Does it feel like seeing a Financial Planner is like putting your hand in a Box not knowing what will come out?

That’s right!

You’re thinking it’s time to seek some advice.  You do your research and you just can’t get the answers you are looking for from Google.

After all, Google is full of financial pornography, it’s hard to work out what is right for you.

But, you don’t know what to expect or what the benefits would be from seeing a Financial Planner.

You’re most probably a little anxious, a little excited at starting your journey towards financial freedom and the life you want to live. Maybe a little afraid of facing what’s been getting in the way of you achieving everything you want and what the adviser will say.  These are some of the thoughts that are quite common.

After all, you’re not going to buy a car or a dishwasher, something tangible you can take away.

It’s like putting your hand inside a Box and not knowing what you will pull out.  You might get bitten, you might get something that is lite and fluffy or you might get something that actually meets your needs.  The bottom line is that it feels like a lottery sometimes.

You see all the bad stories like this:-

  • X adviser jailed for ripping off clients


  • XYZ accountant losses clients money in a property scheme.


  • Investment manager goes under, clients unable to recover funds.

The list goes on, from the surface it seems like a risk and you don’t know what you are going to get.  After all the media love bad stories.  I wonder how they would go publishing good stories all the time, to be honest, I think they would go broke.

After all, you are not going to get something material to take away apart from a whole heap of documents that make little sense or you’re never going to read them.

Seems all pointless doesn’t it.

Here’s the thing, not everyone needs advice.  Hang on, but aren’t you in the business of helping more people achieve what is most important to them you might be asking?

Yes, but the reality is not everyone needs advice.  You can read my article by clicking here on this.

So, you’re thinking of seeing a financial planner.  What should I expect you might ask?

In most cases, there is generally a trigger in someone’s life for them to seek out advice.

It could be something from changing jobs, windfall, needing to protect the family financially, now in a position to invest, want to start a Self Managed Super Fund, getting closer to retirement and needing to plan for the future to name a few.  Or, you just might now be thinking about the future and know you need to take action, but don’t know how (by the way this is normal).

Here’s the thing, most people leave it too late to see a financial planner or they think they have to be rich to seek advice.  That is so far from the truth it’s not funny.

If you walk into a financial planner’s office and you start having the below conversations, it’s a pretty good sign they’re not that interested in you or will not act in your best interests:-

What does a BAD first meeting look like?

  • The adviser spends half the meeting talking about themselves and how good they are, how boring!


  • The adviser asks about how much money you have before asking any other questions, how rude!


  • The adviser starts talking about products you need, hang on they hardly know you yet, let alone what you’re looking to achieve!


  • The adviser starts talking about the returns or how they have beaten the market consistently, hang on a minute they don’t even know what you what to achieve yet!


  • The adviser makes it so complex that you have no idea what they are talking about.  I took on a number of clients this year where that happened.


  • The adviser tells you to have to cut out all the good things in your life, not very motivating is it let alone you’re unlikely to follow that advice anyway!

These are some of the conversations if you had in the very first meeting, I would suggest you run for the hills and never look back.

Now, I’m not trying to bag the industry here, just providing some general guidelines to help you make a better, informed decision when seeking advice.  There are many great financial planners out there.

So, what should I expect in my first meeting with a good financial planner?

  • Firstly, you need to feel comfortable, if you don’t then they are probably not right for you.  You’ll know throughout the meeting whether they are right for you or not.


  • You may walk into their office not knowing what you wanted or at this point in time just wanted a particular issue addressed.  You may not get advice in that first meeting however you should have an idea on how to fix the problem or how the adviser can help.  Note, a financial planner is not able to give specific advice without giving you what the legal eagles call a Statement of Advice.  To be honest a document with all the specific recommendations and all the mumbo-jumbo compliance stuff the legal eagles want in there, that most people don’t understand or ever read.


  • A good financial planner will also help you identify other areas of your finances that may need attention.


  • A good meeting will allow you to form a Roadmap of where you want to be, call it the intro to your future life video, the big picture stuff.


  • The financial planner should be able to clearly articulate what issues they are able to assist with and the process they take to solve those particular issues.


  • It may take a couple of meetings to set up the foundations.

We, for example, take client’s through a 3 step process, identifying the RESULTS they are looking for.  This could be anything from what they want their lifestyle or certain aspects of their life to be in 2, 3, 5, 10 years from now.  What they want their income to be in 3, 5, 10yrs time.  Where do they want to be in terms of travel, wealth, educating kids, legacy, mortgage or money in the bank?

We then want to understand their current REALITY, where they are right now.  Where are they in relation to the results they are looking.

