Understanding your wealth planning needs

Redwood Wealth Alliance is a referral-based business. Our existence relies on positive endorsement of what we’ve achieved for our clients.

The majority of our clients come from repeat referrals stemming from our network of advisers as well as family, colleague and peer networks. Clients take great comfort in the trust their accountants and other advisers have in us.

The trigger

More often than not, an event triggers the thought, "It’s time to engage a financial adviser.” It may be:

  1. The need to get their financial house in order and to develop a plan for their future;
  2. That they may have reached a milestone (approaching retirement, achieved their specialty) or experienced a particular event (sale of a business, sale of an asset, inheritance or the like); or
  3. That they have experienced unsatisfactory advice.

Whatever the case, speaking to us sooner rather than later is always sensible.

Engagement and planning process

The initial engagement process is about getting to know each other and assessing whether or not forming a lifelong relationship will be valuable. During this process, we always encourage clients to take their time and ask whatever questions they like to give themselves comfort and confidence that we are the right team for them.

We encourage our clients to meet us as many times as is required throughout this process.

Typically, there is a four-step process:

  1. Recognise the need for help and arrange a time to catch up;
  2. Meet to discuss your situation and give you an understanding of how we can help;
  3. The Redwood Team will collect our thoughts and provide you with some initial thoughts as to what we believe you need to attend to; and
  4. Catch-up again to answer any outstanding questions and to make a decision about proceeding

The initial meeting

The initial meeting will give Redwood an opportunity to learn more about your circumstances and what is important to you and your family.

Everyone has a vision of what they hope their future may look like and understanding this is crucial.

The initial meeting is also about the you, the client getting an understanding of what we do and how we help our clients. More often than not, a client will come in thinking they need help in a specific area but go away feeling empowered with a deeper understanding of the relevant issues and what steps need to be put in place to achieve their goals.

Feedback (second meeting)

Our clients’ circumstances are all so different. So, to give you some context as to how we will assist you, we will do some early fact-finding, often engaging with your accountant, superannuation fund and other key advisors.

Our aim is to provide you with some feedback about what we think you need to attend to and how we can help.

With this understanding, we will usually also provide clarity in relation to what fees may apply. This opportunity to ask many questions, to build your comfort will often result in a decision to join the Redwood Team.

Deciding to become a client

A decision to become a client is a decision to establish a life-long relationship. It will be arrived at only after you’re comfortable that we are the ‘right team’ to assist you.

Information-gathering

We will now roll-up our sleeves and commence the thorough information-gathering process to formulate a plan for you.

Unlike the industry way of doing things, all our plans are bespoke and built from the ground up.

This deliberately manual process allows us to uncover many opportunities to enhance your outcomes and usually requires about 40 to 80 hours of professional time.

We will be talking to all of your other advisors to gather as much information as is possible. We want to know everything about your financial world, including:

  • Your assets (home, business assets, investment properties, superannuation, cash holdings, share portfolio and so forth);
  • Your liabilities (personal, business, investment and inter-entity loans);
  • Any relevant legal structures (family trusts, companies, super funds and the like);
  • Insurance and estate planning arrangements which exist;
  • Income (employment, businesses, investment and so forth);
  • Your expenses (lifestyle and financial); and
  • Very importantly, we want to know all about your personal and family objectives, both financial and non-financial.

Given the intensely detailed nature of this process, we anticipate it will take some eight weeks.

Planning and Portfolio

As most of the initial meetings and discussions are centred around strategy, not a lot of time is dedicated to talking about the detail of our investment approach.

During the plan-formation process we will offer to catch-up to talk in more detail about investments and the investment approach which we consider appropriate for you.

As with our strategic guidance, our investment strategies are also bespoke solutions.

Every investment portfolio is structured from the ground up and is tailored specifically to meet our clients’ needs and risk profiles.

Strategy presentation

It is important that no recommendations are made or implemented until we meet to present your strategy.

It is normal to see the inclusion of the last variable in your strategy influence the final plan.

We often hear that the document is very valuable as it clearly outlines a plan and provides valuable context.

Our work doesn’t stop on presenting the strategy. The implementation process will commence, and from this point your strategy will continue to be refined. One thing is certain; the plan will not play out as documented.

Circumstances will change and it will need to be refined. That said, it will continue to be a benchmark against which we will refer all future decisions.