Use of the Fact Finder

We introduced the Fact Finder in our earlier discussions in this Module, and as we begin to discuss the gathering of financial information about the potential property investor, we refer you again to the Fact Finder.

Its role is threefold.

  1. It is a form to help you record relevant information about their client’s financial situation.  This form also allows you to familiarise yourselves with the personal financial circumstances and risk profile of your client and enable you to formulate a strategy which is appropriate for your client.
  2. The Fact Finder provides you with a structure for a meeting with your client on subsequent occasions and provides a great tracking tool for where you are at with each of your clients.
  3. The completed Fact Finder held on file can help to demonstrate that you have adhered to a process and can come in handy in the future if you are ever called to account for your advice.

Module 2 of this training series addresses the legal and regulatory environment within which you operate. That module covers the need to be able to demonstrate that you have based your advice on the information provided to you. Careful use of the Fact Finder enables the tangible demonstration that this has  been done.

There are two ways you can choose to use the Fact Finder. It may be considered preferable for you to complete it yourself during the course of the early consultations with your client or it may be preferable for the client to complete it before these meetings. This latter method prepares the client for the extensive discussions that will be required of them and it also increases the likelihood that they will have the relevant information at hand or be able to acquire it in time for consultations with you.

Personal details and privacy

Please take a moment to look at the Fact Finder again. You will see reference to the Privacy Act on page 12 of the Fact Finder. When you use this form with your clients, you need to make your clients aware that the details they provide will be used only for the purpose of helping them with sound investment decisions.

 

 

Activity

 

You have been provided a Fact Finder in this topic. Complete it as if you are a client, using your own details. Then consider the following questions:

  • What sections did you use?
  • What sections did you not? Why not?
  • What areas do you believe a client may not wish to provide information about? Why not?
  • How would you go about convincing them to provide that information?
  • What consequences would there be for your recommendations if you were not provided with that information?
  • What did you discover about the use of the Fact Finder?