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Investor Education > Financial Advice > Choosing an Adviser


There are many financial advisers in Australia to choose between - they can charge for their services by receiving commissions on products they sell, charge a percentage of the assets they are looking after or an hourly fee for services rendered.

  • Request the Financial Services Guide. All licensed adviser must produce and provide one.
  • Check the owner of the business. Ownership of the business affect the services and products you are offered. 75% of planners are owned by banks and insurance companies, in some advisory businesses, planners are only allowed to offer the parent company's products.
  • Check the services offered cover your needs. Some advisory firms are restricted in their product and service offerings.
  • Arrange a meeting. This is an opportunity to determine if the adviser is suitable for you, and whether you are comfortable with them.
  • Making a decision. Compare the advisers you have met with and how you feel about each one. Remember you are comparing advisers, not comparing their advice.

What to ask when choosing an adviser?
Questions you should ask when selecting a financial adviser.


What you need from an adviser What to ask What to listen for
Experience in successfully advising people like you How long have you been giving financial advice? The more experience the better.
  What area of financial advice do you specialise in? Experience in areas that concern you: eg. Taxation, superannuation, retirement.
  What kind of clients do you mostly see? People with concerns like your’s.
  Are there any financial products you don’t advise on? Any that affect you
Someone who puts your needs first How do you gain an understanding of a new client? Aims to get a full picture of your circumstances and needs. Will ask you a lot of questions. Will probably need a separate appointment to do this.
  How do you need with a client who may have conflicting financial objectives? Will explain and discuss choices with you. Then does research and prepares advice for you to take away and consider.
  How do you choose the investments you recommend? Personalised plan that meets your specific needs. Independent approach to recommending investment products.
 Qualified to advise you What qualifications do you have? Qualifications in finance, economics, accounting, or financial planning.
 Reasonable fees How much is this advice likely to cost? Clear explanation of fees and commissions the adviser receive and a general explanation about any likely product fees.
 High professional standards How do you keep up to date with industry standards and news? Attends courses and training run by universities, Finsia, FPA. Member of FPA, stockbrokers’ professional body, Finsia etc.
  What is your source of research? Comprehensive research facilities and access to up to date financial information


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