Financial Planner for Residents of Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Situated 47 kilometers southwest of the state capital of Melbourne, Geelong is a port city in Victoria, Australia known as the “Gateway City” for being surrounded by several Victorian regional centres including Torquay. With nearly 270,000 residents, Geelong has positioned itself as the country’s second fastest growing city. In addition to its emergence as a health, education and advanced manufacturing hub, Geelong boasts a plethora of entertainment and dining options. Along its bay, the Geelong Waterfront features a 19th-century carousel, a curved art deco boardwalk and sea bath at its Eastern Beach, which attracts many visitors daily. On the eastern end of the bay, The Geelong Botanic Gardens, which were established in 1851, is a wonderful place for children and families to walk around as they discover the hundreds of unique flora of Australia. After working up an appetite from a long afternoon of exploring the trails at the gardens, Recess is a highly regarded modern Australian restaurant worth a visit from locals and tourists alike.
While there are many fun things to do in Geelong, some more affordable than others, it is so important to be smart with one’s finances. Yes, we believe you should be able to play hard after you work hard. Why shouldn't you be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor? However, it is invaluable to be strategic about how much of your hard earned money goes to savings and investments and how much goes to other kinds of spending.
Money can be a touchy subject and something many people may want to keep private and not talk about with anyone other than their spouse, if that, but it is beneficial to talk about it with someone that has experience and is trustworthy at managing people’s finances. Sitting down with a financial planner can alleviate the pressure you may feel when it comes to money management and making the right decisions with your money to fit your goals and lifestyle. It will also help you see what your retirement would look like as well as the legacy you’d be leaving behind to your family. When you are in the weeds of managing your money, it can become overwhelming and frustrating because as we all know, life has many surprises. One minute things are business as usual and the next you or your spouse have experienced unexpected medical issues that have resulted in high hospital bills, which could change the trajectory for your finances.
That’s where we come in! If you are searching on Google for a “financial planner near me” or “how to find a financial planner in Geelong,” rest assured that our professional financial planners at Cloud Financial Planning can help you navigate through all the big decisions such as executing long-term financial goals and teaching you how to better manage your finances in a way that is responsible and forward-thinking.
Geelong, Victoria, Australia Financial Planner
What is Financial Planning?
Financial planning is a service providing a long-term plan that lays out how to wisely manage one’s finances so that you can achieve your financial goals and objectives while being proactive about how you would approach the financial setbacks that can likely arise at any point in your life. To be able to create a solid financial plan, you must set your goals first and foremost. Following that step, your data is gathered to analyze and evaluate your financial status. When and only when that is finished, your plan can be implemented. Frequently monitoring your plan is crucial in order to make any adjustments necessary to meet your goals.
What does a Financial Planner Do?
A financial planner does several things but if one were to describe it briefly, a financial planner builds a relationship with a client by initially creating a personalized financial plan that will help you manage your budget and make your financial goals come true.
When you hire a financial planner this means that you have an expert that has fully committed to give you informative and sound financial advice when it comes to managing one of the most vital components of your life. In other words, they are in for the long haul whenever you need their advice.
From the start, a financial planner will identify the steps needed to help you meet your future goals. They may also manage specific assets for you, like an investment portfolio, which will help you make the best choices for those assets as it pertains to your own situation.
Overall, financial planners can help you understand the best places to invest your money to benefit you and your family for years to come.
Here is a breakdown of the types of financial planners there are:
1. Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
A Certified Financial Planner is formally recognized for their expertise in financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement including superannuation. Awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, this special designation is awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board's initial exams and later participate in ongoing annual education programs to grow and maintain their skills and certification.
Earning the CFP designation involves meeting requirements in the areas of formal education, CFP exam performance, relevant work experience, and proven professional ethics.
2. Investment Advisor
An investment advisor, who is also known as a stock broker, is any person or group that makes investment recommendations or conducts securities analysis for a fee, whether through the direct management of clients' assets or via written publications.
3. Registered Investment Advisor
A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a person or a firm who advises individuals who have a high-net-worth on investments and manages their portfolios. RIAs are required to register with state securities administrators. Cloud Financial Planning and Shaun Liddicoat is registered with Australian Financial Planners Register.
Financial Planner Servicing Residents of Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Do I need a Financial Planner?
Yes and no. Under certain circumstances, you can try to do it yourself. However, there are instances where the DIY route could be a bad idea. If you’re contributing to your superannuation at work or putting funds into your superannuation and you’re good about spending and taxes, you just might be able to manage your money without needing a professional to help you with your financial planning. If you want to purchase a few investments on your own, assuming you have the time and energy to deal with the market’s ups and downs, then going DIY is not completely out of the question. Unfortunately, in all instances there is more risk involved with DIY financial planning and it could take longer to see the results you are seeking to meet your financial objectives.
Now, something to consider is when you are in a financial situation where you may not have regular, consistent paychecks coming in and you have to supplement your income. A financial advisor can definitely help with that as well as retirees to avoid investment losses that could severely affect their retirement plans, offer a few guaranteed income options to those wanting reliable payments, and even discuss the best superannuation fund choices.
Additionally, a financial advisor can offer advice on other income options that people who attempt to do it alone often don’t have any knowledge of. Take a widow for example. She might not be aware that she could receive a pension at a certain age. There’s also the example of a divorced woman who may not realize that she could file for spousal benefits while suspending her own government assisted payments. If you are wondering about guaranteed income much like a pension, you likely wouldn’t be able to qualify for that without working with an advisor. As retirement goes, there is nothing more important than knowing what your income will be, because little to no income will place you in an awful position when you hit retirement. A successful income strategy can provide you with the security you need to spend during retirement.
