How Do You Know Your Financial Advisor is Working for You – Or For Their Commission…
All Australian financial advisers are required by law to act in your best interest but the better question to ask might be – how do you find someone who you’re comfortable working with and you feel is invested in you?
Working with a financial adviser means talking about your dreams, goals and aspirations. But like any successful relationship, it also means talking about any difficulties, your family situation and your health. These can be personal and, at times, confronting conversations so you need to feel confident this person is going to look after you and help address your issues and concerns.
To give yourself the best chance of finding a financial adviser with who you feel comfortable and has your best interests at heart, here are four steps you can take before you begin working with an adviser
Look Up Their Credentials
An important first step is to check out their credentials to make sure you’re working with a professional financial advisor. All financial advisers are required to be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The Financial Advisers Register is a government tool you can use to look up registered Australian financial advisers and it will show you who they work for, what their qualifications are if they are keeping up with compulsory professional development and if they have had any disciplinary actions taken against them.
Next, go to their business website and read about them. Their website should link to a Financial Services Guide and an Adviser Profile, which details who they are, what areas of advice they are authorised to provide, their fees, and where you can make a complaint if you need to. Every adviser has to be able to provide both the Financial Services Guide and Adviser Profile to you before they can give you advice.
Finally, Google their name and check out online reviews. Sites like Adviser Ratings provide consumer reviews about financial advisers and a simple Google search can help you see if they’ve written any articles, made a podcast or made comments in the media.
Ask for a Referral
Asking your friends and family for a referral to someone they trust can be a great way to get introduced to someone that will work well with you. However, it’s still important to conduct your due diligence and not assume you can trust them simply because your friend or family member does.
Take some time to question your friend or family member about why they trust their adviser and the sort of difference they’ve been able to make to their life. And remember – different strokes for different folks. There’s no use going to your friend’s adviser if you are just starting out your investing journey with $5,000 and their specialty is helping people with more than $500,000 to invest.
Have an introductory meeting
Most advisers will offer a free 15 minute to one-hour initial chat whether online or in person, so use that opportunity to pepper them with questions and figure out if they are the right person for you.
Ask them how they’re paid and if they regularly work with people in your situation. Find out the cost of working with them on your specific issues. Are they truly listening to your concerns about your finances or just trying to pigeonhole you into one of their pre-planned boxes?
Interview Several Financial Advisers
Meet with several advisers before making a decision. Limiting yourself to meeting with just one adviser is like interviewing only one candidate for a job. Most advisers think it’s a really good idea for you to talk with several advisers before deciding who to go with so be honest with all of them about what you’re doing. If your gut tells you the adviser you’re talking with isn’t the right one for you, just let them know (either face to face or by email after the meeting).
Most financial advisers are regular people who love helping people with their finances. They rejoice when they see you reach your goals, they cry with you when a loved one passes away, and they do a little happy dance when you take the advice they know will help set you up for a positive future.
So, whether you’re thinking about your superannuation for the first time, re-joining the workforce after having children, or working out insurance, talking to a financial adviser is a decision that will continue to pay dividends as you progress through life.
Go forth, do some research and boldly step towards a better financial future.
Financial Adviser at Findex
As a Financial Adviser in the Canberra Wealth Management team, Trish is passionate about helping people work towards financial security, however, that might look for them.
With a love of numbers dating all the way back to primary school (she used to reconcile her parent’s credit card statements for fun), Trish enjoys getting into the weeds of her client’s finances to help them make the most of the available financial opportunities.
While all reasonable care is taken in the preparation of this article, to the extent allowed by legislation Findex Group Ltd accept no liability whatsoever for reliance on it. All opinions, conclusions, forecasts or recommendations are reasonably held at the time of compilation but are subject to change without notice. Findex Group Ltd assumes no obligation to update this content after it has been issued. The information contained is of a general nature only and you should consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice and speak to a qualified adviser before acting on any material.
© Findex Group Ltd 2021. All rights reserved.