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Value of financial advice

How advice can help you plan your tomorrow

When it comes to financial advice, it pays to get it right. For most people the best way to sort their finances is by using a financial adviser. An adviser can help you long term, not just today or tomorrow.

Maybe you’re not sure what you need to do or maybe you don’t have the time. Whatever your reasons, using an adviser has some great benefits – from helping you reach your financial goals and future-proofing your finances to tailoring products to your unique circumstances.

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How an adviser can help

An adviser can help and add value in many ways, including:

  • helping you identify your priorities
  • helping you budget and manage your money
  • choosing the right investment strategy
  • financially protecting you and your family
  • recommending the right products for your needs
  • helping you plan for retirement
  • balancing your risks
  • talking you through your different options.

Why using an adviser is valuable

You might share favourite recipes with your loved ones, but it’s not a good idea to share financial advice. What they’re doing financially will suit their needs, but probably not yours. Instead consider using an adviser if:

  • you’re time poor and can’t devote time to looking after your finances
  • you’d like to review your finances and develop a financial plan
  • you need advice on insurance, savings or KiwiSaver
  • you want to know how to invest
  • you’d like to plan for a life event, like retirement.

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Getting financial advice and making a plan can help you achieve your future financial goals. The process looks like this:

Step 1: issue disclosure statement

Your adviser should provide you with a copy of their disclosure statement. It outlines information which can include:

  • what products and services they can provide
  • who they work for.

Step 2: understand your needs

See ‘What an adviser needs to know’ for the sort of information your adviser needs to know and will ask you at your first meeting. This stage also involves setting the scope of advice they can provide and any costs involved.

Step 3: prepare written recommendations

Your adviser will now prepare their recommendations to help you meet your financial goals. These will come in a document called a Statement of Advice (SOA). Your adviser’s recommendations will be developed through an analysis of different options and products, based on your goals at this stage.

Step 4: present advice and agree

Your adviser will present your SOA and explain how it matches your needs. Your adviser should also explain any risks and costs associated with the SOA.

When you’ve reviewed the SOA, it’s a good opportunity to ask your adviser any additional questions to check that:

  • the advice has been tailored to you, using the information you provided
  • you understand the advantages and disadvantages. 

If your adviser has recommended any products, they also need to provide you with documentation to help you understand how they work.

After this you’ll agree your strategy. This may be the same as the SOA, or a modified version. It’s completely up to you to decide how or whether to follow the recommendations in the SOA.

Step 5: implement

Once you’ve agreed your strategy, your adviser will help you put your plan in place. This may include helping to complete any application forms and documents.

Step 6: review

Your adviser will review your plan with you over time, to make sure it remains appropriate based on your situation and goals.

When you meet your adviser for the first time, they’ll have questions about you, your life and your finances. This helps them to understand your current financial situation and your future goals, so they can provide you with tailored advice.

They may ask about:

  • you – your age, your health and any children you have
  • your goals
  • your business (if you have one) - how long it’s been running, how it’s performing and the running costs
  • your retirement savings scheme and insurance details
  • your income and expenses - including any future income, inheritance and future expenses
  • your investments - current and planned investments, assets and liabilities

Once your adviser has got this information, they’ll come back to you with their advice. It’s then up to you to decide how to use their recommendations.

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Important information

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AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the manager and issuer of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme. For a copy of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement and Fund Update Booklet, please see the KiwiSaver Section of the amp.co.nz website or alternatively contact Customer Services on 0800 267 5494.

The information included in this article is of a general nature and is not a substitute for financial or other professional advice. To the extent that the information constitutes advice, it is class advice only.  Before taking any action, you should always seek financial advice or other professional advice relevant to your personal circumstances.  For personal financial advice, we recommend you contact your Adviser or if you don't have an Adviser, contact us on 0800 267 263 and we can put you in touch with one.   A disclosure statement is available from your adviser, on request and free of charge.

While care has been taken to supply information in this article that is accurate, none of AMP Services (NZ) Limited or any of its related companies gives any warranty of reliability or accuracy, or accepts any responsibility arising in any way including from any error or omission.