Choosing the right financial adviser.
Making financial decisions can be daunting for many people and having a trusted professional on your team can be the best way to confidently make strategic choices that benefit your financial future. But how do you know who to trust and who you should partner with on your financial journey?
Here are a few thoughts to guide you to finding a good financial adviser and putting you on the right track to achieving your personal goals and financial objectives.
1. Ask a friend(s) who they use and what experience they have had.
If the friend has had a great experience, they will be happy to refer you. When your friend says ‘my Financial Adviser’ it means they have taken ownership of that adviser!
Ask your friend ‘do you trust them’, if they say yes without hesitation, it is the best advertising the adviser could ever expect to receive!
An existing client testimonial is better than any advertising by the promoter of one’s own services.
2. Research adviser websites
Establish what it is they do, what experiences they have and what they or the business has achieved.
Assess their skillsets, areas of speciality and the experience they have in their field and see if this aligns with your goals and ideas.
3. Select on age
It is in your best interest to choose an adviser that is within ten years of your own age so that the adviser can empathise with your life experiences, needs and concerns.
Generational gaps and attitudes are a very important consideration in the selection process. You should want an adviser that is there with you throughout your life moments.
It makes no sense if you are 62 and planning for retirement to engage with an adviser that is 24 years of age.
The same can be said for a newly married couple choosing an adviser who is 60 years of age. Where will they be in ten years’ time when that couple needs them?
Do they really understand your circumstances? Empathy and wisdom are key ingredients in building trust.
4. Check credentials
These days it is expected that an adviser holds certain education designations and is a member of a governing body or association.
Minimum education requirements are an expectation, not a value-add. Be sure to research what they hold. According to the Financial Planners Association of Australia (FPA):
New financial planners from 1 January 2019 will require a degree, to undertake a professional year and pass an exam.
All financial planners, both new and existing, will be required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (by 1 January 2019), be subject to a code of ethics (from 1 January 2020) and pass an exam (by 1 January 2021).
Existing financial planners who need to undertake additional study to meet the new education requirements will have until 1 January 2024 to meet the new standard.
5. If you don’t have a personal recommendation, check testimonials
Testimonials are empowering. Customers will not put their own integrity on the line to endorse their adviser unless they believe in the adviser’s true worth.
This only happens when the customer feels they have achieved over and above the ‘call of duty’ from their trusted adviser.
The most important thing that a customer must look for in a ‘Trusted Financial Adviser’ is an unspoken friendship or connection that will cover the passage of time while always remaining professional.
To us, trust is one of the most important parts of our jobs and this is how we foster it at AFA:
- The best interest of the customer should be first and foremost above all else and the customer must feel this.
- The adviser must read the emotional needs of customer as well as their financial needs and know when to challenge, question and deliver.
- The trusted adviser must be focused on the strategy required in achieving the customer’s personal goals and financial objectives.
- It is not about pushing a product, the customer must be provided with options and choices explaining the associated risk and outcomes of the different strategies.
- The trusted adviser should not be financially conflicted on the advice given.
- Their remuneration should be indifferent while the advice remains impartial.
While we talk money and finance, we truly believe life gives so much more and believe all trusted advisers should seek out strategies for clients to live their best lives now and into the future.
Disclaimer: Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information. Before making a decision to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.
Empowering you, the AFA way
At AFA, we’re committed to helping everyday Australians achieve their financial objectives – an ethos that has earned us the trust of thousands of clients.