6 considerations in choosing a Financial Planner – Do your homework

86503169There has been a lot of negative news about the financial planning industry lately.  Whether it’s the bad advice provided by employees of various banks, or the recent story that a financial planner requires less training than an 18 year old hairdresser, it’s negative and ignores the great advice provided by many financial planners across Australia.

So how does a person find one of the financial planners that will provide suitable advice and have the best interests of their clients foremost?

Here are a few of my thoughts on what a person should ask and satisfy themselves about when looking to engage a planner:

1. What relevant experience and qualifications does the financial planner possess?

Make sure the planner has had enough experience and is qualified to give advice in the area you are seeking assistance.  For instance, if you are looking for advice on how to structure your retirement, your financial planner should have a solid history of working in that area of advice.

2. Which products is the planner authorised to recommend?

Some financial planners are only authorised to recommend a very limited range of products.  This may be quite acceptable to you but it’s important to clearly understand what your planner can, and can’t, recommend.

3. Does the financial planner take the time to really understand your needs, goals and dreams?

If the planner is pushing a product from the start or seems to have a “one size fits all” approach for all clients then this is a cause for concern.  It’s a financial planners job to understand your particular circumstances and then tailor a solution that meets your needs.

4. Do you clearly understand how the financial planner will be paid for his or her services?

The pricing of the services you are seeking should readily communicated, be transparent and represent value to you. 

5. Has the financial planner had any complaints about them upheld?

It sounds obvious, but you are entitled to ask this question and seek further information if the answer is yes. The history of successful complaints by clients warrants at least some valid explanations.

6. Do you understand and get along with the planner?

Your relationship with a financial planner will probably be a long one.  Be wary of jargon and confusing terminology and make sure you have a sense that you will enjoy working with them.

We at Insight Wealth & Accounting Advice believe strongly in our reputation and commitment to the prosperity of our clients, we would be happy to talk with anyone about their goals and their considerations in choosing a Financial Planner. Contact us today.