Choosing a financial planner
The right financial adviser can help you grow, manage and protect your wealth.
We seek expert advice in many different areas of our lives, and our finances should be treated with the same care. You go to a doctor when you want medical advice and a lawyer when you need legal advice, and it’s a logical extension to see a financial planner for financial advice.
Some key attributes that you should look for in a planner includes:
- They recommend investment diversification – spreading your money across different asset classes (eg shares, property and fixed interest). This reduces your investment risk.
- They consider the relevance and benefits of your existing investments.
- They give you advice and direction without pressuring you in any way.
- They help you increase your knowledge of your investments, superannuation and financial position.
- They do not charge based on the amount of money you have to invest (often referred to as asset based fees) rather the advice you actually require.
Here are some questions you may like to ask when talking to a financial planner or other advisers before taking their advice:
- What are your qualifications and experience?
- Are you licensed, or authorised, to provide financial planning advice?
- How are you paid (fees, bonuses on products, or a combination of fees and bonuses, are your fees asset based)?
- Are you a broker for a particular type of investment or will you cover a range of products and investments?
- Do you provide ongoing review services? If so what is the cost and what service can I expect?
- Can you advise on my existing super and other investments?
Superannuation and investment legislation can be a complex area, and the services of a trained and accredited expert will ensure you receive the best advice possible. For members of defined benefit schemes such as CSS, PSS, MilitarySuper and DFRDB the rules of these schemes are complex and require specialist knowledge.
Financial planning is about forward thinking and preparation. Once you’ve discussed and determined your goals, your financial planner will develop a strategy to help you achieve these.
Advice can cover a range of financial matters to help you build, manage and protect your wealth including:
- Maximising your super through consolidation (rollovers), salary sacrifice and other contributions.
- Transition to retirement.
- Retirement income stream options.
- Options for your defined benefits (i.e. lump sum v pension and contribution levels).
- Retirement planning.
- Investment asset allocation – inside and outside of superannuation.
- Life and income protection insurance.
- Debt elimination.
Paying for financial advice now usually saves you money in the long-run and helps you to achieve your lifestyle and retirement goals. In many ways it is an investment in itself, a choice that can improve your position in the years to come.
Industry Fund Services (IFS)
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