Fifty Shades of Financial Affairs
Written on the 27 July 2015 by Janet Culpitt
To anyone who conducts a business, I am sure you all realise the importance of connecting with others. It is also important with regards to your financial affairs.
Networking has a definition of "the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business" (source merriam-webster.com).
Who do you think of when talking about your for your Financial Affairs? A Bank Manager, Accountant, friends, family, parents, financial planners, business colleagues?
Truth is, you need a network of trusted advisers and experts to ensure you have the foundations for your financial matters being built, supported and maintained. Just like building a home, you would not only use a roofing expert, you would start from the beginning and then add trade skills to ensure you are getting the end product.
The Australian Government has strict, regulations to ensure that you get expert advice from professional people with regards to financial services. These laws affect Financial Planners and Advisers, Lenders, Credit Providers, and Accountants in different ways, as not everyone can be an expert in all areas.
If you haven't formed all those connections yet, don't worry. Any one of these professionals would normally have their own network of trusted experts in the other various fields of finance. Be guided by the connection you do have and let them extend your network.
If you do have an existing connection though, and would prefer to use them ,that's fine too. Some may require you use someone from their team of associates simply ask why. It may be that they have an arrangement for reduced fees for you, or it may be that they will receive a monetary fee for referring to them (note this not always a bad case). This should be disclosed so you can decide, an informed decision.
Referring back to the definition above, always remember that networking should create a cultivation of productive relationships for business. It should include an exchange of information and services.
With regards to financial matters there should always be exchange of information, or education, before a service is provided. You must understand what you are doing and why.
If explained correctly by an accredited professional, one who meets the government requirements, then you should be receiving quality information. There must be a benefit to you for changing any financial services, not just change for change sake.
If you can see a benefit that's great. If you can't consider again why you are changing.
What is right for someone else may not be right for you. You individual circumstances should always be considered.