If you were looking for a babysitter for your child, you’d want to make sure they were well equipped, good with kids and, most importantly, trustworthy, right? Well, the same principles should be applied to the management and care of your finances. However, in this circumstance, replace the concept of your kids with your money.
According to the ABC, almost 50 per cent of Australians have unmet financial advice needs. As someone who works closely with clients on a daily basis, I can see that many people would benefit from engaging an adviser – particularly when it comes to navigating the real estate market, understanding investments better or how to best prepare for retirement.
Sadly, the Royal Commission revealed a number of bad apples promoting poor financial practice, putting a dampener on the industry. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that you do your due diligence. Deciding on which financial adviser to go with should never be a hasty decision, so take your time and do your research. Ultimately, they need to be the right fit for you, your family, your circumstances as well as your goals and objectives.
And, if you’ve lined up some potential candidates, then it might be worth asking them the following questions before making any final decisions.
What type of clients do they work with?
There’s a myth out there that you have to be over 50 or close to retirement and very, very wealthy to engage a financial adviser. Trust me, this is simply not the case. Quiz your prospective adviser on the types of clients they work with. Is there a good cross-section of people? Or is this adviser choosing to work with a certain type?
When it comes to wealth management, it’s better to start as early as possible. A diverse client portfolio is a sign of broad experience: they clearly have their finger on the pulse and understand that everyone has different needs, expectations and goals. For example, if you’re a young couple in your thirties trying to save for your first home, the advice you’d be looking for is very different to a retiree who’s trying to maximise their superannuation or other entitlements.
How do they charge?
Be straight up with this question. Financial advisers should be honest and transparent with their charges and fee structures. After all, you don’t want to be stung with hidden costs or unexpected invoices that appear out of the blue.
In my opinion, financial advisers should be able to clearly outline and explain what you will be charged in advance and what services you will be provided with for that fee.
How do they manage their own finances?
As the old saying goes, you’ve got to ‘practice what you preach’ – but does this prospective adviser actually do this? What about their own financial plans and management? I am a big believer in the mantra that even the best coaches have coaches.
It might seem strange, but my wife Rebecca and I have our own financial adviser. Just like doctors can’t ‘doctor’ themselves, financial advisers often do a poor job of ‘advising’ themselves. In my opinion, you always need to include an objective stance when it comes to the management of your money. It’s important to have someone independent keeping you on track.
Another benefit? For once, I’m the client. I can start to understand what it’s like from our client’s point of view – I can empathise and see their perspective. Advisers who engage their own financial adviser can connect with clients on a deeper level, as they’ve been in their shoes.
Make sure you’re on the same page
Ultimately you want to find a financial adviser that gets you. At the end of the day, their best interests should lie with you and what you want to achieve financially. If you’re not getting that vibe, then perhaps they’re not the right adviser for you. Unlike other companies who set-and-forget your financial planning, Talem Wealth create lasting relationships with clients. We have a high-level of accountability surrounding the advice we provide, and the results you achieve.
If you’d like to see if we’re a good financial fit, then speak with me today.