Financial advisors have become ubiquitous in Perth and for good reason. The current financial climate can be confusing with so many options and variables. More and more people are turning to professionals for help in managing their money. There are a lot of financial advisors out there and we are constantly asked how clients know they are choosing the “right” financial advisor.
We thought it might be productive to provide you with what the government has to say about finding a financial advisor. Remember that all information here is general and that none of it should be taken as specific financial advice or as a substitute for a personal, one on one meeting with a financial planner.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) notes what they feel are the two best places to find referrals: The first is professional associations. They mention the Financial Planning Association and The Association of Financial Planners, for example. Their second choice is to ask people you know if they are satisfied with their financial planner. When you find one who is happy with theirs, you can ask for the planner’s name.*
Financial Services Guide (FSG)
Each financial advisor will have a financial services guide. This guide will contain information such as a list of services, how much those services cost and if the advisors receive any benefits or payments such as commission for their work. It will also tell you who owns the company the advisor is working for. Some will have links to companies with which they work, which can affect the number of services they are able to offer.*
Only Hire Licensed Advisors
Perth financial advisors, as must those anywhere in Australia, must either have an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or be an authorised representative of a company that has an AFSL.
The business the financial advisor represents is also required to either have an AFSL or be an authorised representative. ASIC Connect has a list of all licensed Financial Advisors and authorised representatives in their professional registers.*
If an advisor is an “employee representative,” their employer will hold the AFSL and they will not show up on the professional registers. ASIC recommends that you always make sure that your financial advisor is licensed to do the work you need.*
Lawyers can often Provide Financial Services
Some lawyers are registered and licensed to offer both legal and financial services. Any lawyer who provides personal or general financial advice must hold an AFSL, work for a business with an AFSL or represent a business with an AFSL. This can be verified in the professional registers. Lawyers who are providing financial advice without an AFSL can be reported to ASIC.*
Experience and Qualifications
ASIC feels that it is essential to check any prospective financial advisor’s experience and qualifications. They recommend that you make them focus on strategies and services they can provide for you as opposed to merely suggesting products. They also suggest that you prepare yourself with a list of questions to ask your prospective financial advisor. You may find a list of those questions here: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/financial-advice/choosing-a-financial-adviser/questions-to-ask-a-financial-adviser*
ASIC also recommends that you make sure your financial advisor is able to provide advice on current financial products. This can be especially relevant for any superannuation advice. They also recommend that you steer clear of any financial advisor who only has one product or solution.*
Estimate of Fees
ASIC recommends that you ask for an estimate of fees to give you an idea of how much you will be paying for your advice.*
Why so Many People in Perth Call Approved Financial Planners
At Approved Financial Planners, we make it a point of pride to deliver the finest customer service and financial services in Perth. We have more than 40 years combined experience in the financial sector.
Thanks to our association with AMP, we are able to offer a full menu of financial services, including wealth protection, superannuation, self managed superannuation, retirement planning and estate planning, all from our office in Perth.
To learn more about the services we offer and what we can do for you, call Approved Financial Planners today: 08 6462 0888.
*ASIC, MoneySmart. “Choosing a Financial Advisor.”