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Good to Great: How to Scale With an Outsourced CFO

Small to medium-sized businesses reach a point in their growth where access to the skills and talents of an experienced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is required.  The question they often have? Is there enough work to warrant a full-time CFO? The answer is yes.....

Strategy - 6 min read

Financial advisers can run numbers, yes. But most wealth advisory professionals aim to do much more than that.


Without question, your financial adviser can help with a great deal: planning for your kids’ educations, your insurance coverage, retirement planning and taxation issues. Ultimately, your adviser should help you to feel confident about every facet of your financial future.


In this article, we’ll review some questions you can ask your financial adviser at your next meeting. These queries will clarify and illuminate the issues that prevent you from feeling as confident as you’d like. Further, the ensuing discussions will give your financial adviser an evident sense of how to proceed.


How am I doing with my goals?

If you’ve already set clear, measurable goals for retirement, your business and other aspects of your financial life, you can revisit those goals and see how you’re doing.


In many cases, goals have to be updated occasionally. For instance, changes in health or the addition of a child may change timelines or target amounts for retirement. As you discuss your goals with your financial adviser, the numbers on your reports take on greater meaning. They’re not just figures to review; they represent your family’s lifestyle, hopes and dreams.


Without a clear picture of your personal situation, your financial adviser may not be able to offer solid advice about tax or savings opportunities. So talk about the big picture. Where do you see yourself when you reach life’s important milestones?


What’s my current risk level?

Some people embrace risk and others flee from it. You have an individual appetite for risk, but that doesn’t mean all of your investments need to adhere to one risk level.


Risk tolerance tends to change over time, as well. Depending on your stage of life, you may want to approach investing either more aggressively or more conservatively. Ongoing discussions about risk will help your financial adviser to get it just right.


As you discuss risk, consider your time horizon. When retirement is far off in the future, you have more time to recover from investment missteps. You’ll also need to consider how much money you can afford to lose while still reaching critical financial benchmarks.


How healthy is my cash flow?

Because financial demands change from year to year, it’s helpful to talk with your adviser about your cash flow. If you’ve earned a raise, it might be time to salary sacrifice a bit more. However, you won’t know if this is a viable possibility without discussing current income and spending.


So many components play a part in your financial life: salary, bonuses, royalties, taxes, insurance, investments, education savings, business obligations and more. Each of these components influences your day-to-day cash flow. You’re like a symphony conductor, balance all of these factors to meet your current needs as well as your future goals. Your financial adviser can help you to manage these components, pointing out potential obstacles or liabilities.


Could my life be simplified?

Life is hectic, but you may be able to simplify your financial life. By asking your financial adviser about streamlining your investing and planning, you might find yourself less stressed.


For example, have you ever considered family office services for preserving and perpetuating your wealth? Would you like to be able to see your entire financial situation in one view? Could you consolidate some of your debts to simplify your cash flow and bill payments?


Your financial adviser may be able to point you to resources and solutions for reducing your worry and stress and making your life simpler. It’s worth asking.


How’s my super?

Wherever you started with your retirement planning, your super provides a reliable indication of how you’re doing. Every time you meet with your financial adviser, you should discuss your super.

  • Is it meeting expectations?
  • Do allocations need to be adjusted?
  • Could you reduce your tax burden by contributing more?
  • Is it time to consider an SMSF?

Every time you review your superannuation, you’ll be able to move forward, knowing exactly where you stand. This kind of regular review breeds confidence and intentional living.


To learn more about getting more from your financial adviser, schedule a call with us at Altus. We look forward to helping you reach your goals!


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