Advice on finding a suitable adviser
Q: We feel that we need to get financial advice, but to be honest our perception of financial advisers is generally quite poor. Can you suggest where we should start to find someone suitable? Robert and Helen – City Beach A: Is it any wonder there is a poor perception of financial advisers, given that a lot are incentivised by big organisations to sell a product?
Only last week ASIC took legal action against a financial planning company claiming the firm had not acted in the best interests of its clients.
The issue here is that if an adviser is taking commissions to sell a product like insurance, how can you have any confidence that your adviser is always acting in your best interest?
You may want to start your search by looking for an adviser that avoids working on commission, and instead one who has clear fee structures away from any product or platform.
Make sure that they also take the time to understand your needs, financial complexities, financial behaviours and most importantly your goals, rather than purely focusing on simply how much money you have.
You should also check ASIC’s financial advisers register to make sure they have the right experience and qualifications to give you the level of service you need.
I would recommend that you investigate whether the adviser is a member of an industry association and-or a professional body. Most associations require members to participate in ongoing training, have a code of conduct for members to follow and a mechanism for handling complaints.
Finally, there are some websites that have done most of the work for you www.mosttrustedadvisers.com and www.adviserratings.com.au.