Could financial advice help you?
If you need help developing a plan to reach your financial
goals, financial advice can really make a difference. A licensed
financial adviser can help you identify realistic goals, and put
strategies in place to achieve them.
Here we explain what financial advice is and how it could help
What is financial advice?
Financial advice is a service provided by a licensed financial
adviser (also known as a financial planner), that can help you make
financial decisions. Financial advice can help you with budgeting,
investing, superannuation, retirement planning, estate planning,
risk management, insurance and taxation.
To provide you with advice some, or all, of these areas, a
financial adviser must be licensed by ASIC, or be an authorised
representative of an organisation licensed by ASIC. Use the financial advisers register
to check that the person you are dealing with is authorised to give
you the advice you want.
How financial advice can help
Financial advice can help you:
- identify short, medium and long-term goals
- develop strategies to achieve your financial goals
- better manage your money
- develop an investment plan
- choose tax-effective investments
- make the most of your superannuation
- find out if you're eligible for any government assistance
- work out your insurance needs
- plan for your retirement
- consider your estate planning needs.
Start by considering whether you need help you with a single
issue, like consolidating super or choosing investments, or are you
after a more comprehensive financial plan.
Advice is helpful in times of change
Professional advice is most valuable when you're going through,
or planning for, a big life event, like starting a family, being
retrenched, planning for retirement or managing an
Not every situation calls for advice. You may simply want
factual information about different investment products and
strategies or need to understand more about financial services
If you need financial advice because you're having trouble
paying your bills or need to sort out your debts, see a financial
Here are places you can get free or low cost factual information
about different financial products and strategies.
ASIC's MoneySmart website has information to help you manage
your day-to-day finances. You'll also find a suite of calculators
to help you plan and manage your money. They include:
Other websites that can also help answer your questions
- The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) - has an education section on its website
- The Financial Planning Association (FPA) - has a blog and an Ask an Expert forum
- Financial columns and blogs.
Banks, credit unions or building societies
Bank, credit union and building society staff can be a good
source of factual information about products such as savings
accounts and term deposits. This might be all you need
if your goal is to save for a home or build a savings buffer.
Remember to shop around and compare products.
Your super fund
Your super fund can provide factual information about your super
- investment options
- how to make extra contributions
- how to consolidate multiple super funds
- insurance options.
The Department of Human Services' Financial Information Service
offers free money seminars all over Australia. Topics
- Managing your money
- Reducing your mortgage
- Understanding superannuation.
The financial advice
If you do decide you want financial advice, here are the steps
- Decide what type of financial
advice you need - Do you need general advice, personal advice,
or even robo-advice? The kind of advice you need will depend on
your life stage, the money you have to invest, and the complexity
of your affairs.
- Choose a financial adviser
- Find an adviser that is appropriately qualified, licensed, and
has experience on advising people with similar needs to
- Financial advice costs - Find
out about the cost of advice and understand what you're paying for.
Make sure the adviser does not receive any sales incentives for
recommending particular products.
- Working with a financial
adviser - Make the most of your first meeting by being clear
about what you're looking for. Find out how to make the most of
ongoing advice and what to do if you want to end your relationship
with the adviser.
- Problems with a financial
adviser - Find out what to do if things go wrong with the
adviser. What is their dispute resolution process?
- Financial advice toolkit -
This resource can help you confidently navigate the financial
advice process by explaining the steps involved at each stage.
There are times when you can make your own
financial decisions. At other times it's reassuring to be able to
consult a professional. Getting financial advice can help you plan
and manage your big financial decisions.
Last updated: 05 Dec 2018