Australians are mostly conducting financial activities without help from a specialised adviser, although that would be often a necessity and is admitted as such. The situation was created by a lack of trust in the general financial advice services. Also, a fear of high fees and commissions has also led to this situation. Learn below what you can do in order to benefit of real financial advice from a qualified, trusted source.
Research your choices
There are many opportunities around which can help you get acquainted to a financial planner. For example, you can meet one through your bank or insurance broker. If you consider those to be poor choices, then it’s better to search for an independent but certified financial adviser. Next, find out about the payment method: it is by the hour or commission-based? Will you pay monthly, annually or by a percentage of your earnings?
Consider the automated method
Recent trends are showing robo advice providers to be the more trusted ones, since they are less inclined to be biased and steer clients towards their own gain. Robo refers to a quick spreading practice of the digital advice industry. The concept of Robo advice functions under strict regulatory guidance and represents a 100% automated investment advisory process, either using an app or the provider’s website.
Check the register of financial planners
Once you have limited your choices to a short list of financial planners or advisers, you must proceed to check them. The ASIC‘s financial advisers register will help you with this. The data within the registry will reveal the qualifications, history and current status of the chosen professionals. Also, it lets you see their expertise areas, so you can determine whether they are a good fit or not. You can also find out about any industry associations there may be, which is a very useful piece of knowledge. You don’t want to work with anyone who is biased or has hidden interests. A trustworthy adviser should be operating under a licence. Do not accept one who isn’t doing so.
Request the services guide
As you have weeded out the bad choices, proceed further by asking for the financial services guide of the valid advisers. You may find this on their websites. If you don’t, email them and ask for a copy. You will find out whom they work for, who owns the company, what services they offer and how much they charge. Do not try to compromise – you need someone who is a real match to your expectations, someone who can help in your situation and not ‘borrow skills’ from other financial expertise areas.
Financial services through lawyers
It is also possible to obtain financial advice from a lawyer. However, only some of them are qualified to provide investment- and finances-related services. An important prerequisite is the AFSL – whether it’s their own or their employer’s. ASIC’s register of financial advisers will provide you with the relevant information. Review the records in detail.
Note that it is of utmost importance to obtain advice from a financial adviser with the right qualifications. Should there be no license, the activity could be illegal and harmful to your business developments. Remember that you will be paying for the service and your financial future depends on it.