Selecting a financial planner
Choosing a financial planner can be daunting. Trust and reputation are important. You need to have confidence in the professional standards of your financial planner and their capabilities to advise you now and in the future. Donít be afraid to ask your prospective financial planner questions about their:
- Relevant qualifications such as a Diploma in Financial Planning and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) qualifications
- Their licensing arrangements ie are they licensed or do they represent a licensee?
- Length of financial planning experience
- Areas of expertise eg superannuation and retirement planning
- Experience with clients in circumstances similar to yours
- Knowledge of taxation and social security regulations
- Availability for future consultations
- Membership of professional associations or bodies such as the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and the Investment and Financial Services Association (IFSA)
You should also ask the financial planner how they calculate and charge for their services. Do they have an initial flat fee for preparing the financial plan? What ongoing fees will you be charged? Do these fees include GST?
Selecting a financial planning organisation
In selecting a financial planner, you should also consider the organisation that licenses the planner. You should expect that the company behind your financial planner is strong, well-resourced, experienced and reputable. Some of the questions you may want to ask the financial planner about their organisation are:
- How old is the financial planning company, how large is it and whether it is owned and backed by a larger financial services organisation (preferably not a bank or insurance company)?
- What are the areas of expertise in which the organisation can offer advice?
- What sort of clients does the organisation service?
- Is the organisation backed by investment research, technical and support services?
- Do they provide an ongoing portfolio review service?
- What training does the organisation provide for its financial planners?
Find out more about why a Bridges financial planner is right for you.