What does a financial planner do?

Ever feel like you’re struggling with money, despite earning a decent wage? Wonder how your mates and your relatives manage to own homes, support families, and have enough left over to enjoy themselves? Want to get more out of your life, instead of just getting along OK? You’re not alone. The stats show that most Aussies struggle with budgeting or stress about their finances in some way.

What financial planners do is help people get their finances together, and stress less.

Financial planners help people with a variety of money-related tasks and goals. This includes budgeting, saving, investing, superannuation, retirement, insurance, and more.
Ask just about any financial planner why they chose their job, and they’ll tell you the same thing. It’s because they wanted to help people. Whether we like it or not, money is a big part of all our lives. Having your finances in order can make a real difference to your quality of life. Lots of planners have personal stories about how they’ve seen a loved one struggle with money. Or about a someone who started without much, and changed their life with careful financial management. They want to help people improve their lives by improving their finances.
In other words, they’re like your friend or family member who’s really good with money. Except instead of thanking them for their advice with a six pack or a nice card, you pay them actual cash.

Unlike your friend or family member though, planners consider the big picture. That means instead of just giving you random tips or ideas that might not work for you, they look at all your needs and goals. To be a good financial planner, you don’t just have to know the technical stuff. You also have to get people to talk about what they want, what they need, and how they feel about money. And then you have to listen.

So what do financial planners do, day to day? An average day for a planner might include meetings with new clients to talk about their situation, needs and goals. They might meet with old clients to see how their plans are going, and make sure they’re on the right track. Planners spend a lot of time writing out advice and keeping records to make sure everything is clear and legal. They also spend time thinking and researching special solutions for clients with special needs. In general, there’s a lot of contact with clients and colleagues. But there’s also some quiet time too.

If you want to help people improve their lives by improving their financial situation, a career in financial planning might be for you. One of the steps in getting there is undertaking formal studies in financial planning. While holding an approved degree is a requirement to be a financial planner from 1st of January 2019, Monarch Institute has a few pathways towards a degree that could work for you; check out your options here.