I was walking through my local park the other day. It has a number of areas for fitness training and most of them were being used by people receiving guidance from a personal trainer. The trainer was instructing them on how to do the exercise for maximum results and giving them encouragement to keep going.

When you first go to a personal trainer, they ask you all sorts of questions. How fit are you? What do you eat? How often do you currently exercise? What kinds of exercise do you do? What types of exercise do you enjoy? And most importantly, what are your goals? – What are you trying to achieve? Most people will say either lose weight or improve fitness.

As a financial adviser, this is the exact same process I take my clients through with their money. I ask similar sorts of questions. How financially fit are you? What do you spend your money on? How often do you save your money? What kinds of investments do you do? What types of investments do you enjoy? And most importantly, what are your goals? – What are you trying to achieve? Most people will say either have financial freedom or peace of mind.

Then, your fitness coach will assess your current state of fitness. They’ll get you to do some exercises. They’ll drill down into your diet and maybe have you keep a food diary for a week or two. They’ll consider what you want to achieve and they’ll design a food and exercise programme that will get you to your goals in the time frame you’ve determined.

In financial planning, I get to know your assets. I’ll drill down into your budget and maybe have you keep a spending diary for a few weeks. I’ll consider what you want to achieve and I’ll design a savings and investment programme that will get you to your goals in the time frame you’ve determined.

Finally, to make sure you stick to your plan and reach your goal, you pay your fitness coach to yell at you on a regular basis, watch that you’re doing your exercises properly and berate you for eating that donut. It’s a process that takes time and your hard work. And after a few weeks or months you start to see the results. You start to realise that you can achieve your goals and having your personal trainer by your side makes them easier to reach.

Your financial adviser is there to make your goals easier to reach by helping you stick to you plan, giving you advice and guidance along the way, ensuring you understand the process and educating you to empower you to keep going until you see results. With your financial adviser by your side, you are more likely to be happier with your investments, wealthier, more engaged with your finances, and have certainty and control over your financial future.

Now you might be the kind of person that is self-motivated, jumps out of bed in the morning and goes for that run or cycle. You might also be that person who reads the financial pages of the newspaper, balances their budget every month and charts their share portfolio.

I encourage you to keep it up. But when it comes to our own stuff, like looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves as fatter, or thinner, than we actually are, sometimes it’s beneficial to get a second opinion.

Even people who are at the top of their game, like Sam Stosur or Kurtley Beale have a coach. Because even when we’re the best, we either want to stay there or be even better for ourselves.

Whether you’re on top of your finances or find it all confusing, I encourage you to seek out an expert. You’ll discover a clear path to achieving your financial goals, helping to turn your best laid plans into action, and peace of mind and prosperity.

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