Before we see a potential client for their first “Discovery Meeting”, we seek to review the client’s financial situation. This means the first meeting focuses on analysis, review and discovery of goals, rather simply becoming a ‘fact finding’ mission. That’s why we’ll ask potential clients to complete some basic homework for us prior to the first meeting.
This information enables our team of Independent Financial Advisors to meet, before the Discovery Meeting, so we can review how the potential client has self-assessed their personal financial situation. It also identifies whether they feel on top of things or completely disordered and specifically what is of most concern.
This information, coupled with actual financial information, enables us to understand the financial health of the client and whether their self-assessment marries up with what is actually occurring.
When working with couples, we HIGHLY recommend that they are both involved in these initial meetings. We’ve found that generally, one person cannot communicate the goals and aspirations on behalf of both parties. In addition, it’s often difficult for messages to be passed between partners post the first meeting, without some of the message being lost in translation.
In our first “Discovery Meeting”, we aim to identify with the potential client what their ideal life (or golden objective) actually looks like. Once we understand what their ideal life looks like, and understand the risks they can take to realistically achieve their goals, we begin to evaluate ideas around strategy to reach these goals.
Next, we’ll complete a risk assessment. This includes discussion on performance and the risks potential clients are willing to take.
If we believe that we are a good fit for the potential client, and likewise, they us, before the next meeting, we’ll ask for additional copies of source documents and clarify gaps in their personal financial picture.
In order not to pressure, we do not ask for a commitment in our first meeting. We will provide a scope of fees and specific services required post the first meeting. Then we’ll wait for the client to accept.
Independent Financial Advisor
Joe Stephan graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Business (Fin Plan) under the tutelage of his father (Program Leader of Financial Planning at RMIT University).
You will hear Joe bandy about the idea of “pure financial advice”, which is given objectively and focused around the needs of individual and not the internal needs of the business providing advice.
Joe is realising his vision every day through his Independent Advice Firm which he owns and operates with his brother James. Joe also spends a portion of his time teaching tomorrow’s Financial Planners at various Melbourne Universities including RMIT & LA Trobe.