With all the recent noise surrounding the poor behaviour of the financial planning arms of the banks, one could be forgiven for wondering whether engaging a financial planner would be in your best interests. After all, the stories about the product flogging and poor client outcomes are quite sensational.
Nonetheless, there are many client focused, reputable and capable planners out there if you look carefully. They will have your interests as their priority and can be the difference between achieving wealth or not. They’ll save you time, help you take action, increase your confidence, encourage you, support you and help take away your worries.
Here’s a list of things to consider when choosing a financial planner;
1 – Ensure the planner is authorised and experienced in the area of advice you need. It may not make sense to engage a financial planner that deals primarily with very wealthy people if you’re just starting your wealth journey. Likewise, it may not be advisable to work with a financial planner specialising in life insurance if you are looking to structure your retirement. Every financial planner should provide you with a Financial Services Guide outlining their credentials, areas of advice they can provide, and potential costs, but the best bet is to ask plenty of direct questions before deciding to engage.
2 – Do they or any of their associated businesses have any financial interest in the products they recommend? If so, make sure you understand how this might effect the recommendations made to you. Make sure you will be in a better financial position as a result of using their product over others the financial planner doesn’t have an interest in.
3 – Understanding is important. Make sure you can understand what the financial planner is talking about. This seems pretty logical, but we’ve heard many times over how people are left confused by the jargon and tech speak used by their financial planner.
4 – Ensure the financial planner will be available and flexible enough for your needs. If you need someone who will talk with you after hours then don’t engage a planner that will only see people in their office during the working day. If you prefer to have video meetings rather than make the effort to go to an office, then make sure this can be catered for. On the flip side, If you prefer to go to an office don’t engage with a planner who only does video meetings.
5 – Do you get on? This is a simple one. If you don’t like the potential financial planner personally then you’re best to look for another option. Your financial planning journey will be a potentially long one, so it’s best to embark upon it with the support of someone you get on with!
6 – Check for complaints. Ask to see the complaints register of the financial planner you’re interviewing. Too many complaints may be a reason to dig further.
7 – Seek recommendations from your friends and family. This is a great starting point. If someone you know and trust has had a great experience then it’s worth exploring. Bear in mind though that the previous points are no less relevant just because the financial planner has been recommended to you.
And finally, ensure the financial planner is open, honest and transparent about the fees you will be charged. You have a right to know this before you decide to engage. Ensure you can see the value in the proposed fee, and if you’re not sure then ask plenty of questions and perhaps talk to another financial planner to compare.
If you would like to explore our simple, uncomplicated and affordable approach to Financial Planning further, give the team at Steve May a call and start a conversation today.
You need to consider with your financial planner (or adviser), your objectives, financial situation and your particular needs prior to making an investment decision. Sensibly Pty Ltd and its authorised representatives (or credit representatives) do not accept liability for any errors or omissions of information supplied on this website
Nick Shanley, Steve May, Luke Styles and Shanley Financial Planning T/A Steve May Financial Services are Authorised Representatives / Corporate Authorised Representative of Sensibly Pty Ltd, AFSL 533923. Please refer to our website at www.stevemayfs.com.au to reference our Financial Services Guides.
Shanley Financial Planning Pty Ltd trading as Steve May Financial Services (ABN 19 612 825 180) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of (1265706) of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)
Nick Shanley, Steve May and Luke Styles are Authorised Representatives of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)