Ad­vice on find­ing a suit­able ad­viser

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Business -

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.

Troy.MacMil­lan@twd.com.au

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