Financial Planning FAQ2019-10-27T19:00:41+10:00

Financial Planning FAQ information

The financial planning FAQ list below is designed to answer some of the questions that you might have about using the services of a financial planner.

The FAQ list is separated into generic questions about financial planning and financial planners. It also deals with the services available and the costs associated investing through a financial planner – as well as answering a number of questions that are specific to Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd (how we ‘keep our professional house in order’). For messages from satisfied clients about the value of the services we deliver, go to the ‘Clients Say‘ Page.

financial planning faq

Have a question you can’t find the answer to? Click HERE and go to our contact page to submit your questions and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Can an independent third party endorsement of the firm’s reputation be obtained?2019-08-01T17:22:12+10:00

Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd (ContinuumFP) was a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR) of the Securitor Financial Group Ltd (Securitor) from 2003, until July 2019: its principals had been Authorised Representatives of Securitor since becoming financial planners (respectively in 2000; and in 2008). As from 30 July 2019, consequent upon the decision by Westpac to withdraw from all services associated with the provision of personal financial planning advice, ContinuumFP has been accepted – and now trades – as a CAR of Lifespan Financial Planning Pty Ltd (LifespanFP); and our financial planners all became Authorised Representatives of LifespanFP as from that date.

In 2010, ContinuumFP was presented the Securitor Queensland Practice of Year Award.

The principals of ContinuumFP were frequently awarded service awards for their time with Securitor – and annually were assessed at high levels of Compliance by the Dealer Group’s officers.

Client testimonials are published on this website’s ‘Clients Say’ Page, attesting to the level of satisfaction they experience in their dealings with their respective advisers. Please click on the linked words Clients Say to read more.

ContinuumFP evolved from an accounting practice where its principals worked to strict ethical guidelines provided by the self-regulating professional body, CPA Australia. In that capacity, as accountants in Public Practice, they were subject to – and passed with high recommendation, the CPA Quality Assurance program testing.

Does the firm have a reputation for its financial planning, both with its clients and in the industry?2019-08-01T17:24:29+10:00

ContinuumFP was named the Securitor Financial Planning Queensland Practice of the Year in 2010: the same year in which one of the founding partners of the company, Eric Walters, was awarded the Securitor Queensland Adviser of the Year.

Throughout the Global Financial Crisis that struck in 2008 and persisted through early April 2009 – and had consequences far beyond, we communicated regularly with our clients and saved them from making poorly-timed and inappropriate decisions as to how their (diminished) portfolios should be allocated. Within five years, most of them had recovered the capital that had been written down in their portfolios (albeit that the return on their investments for that period had been seriously eroded compared to long-term averages). We wrote about the experience: read what we did for clients during the more challenging stages of this event.

We are pleased to have the testimonials that clients have given to us: they are published on this website at www.continuumfp.com.au/about-continuum/what-our-clients-say/

How do the advisers approach their financial planning role?2017-07-25T16:04:06+10:00

Our firm’s first principle in engaging with our clients, is to advise in the client’s best interest; and in relation to recommending investments, is preservation of capital: on this basis, we are recognised as conservative advisers.

How that is applied in individual circumstances depends on the detail that is collected, collated, analysed & projected in collaboration with the client. At Continuum Financial Planners, our advisers prepare their advice to clients after gaining an understanding of the client’s financial needs and circumstances. We listen to what our clients have to say; we affirm understanding of their needs, goals and objectives, we offer solutions – and following acceptance and implementation, we show that we care through an ongoing service plan. For details of how our Ongoing Adviser Service Arrangements (OASAs) are structured, see this linked page.

Throughout the process (and all of our procedures are documented for consistency), a keen eye is kept on the client’s investor risk tolerance and any asset preferences they indicate.

What financial planning philosophy does the firm apply?2016-12-14T12:04:19+10:00

Our clients agree that we are a conservative practice: having taken the time to determine the needs, goals and objectives of our clients, we seek to provide them with financial advice that will best utilise the resources available to them in achieving those aims – we deliver personalised, professional wealth management advice in an environment where capital preservation is an important element.

What is the Continuum Financial Planners ownership structure?2019-08-01T17:12:17+10:00

Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd (ContinuumFP) is an independently-owned private company. It derives its authority to provide financial planning advice from a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR) Agreement with an Australian Financial Securities License (AFSL) holder: until July 2019, that AFSL was Securitor Financial Group Ltd – a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Westpac Banking Group. As from 30 July 2019, ContinuumFP became a CAR with Lifespan Financial Planning Pty Ltd (LifespanFP) – and our financial planners are Authorised Representatives (AR’s) of that AFSL.

