Wealth Management

What's next in the financial adviser onboarding process

Matthew Swieconek
14 November 2022
4 min read

15 November 2022

Now that you've done your research, interviewed several candidates and have made the final decision to work with a Financial Adviser. What comes next?

Before the first meeting

The more effort that you can put into preparing for your first meeting with a financial adviser, the sooner your Adviser can begin devising an advice strategy that is personalised for you. Start by gathering as much information as you can on your income, expenses, assets and liabilities, along with any changes that you expect to these items going forward. Note down a list of your financial goals and objectives and start to think about your tolerance for investment risk i.e. how comfortable you feel with different levels of investment volatility. While it is completely fine to come prepared with “ball-park” figures on your financial situation, bringing along your most recent statements will help to make the process more efficient. Our full summary of tips on this topic is available here.

During the first meeting

Now that you’ve undertaken some preparation, your Adviser will work with you during your initial meeting to complete a detailed fact find of your affairs. Refer to our checklist about how to handle this initial meeting with your Adviser. This fact find process may be conducted prior to your initial meeting, so time in this meeting may be spent confirming details with you and clarifying any areas where the Adviser may have remaining questions. It is likely that much of the time in this meeting will be spent exploring your goals and objectives, as these are not always easily determined. It is also important at this juncture to bring a list of questions you may have regarding the financial planning process and what you can expect from your relationship with your Adviser going forward.

After the first meeting

After your initial meeting, your Adviser will draft a letter of engagement that outlines the scope of advice they intend to provide in your initial Statement of Advice (SoA), along with the fee they will charge for the preparation of this advice.

Should you agree to the terms in the letter of engagement, your Adviser will begin developing your strategy and constructing your SoA based on all of the information that has been provided to them. During this process your Adviser may have some additional questions and they will also likely seek your written authority to speak with your superannuation fund, insurance company, investment provider etc.

Presenting your advice

Once your Adviser has documented your advice, an SoA presentation meeting will likely be held whereby your Adviser will talk you through their recommended strategies in detail. There is typically quite a lot of information to absorb at this point so it’s best to take the advice away for consideration before reverting to your Adviser with any outstanding questions that you may have.

Implementing your advice

If you are comfortable with the advice that has been presented to you in your SoA and you are happy to proceed with the recommendations contained therein, your Financial Adviser will help to facilitate the implementation of any recommended actions. As an example, this may involve the establishment of a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer, a downsizer contribution to your superannuation fund, or the opening of a new investment account.

Reviewing your advice

Now that you are underway on your financial planning journey, your Adviser will conduct a regular review of your affairs each year (or more regularly) to make sure that you are on track to achieve your goals and objectives. Furthermore, as your circumstances may have changed since your initial advice was provided, your Adviser will identify any new strategic advice opportunities that may now be appropriate for you.

Key takeaways

When seeking financial advice it is important to gain a detailed understanding of your financial adviser’s onboarding process as this will help to set expectations around the time-frames involved, thereby minimising the element of surprise along the way. To make this process as efficient as possible, the more time that can be invested upfront in compiling relevant information, the more streamlined the entire advice process will be.

At Findex, we offer wealth management and advisory and consulting services, along with business advisory and corporate finance. To learn more about our onboarding process, download our checklist or get in touch to speak with an adviser.

Author: Matthew Swieconek | Head of Investment Relations