What should you expect from your financial planner?

Financial planner ethics: our Melbourne planners recommendations. It is always a good idea to prepare as thoroughly as you can prior to your first meeting with a potential financial advisor. Make lists of your assets, income, expenses and spend some time sketching out exactly what you want to achieve through financial planning. Are you preparing for retirement, wishing to pay off your home or saving for something else? Take as much practical information with you to your first meeting as possible; this will maximise what you can get out of it.

What should you expect from your financial planner? If you have provided your financial planner with the necessary information about your current economic status and your aspirations for the future, you will want to get the feedback that he or she has correctly listened to you. You both want the feeling that you have understood each other before going any further. Usually, the planner will schedule another meeting to put proposals and recommendations to you in writing and explain each of them to you in detail at the time. Make sure that you have received a statement of advice (SOA) and product disclosure statements (PDS) for each recommended financial product. Make sure that you carefully read all of these documents before you agree to anything or sign anything.

If you feel that the financial planner is pushing a particular product that you do not think is suitable for your circumstances; ask more questions and qualify why this product is being pushed. You may at this point conclude that this financial planner does not have your best interests at heart. Always do your own research where possible into recommended financial products and super funds. Don’t take anything on trust; as it always pays to scrutinise things. There are financial planners out there who only wish to benefit from their relationship with particular financial products and super funds; unfortunately they put your interests last.

Conversely there are also many financial planners who are there to serve your interests in the best way that they can and embody their financial planner ethics. Spend some time talking with potential financial planners, shop around and don’t just sign up with anyone. If you do not understand why a particular investment that is being recommended to you is suitable for your requirements or the associated risks it brings, make sure that you question your financial planner about it. Keep asking questions and if you are not fully satisfied with the answers walk away. Remember financial planning is a service and you are the customer; maintain your rights.




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