Whilst LifespanFP remains responsible for the advice provided by its authorised representatives, each of us at ContinuumFP is also insured under a Professional Indemnity policy adequate to provide assurance to clients in the event of prescribed, proven failings.

ContinuumFP has 2 working owners (both qualified accountants with experience in public accounting practice). See profiles on Warwick Bragg and Eric Walters on the The Team page on our About Continuum menu.

Who is the financial planning company?2019-08-01T17:16:18+10:00

Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd (ContinuumFP) is the legal entity providing the authority, through the Corporate Authorised Representatives arrangement with Lifespan Financial Planning Pty Ltd (LifespanFP), to its financial planners to deliver advice and ongoing services to the clients of the firm. See more about our collaborative engagement style with clients in the Our Offering page on the About Continuum menu.

As noted in relation to the ownership structure of ContinuumFP, we have 2 working director/ shareholders: we also have advisers in joint venture association with the company who deliver advice to their clients under this name. See profiles on our Joint Venture Associate, Damien Ferguson on The Team page on the About Continuum menu.

Will the financial planner understand me and my needs?2017-07-31T14:10:20+10:00

Financial Planners are required to meet two legislative standards when providing advice to clients: they are paraphrased as – ‘know the client’ and ‘know the product’.

ContinuumFP financial planners adhere to the motto that ‘.. we listen, we understand; we have solutions … and we care’. The financial planners you will deal with at our firm have a background in accounting, banking or other financial service institutions and in that, we believe that we have a deeper understanding of most business and financial environments than many of our peers.

You should be able to develop a feeling as to whether a prospective financial planner has the capacity to fully grasp your needs, goals and objectives during the complementary (at our practice at least) initial meeting.

Do I need a Financial Planner?2017-07-31T11:39:56+10:00

If you are facing challenges in relation to financial decisions that are beyond your personal level of expertise and experience to deal with: decisions such as financial management of your cash resources; the best way to protect your wealth accumulation process – and to protect your family; ensuring that your wealth will be adequate for your needs as they arise (needs such as retirement, asset replacement or maintenance and even estate bequests); ensuring that any debt or gearing facilities are structured in a strategic way so as to minimise their cost to you – a Financial Planner will be of assistance to you.

At the least, taking the time to engage in a no-obligation consultation to ensure that your decision as to whether to engage a Financial Planner or not is made with the best available information.

Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd has developed a Financial Health Checklist that will help you to identify if a financial planner could be of assistance to you: use this Contact Us form to request that a copy be sent to you on an obligation-free basis.

How can a Financial Planner help me?2016-12-14T12:04:21+10:00

A great question! Particularly when we focus on the last word – the ‘me’!

A financial planner can assess your available resources – and your investor risk aversion profile – and, from a clear understanding of your stated financial needs, goals and objectives, compile advice through documented recommendations. They will take all reasonable steps to ensure that you in turn understand the financial plan, explaining how it brings all of the elements from your personal situation together; and the level of confidence you can enjoy, as to the likely level of attainment of your financial independence.

Whether this is done via a one-off engagement to establish a roadmap for the future (and advice-only engagement); or through an ongoing reporting and services engagement that will provide you with scheduled, regular reviews of progress towards your goals, will best be settled after you have your initial meeting with a trusted, experienced financial services provider (financial planner).

What does a Financial Planner do?2016-12-14T12:04:22+10:00

A Financial Planner is a professional services provider who works with clients with the aim of helping them to achieve their financial goals within the time frame specified by the client – and optimising the utilisation of the resources accessible by the client.

A good Financial Planner will be appropriately qualified, experienced in a relevant range of advice services and able to demonstrate that he/ she has listened to their client, understood the needs and able to provide solutions to the needs, goals and aspirations of the individual client. They will back that service up with ongoing services that show they care about the clients’ financial well-being (and peace of mind).

What is a platform as used by a financial planner?2019-08-01T17:31:35+10:00

When your financial planner recommends you use a platform to look after the administration processes of transaction recording and financial reporting for your investment portfolio, they are talking about

  • efficiency of administration (because of the facility to report on multiple investment accounts in one report),
  • flexibility of investment (because the platform operates as a wholesale manager of investments, facilitating access to various investments that would otherwise only be available to High Net Worth investors: without this flexibility the diversification opportunities for your portfolio would be limited) and
  •  simplified and convenient online investor-monitoring of (often) daily valuations of the portfolio.

ContinuumFP has access to award-winning investment administration platforms with Asgard and BT Wrap and can also transact for clients on a range of other platforms if that is in their best interests.

What outcomes should I expect from using a Financial Planner?2017-07-31T14:12:59+10:00

There are a number of key areas in which a Financial Planner can add value to your