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Questions to ask a Financial Adviser and how to find one who is right for you?

Mia Taylor
27 February 2020

You are ready to level up your finances and meet with a Financial Adviser. So how do you go about finding one and what do you need to ask before or during your meeting?

There are a few different ways to find an Adviser, one of the best ways is by recommendation from a friend. If your friends aren’t currently seeing an Adviser then you can try a quick google search or use the find an adviser search option on either the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) or Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) websites.

It’s a good idea to get in contact with a couple of Advisers who are convenient to your work or home and ask if they have time for an initial phone discussion as you are considering an initial appointment.

During your first phone call – just like going on a first date, it can seem a little full on to start firing off questions without first introducing yourself and what has prompted you to reach out for Advice.

Once you have given an overview of what has prompted you to reach out, some of the initial questions you might have could be;

  • What do your usual clients look like? – this is important as some Advisers specialise in certain areas – such as Aged care advice. If you are a young professional – you won’t necessary be the best fit for an aged care specialist.
  • Ask them to explain their advice process – What happens before a meeting, how many meetings are involved?
  • How do they charge for their service, and when and how are fees payable?

During the meeting

One of the most important things is that you should feel at a sense of ease and likeability with your Adviser. You should feel comfortable enough to ask questions – even if they feel silly! It’s imperative that you understand the advice that is provided. So, your Adviser should take the time to explain new concepts in a way that is relevant to your individual needs.

  • Is the Adviser part of a team? Who will help you when they are on holiday or if they decide to change companies or retire?
  • What happens to any accounts which are set up if you no longer wish to work with the Adviser?
  • How much access do you have to the Adviser – how many appointments will you have?
  • How are your investments managed?
  • How are products selected?
  • If you have a communication or appointment preference can they accommodate this? E.g. – Regular email updates and appointments at 8.am
  • If you have any personal investment preferences such as ethical investing – how can they support this preference?

By the end of your first meeting you should have received what’s called a Financial Services Guide FSG for short – All Financial Advisers must be licenced to provide Advice – this document will give you further information on the Advisers Licence, areas of Advice they can provide, how they can be paid and what to do if you ever had a complaint.

Just remember that you aren’t expected to know everything before meeting with an Adviser, a great Adviser will guide you though the process, help you with uncovering what’s important and what you should be considering financially in order to achieve what’s important.

A few helpful resources to help you on your financial journey

https://moneysmart.gov.au/financial-advice/choosing-a-financial-adviser

https://www.yourbestinterests.com.au/

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