Homes Back­yard bliss

Make sure your money’s flow­ing in the right di­rec­tion with tips from the mon­ey­mag.com.au team

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

Whether you’re set­ting up a new busi­ness, re­fi­nanc­ing your as­sets or even mov­ing into re­tire­ment, it of­ten pays to speak to a fi­nan­cial pro­fes­sional. How­ever, con­fid­ing in fi­nan­cial plan­ners isn’t al­ways a se­cure op­tion. Here are some ways to en­sure the plan­ner you do set­tle on gives you ev­ery­thing you’ve signed up for.

Don’t let your plan­ner move you from a low-fee, solidly per­form­ing su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund into a self-man­aged fund that has no APRA gov­er­nance.

Never go into an SMSF (self-man­aged su­per fund) un­less you un­der­stand it and can run the in­vest­ments and ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Don’t trust qual­i­fi­ca­tions listed on web­sites. These can eas­ily be fudged.

Be wary of any ex­trav­a­gant schmooz­ing by a fi­nan­cial plan­ner, such as ex­pen­sive restau­rants meals or in­vi­ta­tions to boxes at sports events.

Don’t let your plan­ner or any­one at their firm have the au­thor­ity to sign your in­vest­ment and bank­ing doc­u­ments.

Don’t al­low them to trans­fer funds be­tween ac­counts be­cause they can move money to their own ac­counts.

Al­ways be vig­i­lant about your fi­nan­cial plan­ner’s ac­tions be­cause the more you trust them, the more vul­ner­a­ble you are to be­ing de­ceived.

Al­ways get a copy of all your doc­u­ments and cor­re­spon­dence. Don’t let the plan­ner keep all the in­for­ma­tion.

Make sure you can view your in­vest­ments in real time. Su­per funds typ­i­cally give you live up­dates on the value of your in­vest­ments. Shares and other listed in­vest­ments can be viewed on­line, but un­listed prop­erty is val­ued only once or twice a year. Don’t put up with wait­ing for state­ments for listed in­vest­ments that only come out ev­ery six months.

WORST CASE SCE­NARIO!

So what hap­pens if you miss the steps above and things do go wrong? The Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion (ASIC) of­fers these tips:

Al­ways check that a fi­nan­cial ad­viser is au­tho­rised to pro­vide ad­vice be­fore en­gag­ing them.

Check the Fi­nan­cial Ad­vis­ers Regis­ter and the gov­ern­ment’s Moneysmart web­site (moneysmart.gov.au), for tips on choos­ing a fi­nan­cial ad­viser.

If you are un­happy with any as­pect of the ser­vice you re­ceive, try to re­solve it with the ad­viser. Then you should make a com­plaint through the ad­viser’s in­ter­nal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion sys­tem. Their fi­nan­cial ser­vices guide will tell you how to do this.

You should re­ceive an ac­knowl­edge­ment from the ad­viser’s dis­pute res­o­lu­tion sys­tem within 14 days. They have 45 days to pro­vide a fi­nal re­sponse.

If you’re un­happy with the re­sponse, you can con­tact an ex­ter­nal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion scheme. The busi­ness must tell you which scheme it be­longs to. You can also com­plain to the ad­viser’s in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion and/or pro­fes­sional body. This in­for­ma­tion will also be in the Fi­nan­cial Ad­vis­ers Regis­ter. Al­ter­na­tively, you can lodge a com­plaint with ASIC. For more money tips, visit mon­ey­mag.com.au

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