insurance policies truly reflect the needs of you and your family.

For debt advice it may involve an evaluation of your current debt reduction strategy, whether to fix or change your loan facilities and  the competitiveness of mortgage interest  rates.

Ensuring your Will and estate plans are up to date is critical. Changes in circumstance of you or your family may require amendment to your existing estate plan.

Tax planning can incorporate the potential to reduce the impact of tax over the next financial year and the longer term.

New opportunities may present as a result of Government policy change to improve your overall circumstances.  Without ongoing advice you may not be aware of these opportunities.

By regularly reviewing your financial plan, you can ensure that any changes to your personal situation can be taken into consideration to keep you on the path to achieving your goals.