You don’t just pick the first thing you see when buying something from a store, whether it’s food, clothing, accessories, or even a car. You put in extra time and effort to get what’s best for you.
It’s a smart move if you have the same mindset when looking for a financial adviser. After all, you’ll be sharing a good part of your personal life concerning personal finances, personal growth, personal goals, and your current situation with them. If you’re picking a financial adviser, you better get it right.
Understandably, going through a list of financial planners can be overwhelming, especially if you need help figuring out what to look for or where to start. However, with due diligence and a clear understanding of what you’re looking for, you can find one of the best financial planners for your needs.
Bonus Tip! Identify Your Financial Goals
Bonus tips usually come at the end of the list, but a complete list of financial goals will serve you best when choosing a financial adviser. How you set those goals is just as critical to guaranteeing you achieve your goals and financial success.
When setting financial goals, you should have SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). It would help if you were specific in figuring out what’s important and attainable, making sure the goals are realistic for your circumstances.
Be specific and prioritise important and attainable goals.
Your financial priorities should show up in your financial goals. What’s important to you when it comes to money? This should be the basis of your long-term financial goals, and you should keep it in mind when setting short-term and medium-term financial goals.
Establish realistic and concrete plans.
If you want to reach a financial goal, you need to be able to measure it. How will you know if you’ve reached your goal if there isn’t a number attached to it? If the goal is to save money for a big purchase, how will you know that you’ve reached it if you don’t identify an amount?
Set clear deadlines.
Aside from being measurable, a financial goal should have a time frame for when it should be achieved.
By following these simple tips, you can select the perfect financial adviser who will help you in achieving your goals.
Tip #1: Look for a Registered Financial Adviser
In Australia, financial advisers must conduct their advice under an Australian Financial Services (AFS) License and be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This ensures that the person giving financial advice is qualified and has enough experience to do so.
When looking for a financial adviser, you can also look into whether they belong to a professional group like the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) or the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) – this isn’t critical but it may be important to some of you. Being a professional association member means that the adviser has agreed to follow a code of ethics and professional standards which can give you further peace of mind.
The best place to start when checking this information is to obtain a copy of the financial adviser’s Financial Services Guide.
You can also check the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) online database for complaints against advisers. This will show if the adviser has given bad advice or is doing things that aren’t right.
Tip #2: Check Their Qualifications and Experience
Checking a financial adviser’s credentials and experience is crucial. ASIC requires existing financial advisers to have a bachelor’s degree in an approved or relevant field, or a graduate diploma, or be a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). New advisers must complete an approved degree, undertake a professional year, and pass the financial adviser exam.
Find out how much experience your financial adviser (or the financial advice team you are looking to work with) has, as more experienced advisers may be better equipped to address your needs and goals. It’s also important to determine if the adviser has any specialties, such as superannuation or SMSFs, retirement planning, insurance, investments, etc that are critical to your financial goals.
Tip #3: Find an Open and Honest Adviser
Finding a financial adviser who is honest and easy to talk to is important. This means they should be willing to clearly explain their investment philosophy, the products they recommend, and the fees they charge, at a depth that gives you peace of mind.
They should also be willing to answer any questions you have and keep you up to date on your investments regularly.
Likewise, finding a financial adviser who understands what you want to achieve is important. This means you should look for a financial adviser who takes the time to learn about your finances, personal circumstances, and gives you advice tailored to your needs.
A good adviser will take the time to learn about your financial goals and devise a plan to help you reach them. They should also be able to explain complicated financial ideas in a way you can understand.
Start Your Financial Planning Journey Today with CCFPG
Picking the perfect financial adviser can be daunting, but following these tips can increase your chances of finding an adviser who will help you achieve your goals.
If you’re searching for a financial adviser, look no further than our expert team here at Central Coast Financial Planning Group. We are here to work closely with you in making financial decisions to give you peace of mind so that you can have the ability to finance the lifestyle you desire. Call or book online to secure your complimentary first meeting with our advice team today!
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice Group’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author. This information (including taxation) is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice. Newcastle Financial Planning Group, Central Coast Financial Planning Group, Sydney Wealth Advisers, Coastal Advice Port Macquarie and Coastal Advice Ballina Byron are subsidiaries of Coastal Advice Group Pty Ltd which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, ABN 23 001 774 125 AFSL 238429.