Financial planning is a necessity for everyone. Whether you're saving for your kid's college or your retirement, someday, you'll need to work with a financial planner. But when the time comes, how do you know which one will suit your needs?
When looking at different planners, make sure you look for "FoFA-Compliant" on their website or in their advertising materials. This tells you that they are registered and compliant with the financial planning rules set out by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Much like a lawyer or a doctor must be accredited and registered with the appropriate governing body, a financial planner must also be registered with ASIC to provide advice to consumers.
The only financial planners that can provide advice on your superannuation and investments are licenced financial planners. If a financial adviser isn't licensed, they can't offer advice on these products. So one of the things to do when interviewing a planner is to check if they are licenced.
When choosing a financial planner, you want someone knowledgeable and experienced enough to help you with your financial situation and needs. You want to be sure that they can recommend investments and insurance policies that are suitable for you and your family and provide you with the support you need to follow through.
Although you can interview financial planners to determine their level of expertise, an easy way to check is to ask to see their qualifications.
Financial Planner vs. Financial Adviser
Financial planners and financial advisers are commonly used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. A financial planner is subject to the FoFA laws, while a financial adviser may not be.
Several financial advisers simply give advice, similar to a financial planner. But some financial advisers register clients with particular insurance companies or banks in exchange for a commission on sales of these products.
To avoid this, always check to ensure that the financial adviser is registered with ASIC.
Keep in mind that the word "adviser" is not a protected title, so anyone can call themselves a financial adviser. However, just because someone has the word "adviser" in their job title doesn't mean they're registered with ASIC.
Before working with a financial adviser, ask to see their license, registration number or certificate.
Do You Need a Financial Planner
With all the available financial products and services, it can be a little overwhelming to know what you need and where to find it. Which products are right for you? Which questions should you be asking? How do you make sure that you're choosing the best products?
A financial planner will help you make all of your financial decisions and help you navigate your way through the financial world.
It's a good idea to interview several planners and research before deciding on one. Remember, your financial planner should be someone you feel comfortable talking to, who you can trust and who puts your needs first.
Get Your Finances in Order
A financial planner makes it easier to understand your financial situation. You'll have someone to help you make informed financial decisions, point out areas where you may be overspending or need to save more money and provide you with advice that will help you make the best of your financial situation. Choosing the right financial planner is one of the most important decisions you'll need to make for your future, so you want to make sure that you choose someone who is not only qualified and registered, but also someone you can trust.
Swell Financial Planning is a reputable financial planner in Queensland. We offer various financial services from investment, insurance to budgeting, cash flows and superannuation. Contact us!