Lastly, we want to understand what’s getting in the way, the ROADBLOCKS, what’s stopping them from achieving the above.  Once we are very clear on the above we are in a better position to act and prioritise what area’s of advice is required.

CLICK HERE for a video on how was fast track clients progress.

Note, no products or returns discussed here…..

Now, if you’re going to see a financial planner to gain stellar returns above the market return, then, in my opinion, you are going to them for the wrong reason.  Financial Planners are not investment managers.  They should be able to assist in working out the right investment strategy that is going to work for you.  You expect to get around market returns without the excessive cost involved.

Just take Warren Buffett’s bet( one of the best investor’s in the world) with a bunch of fund managers.  That bet was that they could not beat the S & P 500 over a 10yr period.  Guess what the bet was?  Yep $2 million dollars.  The bet ends at the end of 2017 and looks like Warren Buffett is going to win this bet easily and collect his dough, not that he needs it!

Why am I am telling you this?

I tend to think people focus on the wrong metric when it comes to their money and what to expect from a financial planner.  Now, don’t get me wrong, you want to get good returns, and this plays a part, but don’t expect to outperform the investment markets year after year.  You would need a crystal ball for that.  Even investment managers don’t know what the future holds.

If I was to ask you this one question, what would your answer be?  If you achieved every single one of your financial goals and lived the type of lifestyle you wanted for you and your family and you never ever beat the market, would you be comfortable with that?

I bet the answer is yes?

This shows there are other benchmarks here at play.  There is a great deal everyone could be doing but don’t that would have a greater impact on their outcome other than just market-beating investment returns.

A financial planner does a great deal more than that.

Here are just some of the areas a financial planner can help with:-

  • Help you get crystal clear on what you want to achieve.


  • Formulate an investment strategy that meets your specific needs.


  • Minimise costs on products and investments.


  • Help navigate and formulate a family protection plan to ensure the family is protected in the event of illness, injury or death so that the family does not suffer financial hardship.


  • Navigate and maximise the super complex super system.


  • Determine the assets you require to be financially independent.  Very few people know what this number is.


  • Formulate a strategy on how you are going to achieve these numbers, what needs to happen.


  • Help formulate an estate strategy to pass assets and protect assets on death.


  • Navigate and protect you from making the wrong emotional decisions when it comes to money, including investment ones.


  • Sounding board for any financial decisions you are facing or trying to make.


  • Protect you from the Blindside, anything that might come out of left field.


  • It’s about making sure you have the right attack while making sure your defence is adequate.


  • Saves you time deciphering what is best for your unique circumstances so you can focus on living life.


  • Part of the ongoing engagement with a planner is they should be able to tell you the progress you are making and help you navigate course corrections along the way.  Life does not always take a perfect path to what you want to achieve.

There is much more than what I have included above but hopefully, it gives you a great insight into what to expect from a good financial planner.

It should no longer be like putting your hand in a black box and not knowing what you’re going to get.

Would love for you to leave comments below.

Make it a great Life!


Want a copy of our Super Strategy e-book – 11 strategies to help you build your retirement fund faster CLICK HERE.

Want a copy of our Christmas Money Guide – 6 strategies to fast track your wealth in 2018 CLICK HERE.

P.S Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help ensure your financial affairs are in order and you can achieve them in the timeframe that works for you.


1. Book a Q&A 15min Strategy session

If you want to get some 1:1 help, we can jump on the phone for a quick call, and brainstorm how to make sure your financial affairs are optimised, protected and cared for.

Email me at to book a time.


2. Get the 60-minute crash course

If you want to go a bit deeper, you can book a 1-hr Strategy Session to scope out, road test and make sure your current plan is the best it can be, fully optimised.

Email me at or phone me on 0401 253 729.


3. Answer a Question

Or, if you just have a burning question that you want to be answered or a problem you are trying to solve, simply just send me an email,

Make it a Great Life!

 Glenn Doherty – CFP – Founder & Financial Organiser at Jigsaw Private Wealth

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Achieve some clarity and maybe a roadmap on how you can achieve a comfortable retirement.

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Advice Disclaimer: Any reference in this publication to the provision of advice refers to advice of a generic nature, and should not be taken as product or investment recommendations. Before any action is taken based on the information provided, independent financial advice from a licensed financial adviser should be sought. Financial Freedom Project Pty Ltd ATF GA & DC Doherty Family Trust Trading as Jigsaw Private Wealth is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Exelsuper Advice Pty Ltd. The information contained in this publication is of a factual nature only and is not intended to constitute financial product advice. Information is current as at date of publication. This is an online information blog. It does not imply an offering of securities.

Financial Planning