Choosing a financial adviser
It’s important to find a financial adviser that suits your needs and understands your goals. Your financial adviser should work with you to look at your finances and create a plan to help you achieve financial freedom.
So, steps to choosing a financial adviser:
Check that they have an Australian Financial Services (AFS) License.
ASIC issues this license when a business proves they can meet a minimum standard for training, compliance, insurance and dispute resolution. Ensuring you use a license business makes sure you’re better protected if things go wrong and that you have access to free dispute resolution services. You can check to ensure any financial adviser you’re considering seeing is licensed here.
Decide what you’d like to achieve.
What do you want to get out of financial advice? A financial adviser can help you make financial decisions and plan for your future, these decisions will depend on your stage of life, how much money you have, and what you’re trying to achieve. This might be advice about budgeting, investing, super, insurance, retirement, estate planning , and taxation.
Choosing the right financial advice
Theres two types of advice an adviser can give you: general and personal.
General financial advice doesn’t take into account your personal situation, goals, or how things might affect you personally.
Personal financial advice is tailored to your financial situation and goals, and is in your best interest. It can include:
- Simple advice: Help with one specific issue i.e. how much should you contribute to your super or what to do if you inherit shares.
- Comprehensive advice: Help to develop a financial plan to achieve goals such as savings, investments, superannuation, insurances and retirement planning.
- Ongoing advice: Regular and ongoing monitoring and review of your financial plan and affairs.
Compare financial advisers
Once you research financial advisers in your area and check that they’re licensed, meet with a few of your options to get a feel of who you connect with and who best understands what you want to achieve. Usually, the first meeting will be complimentary, just as a way for you to get a feel of the business and if they have any specialities.
When you meet an adviser, be sure to ask them about:
- Their qualifications, main client base and specialities,
- What their fee structure is, the frequency and what you’ll get in return,
- How they’ll manage your money,
- What information you’ll receive and how often,
- How they’ll monitor and manage your funds,
- How they’ll consult you on decisions,
- What commissions they receive from financial products and how they choose what products to recommend to you,
- How they’ll look after complaints,
- How to end your agreement with them
A good financial adviser should listen to you and ensure you’re kept up-to-date with all decisions. If you’d like to have a chat to our financial advisers to find out more about services and planning, give us a call.
Article based off advice from the MoneySmart website here.