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When considering using a financial planner people want to be confident in the knowledge that their adviser has the necessary qualifications and experience to meet their needs. Clients tend to have common questions which have been answered below. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact Singleton Financial Planning on 1300 713 733 for your complimentary meeting.

1. What are your qualifications as a financial planner?

Elliot, our principal financial planner, has the highest level of certification a financial planner can achieve. He is an accredited CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®). After completing a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Newcastle, Elliot went on to complete an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning Services (financial planning). He has since completed his Masters in Financial Planning through Deakin University. Elliot’s certification is internationally recognised.

According to the 2013 ASIC report #362 only 23% of financial advisers held a CFP and only 43% have a diploma. Elliot is dedicated to ongoing education recognising that it is the cornerstone of providing great financial advice.

2. What is your experience?

Elliot has been servicing the people of Singleton and its surrounds since 2007 and has experience in all areas of financial planning. To learn more about the areas Elliot specialises in please see the services page.

3. How do you charge for your advice?

At Singleton Financial Planning we charge a fee for service. The fee varies depending on your needs. The fee is disclosed to you at the earliest opportunity and no work commences until we have your full sign off.

4. How do you decide what to recommend to clients?

Each plan, including its combination of products and services, is tailored to the specific needs of each client. After getting to know you and your financial goals Elliot will make recommendations based on your specific circumstances.

5. Are you a member of any industry and / or professional body?

Yes, Elliot is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®). With this qualification comes a membership of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). In order for the membership to remain current Elliot must adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct. The FPA standards are considered world class and hold its members to a higher standard than the requirements stipulated in the financial planning regulations.

Click to read the FPA Code of Ethics

6. Do you provide second opinions?

Yes. Elliot is able to provide you with a second opinion if required. If you have already seen a financial adviser but are unsure or not comfortable with the advice Elliot can help. It is imperative that the relationship you have with your financial adviser is built on trust.

7. Conflict of interest – Do you have any?

No. Under current legislation financial planners have a fiduciary duty to place their client’s needs ahead of their own at all times. Elliot’s high ethical and moral standards prevent him from providing advice where there are potential conflicts of interest.

8. Where are your meetings held?

Ideally, meetings are in the offices of Andrews Accountants at 9/174 John St, Singleton NSW 2330. A professional setting helps reduce distractions.

9. How long is the initial meeting and what is the cost?

The first meeting is free. We provide the first meeting complimentary as it is our goal in this first meeting to determine if we want to work together. Financial planning is a two-way street. It is therefore essential that both parties meet with the intention of establishing trust and open and honest communication. These two element are vital for success. The best financial plan in the world is worthless if we cannot work together to carry it out. The first meeting generally goes for about one hour. If we decide to proceed at the meeting, it may take longer while we collect and collate the data outline on the Things to Bring page.

11. How much contact do you have with clients?

Clients are contacted regularly to ensure that things are progressing well with their financial plan. Elliot does this to ensure that any changes in government policy, personal circumstances, international markets or technology improvements are compensated for against your plan and factored in where appropriate.

The frequency of contact depends on the agreement you form with Elliot. This is determined by your needs. You can select from different options including comprehensive, standard and passive. The differences in these service levels can be explained to you by Elliot at your initial meeting.

12. Can you provide me with help regarding my mortgage?

As stipulated in the regulations, Elliot is authorised to provide clients with advice regarding debt reduction and cashflow management, however he is not authorised to provide advice on mortgage products. It is recommended that you receive this type of advice from a licensed mortgage broker.

Elliot has a long established relationship with a mortgage broker who he can refer you on to for further support regarding mortgage products. If required, Elliot can accompany you to your meeting with the mortgage broker to help you achieve the best combination of strategy and product. This type of open communication between your financial planner and mortgage broker is beneficial for you.

13. Can you help me with my tax return?

No. Only a registered tax agent can provide tax advice. Elliot does hold a tax (financial) adviser license, but is not able to complete tax returns. Elliot has a long established relationship with an accountant and can refer you on if required.

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