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When considering using the services of a financial planner people want to know that their adviser has the necessary qualifications and experience to help them achieve their goals. Over Elliot’s extensive career in financial planning he has come across many frequently asked questions which he has answered below. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Elliot for your complimentary meeting.

1. What qualifications do you have as a financial planner?

Elliot has a degree in Economics from the University of Newcastle, an Advanced Diploma in Financial Services (financial planning) and has completed a Masters in Financial Planning with Deakin University. As a result, he is an accredited CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®), which is the highest level of certification that can be reached in his profession and is internationally recognised.

According to ASIC report #362 in 2013 only 23% of advisers held a CFP and only 43% have a diploma. Elliot is very committed to ongoing education and believes that your financial future is serious and the best advice should be given at all times.

2. How much experience do you have?

Elliot has been providing financial advice to the people of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley since 2007 and has experience all in areas of financial planning. Please refer to the services page for a full listing of the areas Elliot is proficient in.

3. How do you charge for your financial advice?

At EWFP we will charge a fee for service. This fee will be disclosed to you at the earliest opportunity and no work will commence until we have your agreement to do so. In some cases, you are able to have the fee debited from your superannuation account.

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

Elliot will only know which products and services to recommend to you once he has had a chance to sit down with you and explore your current financial position and identifies your goals. Everyone has a unique situation so what might be appropriate for one person may not be appropriate for another. Elliot will make recommendations based on your circumstances and what is best for you.

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

Yes, as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) Elliot is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) His membership is dependent on Elliot adhering to a code of ethics and professional conduct. The standards imposed by the FPA are considered world class and hold financial planners to a higher standard than the requirements set out in the financial planning regulations.

Click to read the FPA Code of Ethics

6. Can you provide a second opinion?

You may have already seen a financial adviser planner and desire a second opinion to ensure you are comfortable with the advice. Elliot can provide you with a second opinion to help you with your financial decision making. It is important that the relationship with your financial adviser is built on trust.

7. Do you have any conflicts of interest?

No, under current legislation Elliot has a fiduciary duty to place his client’s interests ahead of his own at all times. Elliot’s high ethical standards also prevent him from providing advice where there is a conflict of interest.

8. Where do you have your meetings?

Ideally it is always best to have meetings in an office environment as it removes the potential for distractions.

9. How long does an initial meeting go for and what does it cost?

The goal is to determine if we want to work together. Financial planning is a two-way street so it is vital for both parties to establish trust and open and honest communication. Without these two important elements the best financial plan in the world is worthless if we can’t work together to implement it. An initial meeting will go for approximately one hour. However if we decide to proceed the meeting may go longer as we collect the data outlined in the Things to Bring page.  The cost of the initial meeting is $400+GST which can be rebated from further fees if you decided to proceed with the advice.

11. How much contact do you have with your clients?

Elliot has regular contact with his clients to ensure they are progressing well with their financial plan and to ensure any changes to your circumstances, government policy, international markets or improvements in technology are considered and factored into your plan if appropriate.

The frequency of contact you have with Elliot will depend on the service level you select. The options include comprehensive, standard and passive. Elliot will explain the differences in the service levels to you during your initial meeting.

12. Can you help me with my mortgage?

Elliot is authorized to provide advice on debt reduction and cashfow management however he is not authorized to provide advice on mortgage products this is reserved for those with a mortgage brokers license.

Elliot has a strong trusted relationship with a mortgage broker and can refer you to them for support on mortgage products. Elliot can also sit in on your meeting with the mortgage broker to help you get the right combination between strategy and product. Having your financial planner and mortgage broker openly communicate is beneficial for you.

13. Can you help me with my tax return?

No, you must be a registered tax agent in order to give tax advice. Elliot does hold a tax (financial) adviser license but is unable to complete your tax return. Elliot has a strong relationship with an accountant and can refer you to them for support.

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