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The financial advisor checklist

I hear a lot of advice to consult a 'quality' financial advisor. What are the key points to identify a quality advisor?

To find a great financial advisor is not easy, but if you put in some smart homework and follow my advice it will reduce the chance of ending up with a dud or a crook.

You want someone who will come to learn to know your goals, such as, to own a house, to retire with a million dollars in the bank or the equivalent adjusted for inflation, and maybe a rental property at a favourite location where you might one day retire.

You need an advisor to check out how you are going for these goals and then create a plan to make sure it happens. To find a great financial planner or advisor, I recommend the following as a starting point:

Make sure you ask them about their qualifications and experience.

  • Ask them if they are independent.
  • Ask them if they are a Certified Financial Planner.
  • Use referrals from friends and family.
  • Ask them how they charge.
  • Ask if they accept commissions as payment.
  • Ask if they are fee for service.
  • Ask to see their Financial Services Guide.
  • Make sure they want to create a plan for you and not just flog their products.
  • Make sure you will get your advice in writing.

Make sure you check out the FPA website for some good questions to ask and issues to check. But a word of warning, just because they are a member of the FPA is no guarantee that they are good or honest. You will have to check them out.

Make sure you know all of your charges – both payments to the adviser and anyone else who provides services or products, such as fund managers. You should get a good plan for around $4000 depending on your complications. If you have simple issues, it could be cheaper but if you are a lot of work, the charges will rise.

For advice you can trust book a complimentary first appointment with Switzer Financial Services today.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Monday, September 06, 2010

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