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How to Choose Your Financial Adviser?

Last modified: 27 Sep 2016

A basic web search will reveal countless pages with tips on how to choose a financial adviser. However, if Melbourne-specific advice is what you are looking for, you will find more help here. With the knowledge presented below, you can identify the right specialist for you, who will not only help you invest, but also teach you how to save and multiply your money.

What should your financial adviser not be?

First of all, you must not confuse an adviser/planner with a stockbroker (the one you call to trade stocks). Also, they are not accountants, nor insurers. Stay away from those because they are only looking for their own profit. In addition, don’t opt for those specialised in real estate or in retirement planning – you want to go for a large-spectrum expert, who can cater to a whole range of financial matters.

Seek out independent experts

Your bank, your insurance firm etc. will tempt you to use their own financial advisers. Resist this and look instead for a third-party adviser or planner, who is in no way involved with any of your service providers. A certified financial planner has the best credentials for the job, as long as they’re also independent. You may simply search online for independent financial advice Melbourne specialists to obtain a list of experts who offer convenient digital advice solutions and teach how to obtain new revenue streams.

Commissions vs. hourly or flat rates

Some financial planners charge a fee whenever you make an investment, like buying or selling a stock. You should stay away from these, because they tend to be very biased and direct you to that which is more profitable to them. Choose instead someone who charges a flat fee for a financial plan, for example. Or, you can opt for an annual fee if offered.

Ambitious/successful planners – a good choice for beginners?

You may be drawn to those highly successful experts who have made others rich. At first you’re put off by their fees, but you tell yourself you will make an effort because it will be worth it in the long run. The truth is, it won’t be. Those planners are willing to work only with clients who are already rich, hence the outrageous fees. You need someone who knows how to grow you from your current level and who has the patience to take you through the first stages.

Where to go for references?

Word of mouth is good to rely on, even in the financial sector. However, it matters whether you are getting references from the right people or not. You’re better off if you’re asking people who are in the same boat with you, who have previously used a financial adviser. If you have a young family, speak to someone who also has a young family. Choose to get suggestions from people who are at the same level with you, not from those who barely have anything in common.

Finally, if you have narrowed down your search to a few specialists, you may want to run a background check. Also, you need to check their current credentials by calling the administrator of the designation. Always bear in mind that you can’t afford too many risks in the financial sector.


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