Identifying your financial advice needs
Do you need financial advice?
You may have avoided getting financial advice because you're not
sure how a financial adviser can help you. You may also think
you'll have to pay for a comprehensive and expensive financial
plan. Depending on the kind of advice you need, you may not.
This page explains the things an adviser can help you with, and
it suggests some places you can get free or low cost factual
information about different financial products and strategies.
When a financial
adviser can help
Don't think an adviser will make you a millionaire through a
secret formula or a magic ability to pick winning investments.
Advisers mostly add value by helping you sort out your financial
goals and working with you to develop a plan to achieve them over
If you need financial advice because you're having trouble
paying your bills or need to sort out your debts, see a financial
Most importantly, working with an adviser will help you turn
thought into action, especially if you tend to put things off.
Understand the financial advice process before you make a
Financial advice toolkit
helpful in times of change
Professional advice is most valuable when you're going through a
big life event like starting a family, being retrenched or managing
an inheritance. It's also great for less immediate goals like
growing your super or planning for retirement.
The type of advice you need will depend on your life stage, the
amount of money you have to invest and the complexity of your
affairs. See types of financial advice for
Video: Rhonda prepares before she seeks financial advice
Video about getting financial advice.
In this video Rhonda explains how she uses MoneySmart tools to
sort through her finances before she sees a financial planner.
When a financial adviser is
Not every situation calls for comprehensive, ongoing financial
advice. Instead of financial advice, you may simply want factual
information about different investment products and strategies or
need to understand more about financial services generally.
Here are some places where you can get that kind of
ASIC's MoneySmart website can help you with many of your simpler
financial needs. Here are some other websites that can also help
you with your questions:
- The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) - they have an education section on their
- 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 free factual information about ways to save such as savings
accounts and term deposits. This might be all the
information you need if your main financial goal is saving for a
home or building a savings buffer.
Remember to shop around and compare products. See saving and banking for more
Use our savings calculator to set up a plan to reach your
Your super fund
Your super fund can provide factual information, including:
- Investment options within your current fund
- Saving for retirement
- How to make extra contributions to your current fund
- Consolidating multiple super funds
- Insurance options with your current fund
See our superannuation section
for more information.
Our superannuation calculators also help you explore better ways
to meet your retirement goals.
Find out how much money you'll have to put away now for your
There are two ways to make extra contributions to super to boost
- salary sacrifice which helps mid to high
income earners save tax
- after tax which may entitle low income earners
to a government co-contribution
Work out the best way to grow your nest egg.
The Department of Human Services' Financial Information Service
offers free money seminars all over Australia. Topics include:
- Managing your money
- Reducing your mortgage
- Understanding superannuation
See seminars for more information.
Case study: Jim's super idea
'I've been in the same
super fund for 10 years but I'm only just starting to think about
whether I'll have enough money to retire. I phoned my fund to see
if they could help. They told me they hold regular seminars, have
online information about retirement or if I want they can refer me
to a financial adviser. I wish I'd contacted them for help years
There are times when you can manage your
own financial decisions. At other times it's reassuring to be able
to consult a professional. Once you pinpoint your reasons for
wanting to use an adviser, choosing an
adviser will be easier.
Last updated: 25 Sep 2018