Consulting a financial adviser is like working with your CFO, as people tend to work with their financial advisers for many years. Planning your financial future is hard work, but a trusted adviser can lighten the load considerably. Before you get financial advice, you need to understand what financial advisers do and what you want to get out of his/her service.
A good financial adviser takes time to understand your goals, dreams and aspirations, as well as the pains and fears that hold you back. Then they apply specialised expertise and frameworks to turn these goals into measurable numbers, followed by clear action plans to help you achieve financial and life goals.
There are some people who seek simple one-off advice, such as superannuation or insurance advice; however, many people tend to work with their financial advisers for many years on an ongoing basis for regular monitoring and review of their financial plans.
Once you know what financial advisers do and what you want, then you can do your research and find an adviser in Brisbane via the following channels:
- You can search by postcode on the Financial advisers register – Moneysmart.gov.au to find a licensed adviser near you.
- You can find a financial adviser who is a member of the Financial Planning Association(FPA) in your area by simply entering your suburb name and the preferred distance of your search on the Find a financial planner – The Financial Planning Association of Australia (fpa.com.au). You can also filter the results of your search further to find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER in your area.
- You can ask your friends and family for recommendations.
Your first meeting with a financial adviser is like an interview for both of you, so you can both ensure the right match.
Here are some criteria that you can use to help you choose the right financial adviser in Brisbane:
A licence to provide financial advice—You should always look for a financial adviser who works for a firm holding an AFS licence issued by ASIC. You can verify that the financial planner is licenced on Financial advisers register – Moneysmart.gov.au.
Education and experience—In your search for a financial adviser in Brisbane, do your own diligence and ensure that your financial adviser is properly qualified and trained to meet your financial planning needs. Someone who holds a degree in financial planning or who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER is highly recommended.
The kinds of questions your financial adviser asks—Did the adviser ask more about your money or about your life, values and goals? Those who only inquire about your money are only interested in your assets. If they do not have a clear understanding of where you have been, who you are, and where you want to go, they cannot do the right thing for you.
The adviser’s listening skills—Good advisers ask the right questions and do more listening than talking, as it gives them a window into their client’s needs. If you feel that you are not communicating with a good listener, and that the adviser dominates the conversation, then you should move on.
Language—An important competency that advisers should have is the ability to make complicated matters seem understandable and straightforward. A good adviser will also be an excellent teacher who helps you increase your financial knowledge.
Investment Philosophy—A financial adviser is someone who can help you stay on track with your long-term goals, regardless of any short-term distractions. If the financial adviser does not have a clear investment philosophy to guide you through the journey, then he or she is likely someone who sells whatever they are told to sell and is not the person whom you should look for.
In general, you should not expect to make immediate decisions when you first meet with a financial adviser. You know you need someone to help you, so you need to feel you are partnering with a trustworthy professional.