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How to find the right financial adviser

How to find the right financial adviser

Make this the start of something special

Good financial advice can be life-changing in the best possible way. So it’s worth putting a bit of effort into finding someone you’ll want to work with for a number of years.

Here are some good ways to find the right adviser for you

What good financial advice looks like

Good financial advice can give you confidence you’re making the most of your current financial situation, while protecting what’s important to you. But what does ‘good financial advice’ actually look like?

Financial advisers may differ in their approach to working with you, but the advice you receive should always be:

  • highly specific to you, based on a thorough assessment of your current situation and goals
  • clear and easy to understand, so you know exactly what you’re getting and how it will cost
  • reviewed regularly to make sure it keeps up with you as your circumstances change.
Of course, the first step to getting good financial advice is finding the right adviser for you.

Tips to finding the right financial adviser

Ask around

Some of your friends or colleagues may be able to recommend a financial adviser they know or trust. This recommendation is particularly powerful if they’ve been through the process of gaining financial advice themselves, as it gives you a good idea of what that adviser is like to work with.

Read about their business

Some advisers may specialise in certain aspects of financial planning that may or may not be relevant to you. For example, you probably don’t want to see an SMSF or retirement specialist if you’re 30 years old and don’t have much super. Try to find an adviser who specialises in something you care about or has a lot of clients that are similar to you. Their website will generally tell you what you need to know.

Check their credentials

While education standards are becoming more standardised across the industry (read ASIC's financial adviser reforms) adviser qualifications can vary. Ideally you want an adviser who holds an advanced diploma or degree qualification in finance, economics, accounting or financial planning. You’ll be able to see an adviser’s credentials in their Financial Services Guide. You can also check what professional bodies the advisers belongs to on ASIC’s financial advisers register.

Meet them face-to-face

You’re going to be working closely with your adviser for a number of years, so it’s important you have a good relationship based on open communication and trust. While a lot of the advice process can be done online or over the phone, a face-to-face meeting(even over Skype) is a good way to build rapport and make sure you’re comfortable with the adviser you choose. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the first meeting.

Be open about your goals

It’s not in everyone’s nature to talk openly with other people about their finances. But that’s an essential part of making the most of an adviser relationship, as they need to know exactly where you stand and what you’re hoping to achieve. This can also help the adviser decide if you’re the type of client they want to work with.

Go with your gut

It’s always good to trust your instincts when it comes to choosing the right adviser. If you’re feeling uncertain or uncomfortable about their approach, they’re probably not the right adviser for you.

Need a hand with your search?

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has set up a financial planning company directory and referral service. To view the directory or find out more about how the FPA can help you, visit the FPA website.

Important information

While OnePath life has taken care to ensure that this information is from reliable sources, it cannot warrant it's accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use. To the extent permitted by law, OnePath Life does not accept any responsibility or liability arising form your use of this information.

What good financial advice looks like

Good financial advice can give you confidence you’re making the most of your current financial situation, while protecting what’s important to you. But what does ‘good financial advice’ actually look like?

Advisers may differ in their approach to working with you, but the advice you receive should always be:

  • highly specific to you, based on a thorough assessment of your current situation and goals
  • clear and easy to understand, so you know exactly what you’re getting and how it will cost
  • reviewed regularly to make sure it keeps up with you as your circumstances change.
Of course, the first step to getting good financial advice is finding the right adviser for you.

Tips to finding the right adviser

Ask around

Some of your friends or colleagues may be able to recommend a financial adviser they know or trust. This recommendation is particularly powerful if they’ve been through the advice process themselves, as it gives you a good idea of what that adviser is like to work with.

Read about their business

Some advisers may specialise in certain aspects of financial planning that may or may not be relevant to you. For example, you probably don’t want to see an SMSF or retirement specialist if you’re 30 years old and don’t have much super. Try to find an adviser who specialises in something you care about or has a lot of clients that are similar to you. Their website will generally tell you what you need to know.

Check their credentials

While education standards are becoming more standardised across the industry (read ASIC's financial adviser reforms) adviser qualifications can vary. Ideally you want an adviser who holds an advanced diploma or degree qualification in finance, economics, accounting or financial planning. You’ll be able to see an adviser’s credentials in their Financial Services Guide. You can also check what professional bodies the advisers belongs to on ASIC’s financial advisers register.

Meet them in person

You’re going to be working closely with your adviser for a number of years, so it’s important you have a good relationship based on open communication and trust. While a lot of the advice process can be done online or over the phone, a face-to-face meeting is a good way to build rapport and make sure you’re comfortable with the adviser you choose. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the first meeting.

Be open about your goals

It’s not in everyone’s nature to talk openly with other people about their finances. But that’s an essential part of making the most of an adviser relationship, as they need to know exactly where you stand and what you’re hoping to achieve. This can also help the adviser decide if you’re the type of client they want to work with.

Go with your gut

It’s always good to trust your instincts when it comes to choosing the right adviser. If you’re feeling uncertain or uncomfortable about their approach, they’re probably not the right adviser for you.

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How to find the right financial adviser