With the end of the financial year approaching, now is the time to find the right financial advisor.
While a good accountant can help you get more tax back or reduce the amount you have to pay, a financial advisor can assist in providing sound advice on how to save and invest your money.
What does a financial advisor do?
A financial advisor (or financial planner) gives you personalised advice on how to achieve your financial goals, whatever they are. Roles of a financial advisor might include managing your investment portfolio or helping you apply for superannuation, life insurance etc. (https://www.finder.com.au/financial-planning).
A financial advisor is different to a stockbroker, who buys and sells stocks for clients, and an accountant, who usually performs a wide range of tasks including (but not limited to) managing financial records.
Do I need a financial advisor?
There are many reasons why you may want to seek advice from a financial advisor. These include:
- You’re starting a business;
- You’ve recently married or become a parent;
- You’ve come into money;
- You’re making a large purchase;
- You need advice in planning for your financial future for any other reason; and/or
- You feel like you know what you’re doing but would still like a professional opinion.
How do I find the right financial advisor?
Write down your goals
Get clear about what you want and what your financial advisor can help with. Do you want to save? Invest? Buy a house?
Listen to recommendations from friends, family and colleagues. Try to find a name that is recognised and respected in your local community.
Do your research
Read more blogs on the topic than this one. Study up on the most important things to look for when choosing the right financial advisor and make sure you know what your highest priorities are.
Use ‘Find an Advisor’ and ‘Find a Planner’ services:
Find an Advisor: https://www.yourbestinterests.com.au/member-directory
Find a Planner: https://fpa.com.au
Check the financial advisor’s register:
This will let you know whether the financial advisor is qualified to provide the advice you need: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/financial-advice/financial-advisers-register
Make sure the financial advisor is a certified financial planner (CFP):
This means they’re licenced and have passed a test administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Studies, etc. For more information visit https://www.cfp.net.
Read the advisor’s financial services guide (FSG):
You should be able to find this on their website. Otherwise ask them for a copy.
Ask your advisor the difficult questions:
How do they get paid? Are they licensed? Do they get any bonuses for selling products? What are their areas of expertise? How much experience do they have selling financial advice? Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and ask direct questions.
Consider working with an independent financial advisor:
One who is employed by a large firm might be more concerned with doing what’s right for the firm than doing what’s right for you. However, this is certainly not always the case.
Go with your gut:
If you’re having difficulty making your mind up, trust your intuition. Do you get along with this financial advisor? Do you feel positively about them?
Have you suffered negligent financial advice?
Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: June 14, 2018.