Three tips to help you choose a financial planner

Choosing someone to be responsible for your financial plan is a big decision.

Financial planner and senior woman discussing retirement finances

Financial planners and advisers help you to manage your existing investments as well as to implement strategies to increase your wealth. Choosing the right person to be responsible for your financial plans is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. 

Following these three tips may help you to select a financial adviser who is right for your needs and goals.

1. Search the Financial Advisers Register
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) Financial Advisers Register contains details of all individual financial advisers who are authorised to provide personal financial advice. 

The register provides important information on financial adviser, such as:

  • how long the adviser has been providing financial advice
  • the adviser’s employment history
  • the adviser’s qualifications and training
  • what type of advice the adviser can give
  • whether there has been any disciplinary action against the adviser.


Visit Moneysmart.gov.au to search the Financial Advisers Register.

2. Obtain a copy of the Financial Services Guide
A financial adviser is obligated to provide you with a copy of their Financial Services Guide prior to giving you any financial advice. The Financial Services Guide contains:

  • the adviser’s contact details
  • details of the type of services the adviser can provide
  • who the adviser acts for when providing advice
  • how the adviser will charge for their services and whether they will receive any payments for such services
  • any associations or relationships the financial adviser may have with financial product providers (which could influence which advice they provide to you)
  • information on what you can do if you have a complaint about your adviser.

 

3. Understand what services the financial adviser will provide
The types of services financial planners and advisers provide vary between advisers.  For example, an adviser may not be able to provide you with advice on products that are not on their ‘approved products list’ (a list of financial products that the adviser will consider when recommending investments to you).  The products that are on the approved products list are different for each financial advisory firm. 

In addition, a financial adviser may provide one-off advice or on-going advice.  If it is one-off advice, the financial adviser will not review your investments on a periodic basis to check whether the initial advice they gave to you continues to be appropriate. This is particularly important if your personal circumstances have changed since you received that advice (e.g. you have a new job or have separated or divorced). 

Doing your research before choosing a financial planner or adviser will go a long way to securing your financial future, and to ensure that you avoid time-consuming and costly disputes associated with bad financial advice.  If you have concerns about the financial advice you have received from your financial planner or adviser, contact Slater and Gordon on 1800 555 777 to speak to one of its experienced lawyers about your options.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Retired Knowall
    26th Oct 2016
    10:47am
    4. Find one that agrees to get paid on portfolio performance.

    26th Oct 2016
    12:49pm
    If I ever went to another financial advisor it would just be for advice. I do not want anyone handling my finances ever again other than myself.

    Best to pay a fee for the advice and that is it.
    cookie47
    26th Oct 2016
    12:59pm
    Make sure that they have updated their crystal ball recently lol

    26th Oct 2016
    7:54pm
    And I'd like to add a fourth - word of mouth. I have sent a lot of people to our financial adviser and there have been no complaints, quite the opposite.
    LarryFine
    26th Oct 2016
    8:08pm
    After assessing a large number of financial advisers I have found that
    a) after a little digging I am yet to find any that do not have a connection to a bank or financial nstitution - i.e. questionable as to whether the advise is unbiased
    b) recommendations are based on a formula as to what percentage you should have in each sector and then select a fund from their "approved" list for that sector I.e. No genuine assessment of where in the market it is best to be placed in.

    No wonder confidence in this sector is rock bottom and not getting any better
    old fart
    27th Oct 2016
    9:27am
    Why don't Advisor's get paid half of your earnings & conversely they pay half your losses as well
    Then we would see their real interest be exercised in the performance of your portfolio, instead of just grabbing a commission regardless
    PlanB
    7th Nov 2016
    6:42am
    Financial planners are interested in the money they will make from the advice they give you nothing else, steer away from them altogether