There are a number of ways you can choose a Financial Advice Provider. The key is to know what you want to achieve from that advice, then do your homework to make sure you choose a Financial Advice Provider who meets your needs.
What do you want from financial advice?
Think about what you want to achieve from financial advice – is it help with an investment plan, getting a good deal on a mortgage or sorting out your personal insurance? This will help you decide which licensed Financial Advice Provider you seek financial advice from.
Financial Advice Providers are only licensed to offer advice on areas they are competent in and they must tell you this upfront.
How to search for a Financial Advice Provider
The Companies Office keeps a Register of Financial Service Providers (FSPR) where you can find all licensed Financial Advice Providers and the financial advisers who work for them, if any. To check who a financial adviser is engaged by, or to see a list of financial advisers engaged by a Financial Advice Provider, enter their name on FSPR to see the details of their registration.
Many people find an adviser through a referral from friends or family. You should still do your own homework and ask questions from the adviser to make sure they’re right for you.
Your friend or family member is likely to have different financial objectives to you, and if they’ve only recently taken advice, it’s hard to tell whether an adviser has done a good job. Often this isn’t clear until years after the advice has been given.
It’s a good idea to ask your adviser for examples of how they’ve successfully helped people similar to you.
How to go about seeing an adviser
What to think about when choosing an adviser
Prepare to meet a few different advisers and ask yourself the following questions to help decide who will best meet your needs:
Did the adviser explain their experience and qualifications to you?
Did the adviser explain what type of licence they have? – They might be working under the licence of a Financial Advice Provider
Did the adviser indicate the type of products they can advise on? - Some will specialise in certain areas and they must tell you about their scope of service.
Did the adviser tell you how they are paid? Is this from fees you pay or from commissions paid by the companies whose products are being sold to you?
If you’re making an investment, did the adviser explain where and how your money will be held?