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How to choose a financial advisor (tips from the professionals)

14 June 2022 Clinton Comments Off

Choosing a suitable financial advisor for your situation is vital in order to maximise the value that you get out of meeting with them. A financial advisor is a professional that provides financial advice, support and planning to clients based on their current financial situation. They can provide clients with a variety of financial services, from cashflow management to life insurance and estate planning

Ensuring that you have chosen a good financial advisor will prevent you from overpaying for services that you don’t need. You also want to choose a financial advisor who is knowledgeable and equipped to manage your situation, no matter how simple or complex it may be. In the following article, we’ll explain how you can find a financial advisor that’s suited to you. 

Determine which services you require 
Firstly, you’ll need to clearly understand what financial services you require. Ask yourself what you need help with. Do you want to create a stable budget that will help you to save more money? Do you need help with investing? Are you deciding on how to best manage your superannuation? Once you know exactly which services you’re after, you can compare different financial advisors and determine whether or not they offer these services. You might want to consider a robo-advisor if you require inexpensive basic investing advice, but if you’re looking for more personal, in-depth financial assistance then it’s best to speak with a traditional financial advisor. It all depends on your situation and which services you require. 

Understand the different types of financial advisors 
Simply because someone is a “financial advisor”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have any relevant credentials. In Australia, you should always ask if your financial advisor is a certified financial planner. This is a title given by the Financial Planning Association of Australia which indicates that they have met extensive training and experience requirements. Becoming a certified financial planner, or a CFP, is recognised as the standard of excellence for financial advisors. CFP’s are also committed to extremely high ethical standards that always put the interest of the client first. By 2026, all financial planners will be expected to hold an approved degree.

Look for financial advisors that have a fiduciary duty to their clients. This means that they’re obligated to act in their client’s best interest, rather than their own or their business partners. In order for a financial advisor to become a certified financial planner, they must have a fiduciary duty to their clients. 

Three categories of financial advisors

A robo-advisor is an online, computerised digital advisor. They are mainly designed to assist people with low-cost investing advice and management. Clients will answer a series of questions based on their financial position, and the computer algorithm will create an investment portfolio that is tailored to your own budget and risk assessment. They are a low-cost alternative to a traditional financial advisor and are only used for investment portfolio management. If you have more complex financial needs, a robo-advisor may not be suited to your situation. 

Online financial advisor
An online financial advisor is essentially a regular financial advisor who is only available online. These online services range in price and quality. You can pay for more basic online advisors who may offer the same services as a robo-advisor paired with basic support from a team of financial advisors. There are also more premium services available, where you’ll be paired with a dedicated financial advisor that will work with you closely to perform in-depth financial planning and analysis. These online financial advisors will tend to be more expensive than a robo-advisor, but are great for those looking for quality financial planning online. 

Traditional financial advisor
A traditional financial advisor is someone that you can meet in person to analyse and discuss your financial situation to make plans for the future. Meeting in person can often be the best way to ensure that both the client and the advisor are on the same page, making it more effective for those who have many financial concerns. They are generally more expensive than an online financial advisor. However, being face-to-face allows them to add more value. Traditional financial planners are a great option for those who have complex financial situations and really need to sit down and work through some analysis and planning face to face, or for those who want to ensure privacy and protection from sharing financial data online.

Whilst all advisors can offer you financial planning services, not everyone is able to offer the same quality and depth. Some advisors are more suited for those with simple needs, whereas others will tailor to complex issues. Make sure to research the local financial advisors in your area and check their websites. Our top tips for finding the best financial planner are below:

  • Find any information about the services they offer, and determine whether or not this will align with your needs. 
  • Ensure that they are registered as certified financial planners. 
  • Check to see if you can find any reviews or testimonials written about them online. If their clients are leaving good reviews, chances are that they are offering valuable financial services. 
  • Make sure they are established and experienced with a long-standing history in the industry.

If you’re looking for a traditional financial advisor on Sydney’ North Shore contact the experts at StrategyOne Advice Network. If you have any questions surrounding your financial planning, or you’re looking for some financial advice, our team of professionals have the knowledge and capabilities to assist you. With years of experience in the industry, our financial advisors based in Chatswood have the ability to thoroughly analyse your finances in order to assist you with making the best financial choices possible. Contact us for more information today. Let’s explore together!