Hi. I’m Mel from the
Department of Human Services. With the economy dominating
our lives, we often wish someone could guide us through it all. Well,
it is possible. There are people who can help.
The question is: how do we choose a financial adviser? Importantly, you’re looking for a qualified
professional, whose focus is meeting your goals and financial needs, not selling financial products. A financial adviser must take many
matters into account before they can give financial advice. They can help you
answer questions such as: What do you want to achieve? How much risk do
you want to take? A financial adviser will help you to identify your financial and lifestyle needs and goals, such
as: Plan your financial affairs Prepare for major changes such as a
mortgage, retirement; Developing a savings plan or investing a lump sum.
While there are many financial professionals, specialists in their
own field, they’re not all licensed financial advisers. A licensed adviser must fully disclose
any type of benefit for recommending a product or service.
So, how do you find a licensed financial adviser? Well, there’s word of mouth. Ask friends and colleagues about their experiences.
There are organisations you already deal with, such as banks, credit unions, superannuation funds, accountants,
insurers and even your own workplace. And there’s always the internet
and even the yellow pages! Aim to talk to at least two advisers and let
them know you’re shopping around. Remember you’re hiring them to do an important job, so check them out. Are
they a licensed financial adviser? What type of advice can they provide? Remember, when you meet the adviser,
they will be working for you. Ask them about their qualifications and
experience, rather than what they can sell you.
Give general information about yourself and your goals, take notes and ask for written material. DO NOT be pushed into signing on as a
client then and there. Finally, all licensed advisers must provide you with a Financial Services Guide explaining
how they’re paid, who they work for and any complaints resolution scheme.
In the end, you need to compare and consider.
And remember, only deal with licensed advisers. For more information go to humanservices.gov.au/fis or the moneysmart.gov.au website
and search for ‘financial advice’.