Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I use a Certified Financial Planner® professional?
A Certified Financial Planner® professional is internationally recognised by having the highest education and ethical standards in financial planning. So when you want to trusted, credible financial advice, look for a CFP® professional.
2. What is superannuation?
Superannuation is just a different tax environment for your savings. Because it has a different tax environment there are different rules that you need to understand. There are rules about who can contribute, and how much they can contribute. There are also rules about when you can access the money, how old you are when you access the money and whether you access it as a lump sum, or as a regular income. Superannuation has a sole purpose, this is money that is to be used for your retirement or semi retirement. When we make investment decisions these decisions should be based around this sole purpose.
3. How should I invest my superannuation?
When you make a decision about how to invest your superannuation you need to remember that the sole purpose of superannuation is to provide for your retirement. You need to take into account the long time frame (or short timeframe) before you will need to access the money. You should also consider how comfortable you will feel with the balance changing. This is often referred to as volatility. Different types of markets and investments will have different levels of capital volatility. Money that you know you will need to spend in the next two years would normally be invested in investments with low or no capital volatility.
4. How do I know how much insurance I need?
Financial planning is about protecting your wealth as well as building your wealth. It is easy to think that we won’t get sick or hurt and ignore the need to protect the very thing that generates our wealth, our own health and our ability to work. But if accident or serious illness does occur the impacts can be devastating. It’s worth remembering that no matter how much expert advice you receive or how well you manage your finances there is always a risk that you could suffer an early death or serious illness or injury. Where that leaves you and your loved ones in the future depends on the wealth protection strategy you have in place. Risks you could face in the future may include: • Emotional, physical or mental trauma • Death or serious illness • Loss of income due to temporary or permanent incapacity • Damage to your house or other personal assets • Theft and/or damage to business assets • Public liability and/or professional indemnity risks Your financial plan should include a strategy to minimise risks that could jeopardise both your present and future plans. In simple terms, if you cannot afford to lose something then you should try to protect your exposure. Insurance can provide a cost-effective protection mechanism. This may take a combination of personal, general and health insurance policies. There are many different aspects to insurance and it is best to tailor a package that suits your needs as well as your budget. Read more in our factsheet.
5. Should I have a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?
Self Managed Superannuation Funds have become a hot topic for discussion at BBQ’s in the last couple of years. Though it is true an SMSF is designed to give you greater control over your superannuation it is also true that trustees/members of the fund must understand a complex web of rules and regulations. You must also consider the costs involved in managing the SMSF. Read more in our fact sheet.