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What does a financial planner do?

23 March 2021 | Philip Sewell
What does a financial planner do in Christchurch

People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. How many people do you know that talk about how they’d love to be a millionaire, but take no steps to help them achieve their goal?

A financial planner can help you create the roadmap from where you are now financially, to where you want to be.

Mark Allison has been assisting people become financially independent for over twenty years. What he does can be broken down into two main categories: Wealth Management and Financial Planning.

Wealth Management


You’ve worked hard and built up a nice portfolio of cash and assets. Step one is making sure your money is working hard for you, and step two is making sure your assets are protected.

With interest rates continuing to fall and not showing any sign of rising, if your money is just sitting in the bank it is probably costing you money. A financial planner like Mark can advise you on where to invest your money, based on the most recent financial research, to help you get a better return.

In order to protect your assets, Mark works with professionals like Philip and the team at Godfreys Law to recommend contracting out agreements, estate planning, wills and enduring powers of attorney. Equally, Mark can work with your accountant and insurance advisor to make sure you have the right cover in place, and cooperatively create a plan to protect you and your assets from every angle.

Financial Planning

Do you want to retire with a million dollars in the bank? The best time to start is yesterday!

A financial planner like Mark can help you save, budget, and set financial goals. With his expert second opinion, he can point out weaknesses on your plan, strengths you may not have realised, and offer insights to help you reach your financial goals.

If you’re struggling with debt, a financial planner like Mark can help you work your way out of the red, step-by-step. He can look at strategies to help you become debt free so you can start focussing on your financial future.

Mark can also help you look at strategies to fund your retirement, and to best invest and maximise the return on your retirement funds.
If you’re planning a trip, you consult a map and a guide to work out how you’ll get from A to B. You’ll have a much smoother ride than if you set out without a map, or any kind of travel plan.

In fact, research shows that people who build a financial plan with a qualified adviser are better off than those who don't.

A 2020 study by the New Zealand Financial Services Council found on average, that people who receive professional financial advice:

  • Have 50% more in their Kiwisaver;
  • Receive 4% better investment returns;
  • Save 3.7% more of their earnings;
  • Travel six times more frequently;
  • Report twice the level of ‘financial wellbeing’;
  • Have higher levels of general wellbeing.

Just as a travel guide can make your trip more enjoyable, a financial guide can help you get better outcomes than you might on your own.

Becoming a millionaire

The best asset that you have is time. Compounding interest is one way to have your money working harder for you. For example, if you earned a 10% return on $1000 you would have $1100, which is an extra $100 at the end of your first year. After a second year with a 10% return, you would now have $1210, which is a gain of $110.

If your goal is to become a millionaire in ten years, you would need to save about $6000 a month, which is not a realistic target for most people. That’s the benefit of compounding returns. The more time you have, the harder your money can work for you.

If you wanted to retire with a million dollars in the bank, fifty years down the track, you only need to save $235 a month. If you want a million dollars in forty years, you’ll need to put in $465 per month. If you only have thirty years, that figure jumps to $940 per month.

The four pillars of your personal success

A financial planner like Mark works best when working cooperatively with the other pillars of your personal success: your accountant, lawyer, and insurance broker. By working together, they can make sure your money and assets are protected for the future, and are working as hard as possible for you.

For more information about financial planning and wealth management, contact Mark Allison at Progressive Financial Planning on 03 348 8866.

Contact Mark

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Article by:

Philip Sewell


Client focused solutions and speed of delivery are important features of Philip's practice. He has been in the law for over 20 years - some would say this is too long, but he considers that it gives him a breadth of experience which is more important than technical knowledge alone.

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