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There’s been a lot of press and media coverage of the perceived shortcomings of some Financial Advisers in the Australian market recently – we all know the stories about funds that have gone bankrupt and the planners who have done the wrong thing by clients. Coupled with the ongoing changes in market conditions, people could be forgiven for feeling frustrated and uncertain about what to do to protect their savings and investments.
You can certainly go it alone when it comes to managing your money. But you could also try to do it yourself when it comes to auto repair. In both areas, doing it yourself is a brilliant idea for some, and a flawed plan for many, many others. Mastering personal finance requires many hours of research and learning. For most, it’s not worth the time and ongoing effort.
Today, more than ever, there are powerful reasons for seeking professional, competent advice. So, here are some tips to help you proceed positively when selecting a Financial Adviser.
Qualifications: The obvious starting point is to confirm the qualifications and make sure your proposed Financial Adviser is accredited to provide advice and has sufficient training and knowledge.
Comfort and Trust: The next most important issue is to make sure you are compatible for the relationship you are seeking. Most planners will offer you an obligation and cost free initial consultation which allows you to get to know them and their business and vice versa. Take the time to make sure you are comfortable with the person and how they do business.
If you don’t like them in the first 20 minutes – it probably is not going to work.
You must trust them and be comfortable with the advice they are giving you and the way in which they explain it. You also need to be willing to engage in the advice process and take their advice.
Clear Comprehensive Explanations: A good Financial Adviser can help you achieve your goals both now and in the future. They will take the time to explain things and ensure you understand the advice they are giving you. They should be honest and transparent and willing to answer any questions you have.
Efficiency: As you get older, busier and (it is hoped) more wealthy, your financial goals – and options – get more complicated. A Financial Adviser may save you time.
Focus and Discipline: Financial Advisers can also help you remain disciplined about your financial strategies. They’ll make the moves for you or badger you until you make them yourself. Procrastination can cause all sorts of money problems or unrealised potential, so it pays to have someone riding you to stay on track.
Personal Recommendations: Ask people like you if they can recommend a Financial Adviser. If you have kids, ask a colleague who also has children. If you’re single and just out of university, check with a friend in the same boat. If possible, you want to find a Financial Adviser with successful experience advising clients in the same stage of life as you.
Beware of Market-beating Brags: If you have an initial meeting with a Financial Adviser and you hear predictions of market-beating performance, get up and walk away. No one can safely make such guarantees, and anyone who is trying may be taking risks that you don’t want to take.
Check with ASIC: To check that a Financial Adviser is registered, go to ASIC and select the Australian Financial Services Authorised Representative option in the drop down box.
Why not schedule a meeting with a Matrix Financial Adviser today?
The advice is general in nature only and does not take into consideration your financial situation, goals or needs. Before making any investment product decision you should obtain a copy of the product disclosure statement. Please seek advice prior to acting on this information.
This article was originaly produced by our dealer group and AFSL holder, Matrix Planning Solutions