Working with a financial adviser
Keep an eye on your financial plan
Your relationship with a financial adviser can be an ongoing
commitment or a one-off encounter. Whichever relationship you
choose, it's important to stay actively engaged with the financial
advice to see whether it's working for you.
Reviewing your financial
Review your statement
of advice (SOA) at least once a year to ensure it's still right
for you. Consider whether there have been any changes in your life
that might affect your current strategy or attitude to risk.
See goals and risk tolerance for
more information about assessing your investment goals.
Contact your adviser if you think you need to change something
in your plan. If you've agreed to ongoing advice, this service
should be included in your ongoing advice fee.
If you don't have an ongoing advice agreement, you will have to
pay for the adviser's time and for them to implement any new
advice. See financial advice costs to learn
more about paying for financial advice.
Making the most of ongoing
To make the most of ongoing advice it's important to regularly
review your financial plan with your adviser to see if it's still
appropriate for you.
What you should do
Don't adopt a 'set and forget' attitude. At a minimum, you
should visit your adviser once a year for a review of your current
Between reviews, it's important that you keep your adviser
updated about any changes in your circumstances so they can adjust
your plan to keep it relevant to you.
Also use the yearly review as an opportunity to think about
whether you're getting value for your ongoing advice fee. See ongoing fees for
financial advice for more information.
What your adviser should do
Between reviews, your adviser should keep you updated about any
changes to the economy, legislation or markets that impact the
advice and products they've recommended for you.
If there are any changes to your current plan, your adviser
should give you a record of their new advice either at the end of
the meeting, or shortly after.
Check you are getting the ongoing advice you pay for
ASIC has found some advisers charging for ongoing advice that
they have not provided. If you are paying ongoing advice fees, make
sure you are getting the agreed service. If you have paid fees for
services you haven't received, lodge a complaint through the bank
or licensee's internal dispute resolution system as you may be
entitled to a refund and compensation. See ASIC's media release for more information.
If you are paying ongoing advice fees for services you don't
need, you can ask for the fees to be switched off.
Saying no to ongoing
Your financial affairs might be quite simple. If you have enough
time and know-how, you may not need to pay an adviser for ongoing
It's up to you whether you want or need ongoing service from
your adviser. You still have the option of getting advice in the
future if your circumstances change.
See 'ending your relationship with an adviser' below for things
you should think about before you go it alone.
Ending your relationship with
If you decide you no longer want ongoing financial advice, there
are some things you should consider first.
Some financial products, master trusts for example,
can only be accessed through a financial adviser, so if you decide
to end your relationship with them you may also have to leave the
products they recommended, or get a new adviser.
If you leave or switch advisers you will have to consider:
- Selling and buying costs
- Changes to any government assistance you're receiving
- Being out of the market (which could be an advantage or
disadvantage depending on timing)
- Income and capital gains tax
If you decide to switch advisers or leave an investment product,
you need to be satisfied it is worth the cost of doing so.
Sometimes all you'll need from an adviser is
initial advice. At other times it can be useful to have access to
their expertise on an ongoing basis. The important thing is that
you decide how much involvement you want an adviser to have and
know how much you are paying for it.
Last updated: 14 Nov 2016