Tips On How To Choose A Financial Planner

Written by admin on December 7th, 2010

Choosing the right financial adviser can be a difficult process.  How can you find a professional with the expertise you need?  Someone you can trust to assist you in planning your financial future.   Where should you start?  What should you look for?

Here are some things you should consider:


your current situation – before meeting a financial planner, get a good idea of where you’re currently at financially.  You might like to use these free online calculators to help you get started: Free Financial Position Calculator  Free Budget Calculator
your goals – What are your financial goals in the short, medium and long term?
what do you want a financial adviser to do for you?  There are lots of options when it comes to financial advice.  Some people just want help with a specfic area of concern (eg divorce), or at a particular life stage (eg retirement).  Other people want to get financial advice in all areas to help them get ahead financially – the choice is yours.


You should take your time and do your research before you choose your financial adviser.  Some things you might like to think about before you decide on one are:

are they properly licensed?  In Australia, financial advisers should be the holder of or authorised under an Australian Financial Services Licence.
do they have appropriate experience?  Are they experienced in all the areas you identified you want financial advice in? 
are they recommended?  Do you know anyone who has had experience with this financial adviser?  Do they come recommended?
how do they charge?  Some advisers receive commissions from product providers.  Others charge the client directly for their time (known as fee for service).  Do you know and are you comfortable with how this adviser charges?  Be aware that financial advisers who charge commissions may have an added conflict of interest as they receive payment when selling you a product
who are they owned by/affiliated with?  Sadly in Australia, the overwhelming majority of financial advisers work for or are affiliated with larger financial institutions and banks.  This poses a problem where many of these groups impose restrictions on the types of products and advice that these financial advisers can offer their clients.  If this concerns you, you should seek out the advice of a financial adviser from a privately owned financial planning firm.  Remember that this information must be disclosed in the Financial Services Guide (FSG) so be sure to read the fineprint.


For more information on how to choose a financial adviser, be sure to download our free ebook Choosing a Financial Planner


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