A: I am curious as to why it has been years since your last review.  Perhaps you haven’t seen the need or your planner has not been as proactive as they should have been.

 

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 affect your investments such as economic conditions, investment features 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’re still headed in the right direction.

 

It gives you and your Planner the chance to:

 

Review your goals and objectives

 

Re-visit your goals and objectives along with the timeframes and action required to achieve these.

 

Evaluate your portfolio performance

 

Have the investments or funds in your portfolio lived up to your expectations?

 

Assess your superannuation

 

Review your contribution levels and check that you are on track to meet your retirement goals.

 

Evaluate the protection of your assets

 

Make sure your insurance policies truly reflect the needs of you and your family.

 

Evaluate your debt strategies and mortgage funding

 

Re-evaluate your current facilities and structuring and any relevant tax implications.

 

Ensure your will and estate plan are up to date

 

Changes in circumstance of you or your family may require amendment to your existing estate

plan.

 

Gauge the potential to reduce your tax

 

Identify opportunities that exist to reduce the impact of tax over the next financial year.

 

Legislative change

Identify new opportunities as a result of Government policy change to improve your overall circumstances.

 

Plan for the year ahead

Conduct an overview of strategies and financial plan for the coming year.

 

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.  If your planner is not conducting regular reviews, it could be time for a second opinion.

 

The Article was originally published in the The Australian.