Keep in mind that a financial advisor can review any documents and plans you currently have, thoroughly check your beneficiaries to make sure the money is going to the right people when you pass away, refer you to a trustworthy estate planning attorney and also help you find options that will benefit you as you look out for the charities you are most passionate about. Having a large chunk of your income invested in your employer’s stock is also something that would be discussed with your advisor. In other words, you would sit down with your advisor and talk about the pros and cons of taking that risk. That could work for some families and maybe not so much for others as it depends on your lifestyle, debt and other monetary commitments.
Understanding the degree of risk one is taking, finding the time it takes to manage an investment portfolio responsibly, minimizing recurring fees and expenses, and maintaining a level head during tumultuous financial times are things you can count on your financial advisor to be there for. Also, your investment strategy ideally must match your overall financial plan and long-term goals and objective. A lot of times self-investing can lead to focusing more on the tools being used than the goal you are trying to achieve such as financial independence or trying not to become a burden on your family.
Whatever the reason, you have the good intentions to aim for a fulfilling retirement but things can get in the way of that. Our financial advisors in Geelong know all too well about obstacles that come as you are trying to head straight toward your goal. Fortunately, an advisor can help you set clear goals, identify the best possible strategies to accomplish those goals and identify the most effective tools to get you to the result you’re desiring in your life.
Is it worth paying for a financial advisor?
Well, let’s put it this way. You may discover the investments you are using on your own are actually going to cost you as much as if not more than working with a financial planner who knows how to help you reduce costs and help you not make financial mistakes. A good financial adviser should make you well aware of the benefits of seeking advice and the associated future costs before any fees become payable.
No matter how big of a role your financial advisor plays as it pertains to your finances, they are very valuable to getting you where you want to be. Whether you have just a few assets to manage or your assets are beginning to grow and become more complex, in the instance that you own a house, have an investment portfolio and are trying to pay off debt, it is worth it to seek the guidance of a financial advisor for your investment strategy and overall financial goals.
Financial Planner VS. Financial Advisor
A financial planner, as we previously mentioned, is a professional who helps individuals and businesses create a program to meet their long-term financial goals. A financial advisor, although it can be interchangeable, is technically a much broader term for those who help manage your money such as your investments and other accounts.
Let’s break this down further. Shall we?
Lifestyle Financial Planning Geelong
Lifestyle financial planning takes into account your psychological ideals, which includes your desires, dreams and goals, and fits them into your financial situation to create a life that meets your needs that are beyond dollar amounts. What kind of lifestyle would you be comfortable with while still making sound financial decisions for your future?
Independent Financial Planners or Independent Financial Advisor
An independent financial planner or advisor, particularly a fee-only advisor, is not able to receive commissions from the sale of insurance or investment products. There are some independent financial advisors that can collect fees and commissions however. They are referred as "fee-based” and will advertise themselves as such upfront, if they are ethical, of course.
Personal Finance Advisor
A personal finance advisor is a professional who provides financial advice and services to clients that meet their specific needs. Typically, they may offer some free financial planning advice at an initial meeting with a prospective client or even through social media,
Can You Find Financial Advice Online?
In your search for the best financial advisors, you’ll likely come across options such as automated investment management services known as robo-advisors and traditional, in-person financial advisors. There are also online financial advisors and financial planning services as we briefly mentioned. These companies offer many of the services of a traditional financial advisor, but function exclusively online to reduce fees.
If you are seeking a financial advisor, there are a few key things to know.
- What is your budget? Online services will be less costly while traditional financial planning will cost more so it's best to know what you're comfortable spending before you go all in.
- What services do you need? It could be you just need guidance with choosing investments, or you need advice on more complex things like estate planning or insurance. This will help you figure out what type of financial advisor you need. A robo-advisor is typically a good option for investment management, as you would need an online planning service or traditional financial advisor for more advanced planning.
- Do you prefer in-person or online advice? If you are fine with meeting with your advisor virtually, you can save money with an online service. These services usually have lower account minimum requirements than traditional advisors. But regardless of what you choose, it's important to check their qualifications and make sure they follow a fiduciary standard, which means your financial needs are top priority. Fortunately, Cloud Financial Planning offers both in-person and video consultations.
If you're still unsure how to find the right financial advisor for you, it may make the most sense to begin with an online planning service as you can always hire a traditional financial advisor if your financial situation becomes more complicated.
Cloud Financial Planning has been providing sound financial advice to residents of Geelong and surrounding areas since 2008. With financial planner Shaun Liddicoat at the helm, we have made it our mission to offer financial advice of the highest quality possible to each of our clients.
This includes making it possible for our clients to achieve financial freedom and enjoying the fruits of their labor. We work to meet your needs by giving you the option to utilize our online meeting service if you cannot meet in person. Unlike most financial firms, we pride ourselves in our customer service by featuring a pay on performance fee, which means you pay no advisor investment management fee unless performance hurdles are met. For a free initial consultation, contact us at (03) 5215 0400 today and visit us online for financial planning in Geelong.
The advice provided on this document is General Advice Only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. If any products are detailed on this document, you should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement relating to the products and consider its contents before making any decisions