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The Case study
Section 1: Meeting your client
The first phone call
Stephan and Marie Dalgar are a young married couple with one child. Recently John, a business associate of Marie, who also has a young family, was seriously injured in a vehicle accident that has resulted in uncertainty about his ability to return to work. Stephan and Marie have also learned that, due to inadequate insurance cover, the family of the injured work colleague are now under financial stress. They do have some insurance cover themselves, but are now unsure if it is adequate or suitable for their needs. Recalling a positive experience Marie had with you a few years ago on another financial matter, she asks Stephan to give you a call to see if you can help them with their insurance needs.
Over the phone you explain to Stephan and Marie the financial planning process and why you will need to ask the couple for certain types of financial information. You stress that any information they give you will be treated confidentially and will only be used to help you recommend appropriate courses of action that the Dalgar’s should consider to ultimately meet their needs. You tell them information concerning privacy, you and your firm’s capability, and mention that other disclosure issues are in their firm’s financial services guide (FSG) that you will send to them.
You go on to explain that part of the information gathering will include the need to complete a financial profile. This means that they will need to tell you what they own, what they owe, what they earn and their living expenses. All this information will be recorded in a fact-finder form you will compile.
You arrange a date and time for them to come to your office. You ask them to bring along to the meeting as much financial information as they can, including income details, expenses, insurance details, superannuation and investments. You also ask them to think about what specific financial goals they want achieved and any issues they wish to ask about at the meeting.
When you have concluded the call, you make a file note about the conversation including the date, the potential clients’ names, and any other items that were discussed. This is the start of your paper trail. You also complete some of the initial details in the data collection form as shown in Table 1. Finally you write to Marie and Stephan, as promised during your initial conversation, and include the FSG and a checklist of the information they need to bring to the meeting.