Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers relevant to financial planning and Black Financial Services.

How can I contact Black Financial Services?

You can call Black Financial Services on (02) 9264 8988. Alternatively, you can email us at or send your enquiry via the contact page.

What are Black Financial Services' office hours?

We are available 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

What is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is a systematic process of identifying, planning for, and meeting your financial goals. It is a process of managing your finances to help you make the most of your money to achieve your personal and financial goals. Financial Planning aims at developing a financial strategy that helps you meet your goals and objectives by providing sophisticated strategies and investment management.

Do I need financial advice?

If financial goals could be achieved by simply putting money away in the bank, you would not need a financial plan. However, lives in current times tend to be complex and uncertain–it's hard to understand the intricacies of investment, taxation, social security issues and the ever-changing regulations. Hence professional assistance is required to make an informed decision to ensure a secure future.

Yet we try to ignore this important aspect of our lives, as if our financial future and goals were not just as important as our health or our business. We often decide to manage our financial affairs ourselves, or leave it to someone we know, perhaps an accountant or a solicitor, which is a bit like buying vegetables at the butcher's. Financial planning is a specialist profession and you should make sure that you are getting advice from a properly qualified person.

A financial planner will help you reach your goals; even if retirement may seem a lifetime away. The sooner you start planning, the more likelihood you will achieve financial independence and peace of mind.

Why do I need a financial planner?

People enlist the services of a financial planner because of the complexity of knowing how to:

  • Providing direction and meaning to financial decisions;
  • Allowing you to understand how each financial decision affects the other areas of finance; and
  • Allowing you to adapt more easily to life changes in order to feel more secure.

Read more about the benefits of financial planning.

How does the financial planning process work?

The process involves the following six steps:

  • Defining the scope of engagement

    The planner will explain the process, find out what your needs are and make sure they can meet them. You can ask them about their background, how they work and how they charge.

  • Identifying your goals

    You work with the planner to identify your short and long term financial goals – this stage serves as a foundation for developing your plan.

  • Assessing your financial situation

    The planner will take a good look at your position – your assets, liabilities, insurance coverage and investment or tax strategies.

  • Preparing your financial plan

    The planner recommends suitable strategies, products and services, and answers any questions you have.

  • Implementing the recommendations

    Once you are ready to go ahead, your financial plan will be put into action; where appropriate, the planner may work with specialist professionals, such as an accountant or solicitor.

  • Reviewing the plan

    Your circumstances, lifestyle and financial goals are likely to change over time, so it’s important your financial plan is regularly reviewed, to make sure you keep on track.

How much money or assets do I need to procure the services of an adviser?

The actual amount of your savings or assets does not matter. The situation of each individual is unique and equally important. A BFS Adviser will look at your situation and help you with a strategy that is best for you.

How does Superannuation work in Australia?

Australia’s pension plan is through superannuation. In this plan, the retirement fund is paid into by the employer that the employee will then be able to access as they transition to retirement. But how does it all work?

Super plans are meant for retirement and therefore benefits are often unavailable or limited until the time of retirement. Generally, benefit payments fall into three categories, preserved benefits, restricted non preserved benefits and unrestricted non preserved benefits. Each has its own requirements and restrictions as well as considerations. During an individual’s working life, money is put into a fund for the time of retirement; individuals are able to co-contribute an amount of money to enhance their retirement funds. The money contributed is invested and distributed during retirement in steady allotments.

What is a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?

The trend in Australia to use DIY super is growing. A SMSF works by investing contributions and making the funds available to members in retirement. What is different; however, is members of the self-managed super fund are also the trustees controlling the investments and payments. Additionally, all members are trustees and the SMSF operates pursuant to a trust deed. A self-managed super fund is a time consuming process that is most beneficial when there is a minimum of about $200,000 in the fund.

Do I need Life Insurance?

Many people view life insurance as a means to pay death expenses as well as leaving funds for the family. Life insurance is much more than this. It is an asset that can be used in life as well. Many life insurance options come with total and permanent disability coverage, income protection and trauma coverage to be used when necessary.

With protection such as income protection, trauma cover, illness cover, disability cover, life cover and death cover, you can have better assurance that you will have the funds you need should a crisis occur.

What is a managed investment?

A Managed Investment brings the assets of multiple investors into a single investment pool, with a common investment strategy or objective. The benefits of a managed investment are that you have access to professional management, lower costs through economies of scale and access to greater diversification.

Since no investment or insurance provider has any ownership or material interest in BFS, you can be assured that our Advisers only recommend investments that are suited to you and your financial situation.

How does investing in an allocated annuity or allocated pension affect my social security benefits?

By investing in an allocated annuity or pension, your eligibility for social security benefits may be enhanced. There are two tests, which will determine if you are entitled to social security benefits:

  • Assets test - This takes into account the whole amount of your annuity/pension.
  • Income test - This may only take into consideration part of your annuity/pension payments.
How much does it cost to engage a Financial Planner?

By law, all planners must disclose all forms of payment and fees. The cost to you will depend on the complexity of your financial situation and plan, as well as the fee method the planner uses.

The initial consultation with a BFS adviser is free, and before you proceed with the advice, you will be provided with a detailed explanation of costs in writing.