How to Choose a Financial Adviser

By Jason Fittler, B.Commerce, CPA, Diploma of Financial Planning

I recommend that you interview at least three Financial Advisers then choose the one who understands your concerns and goals.

AAM-winner-best-of-3.jpgWould you trust a Doctor who gave you a diagnosis and suggested a course of treatment without asking you any questions? A good Doctor takes a personal interest in you, asks  lots of questions and listens. So too should your Financial Adviser. 

A scenario you may have experienced: You go to see a Financial Planner and within minutes of meeting you, they’re telling you how they have the perfect solution to all of your financial concerns?  How can they have the answer if they do not understand the problem?  In short they can’t. Simply put, a Financial Planner with a set agenda to encourage you to buy what ever product they sell, is merely a sales person. Is this who you will trust with your financial future?

The perfect financial adviser (I use the word “adviser” as a good Financial Planner does more then give you a plan, they are there to assist with the implantation of the plan and any necessary ongoing advice) will spend at least 70% of the initial interview listening to you and about 30% of the time explaining to you what it is they do and how much it will cost.

A good financial adviser knows if they are to help you, they need to understand your concerns and goals. They need to spend the time getting to know you to see if they can assist in achieving your goals. Much like a doctor if they do not have the expertise or tools to assist, then they will refer you to someone who does, even if this means loosing your business. That is the difference between a professional and a sales person.

I recommend you interview at least three financial advisers then choose the one who understands your concerns and goals. But where do you find this person?
•    The yellow pages or internet.
•    The person with the most impressive qualifications.
•    The one your family or friends recommend.

It’s all of the above and none of the above.  The only way to know if this person understands you is to talk to them. Spend the time to interview potential Financial Advisers until you’re satisfied you’ve found the one who understands you. This should not be taken lightly, like a doctor, you will build a relationship with this person over a very long time so you need to make sure it’s a fit from the start.

What to look for in a financial adviser.

1. Qualifications.  Make sure they have the necessary degrees to do the job.
2. Experience in the industry.  How long have they been doing this type of work?
3. Passion.  Do they love what they do?  Is it part of their life or just a job?
4. Support.  Do they have a large national backed company behind them or are they a small one man band?  The more people your adviser has to draw information from the better the advice they can provide you.
5. Depth of the practice.  Do they have staff that specializes in different types of investments? Does the company have a range of investments they can choose from or do they only have the one product to sell.
6. Are they experienced in all aspects of the market from index funds, managed funds, direct shares, international shares, property trusts, self managed super funds, hybrid fixed interest products, options, warrants etc.
7. Can they relate to you?  Do they speak to you in a way which helps you understand what they’re doing?  If they simply confuse you with a lot of technical jargon then either you won’t understand what they’re doing, or worse they’re covering up their incompetence with technical jargon. Neither will have a good result.

Once you’ve found the right person, then comes the hard part, you must commit to them. To do their job properly they need a lot of information from you. You need to be 100 percent honest, or else they can’t do their job. Commit to this, and what started from “instant attraction” will grow into a very profitable relationship.

When you are ready to grow your wealth, we are ready to be interviewed.
To get started give us a call on 07 4771 4577.
Use our service as a benchmark for other Financial Advisers.