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Choose the Right Type of Financial Advisor in the Gold Coast - Ask Them the Right Questions

Finance – everybody thinks they know how to manage it but not everybody knows how to manage it the best. Financial management does not merely mean making money and managing your expenses within that income. It means something more. It means creating wealth for yourself and your family over a period of time. It means securing your retirement when you won’t have your annual salary but the daily expenses will continue. It means securing the future of your family members.

Financial Advisor Gold CoastYes, that’s true money when used wisely can help you do all these things. But the operative term here is ‘wise’. Are we all wise enough to know how to do this? Do we have the skillsets and knowledge required to achieve this? Most of us would agree that we don’t. This is precisely why we need professional assistance from Financial Advisor Gold Coast .

The mistake that most Australians make is that they seek professional help from financial advisors when they are close to their retirement. This leaves you and your advisor with very little time to do anything substantial in terms of securing your financial future. But if you start sooner, you get more time and your adviser can help you in more ways than one to achieve long-term financial stability. So the sooner you start the better.

So how do you hire the right Gold Coast financial adviser? A quick and easy way is to visit our website and complete on short form. We will match your requirements and your budget with our pool of professional financial advisers and help you get connected with them.

Financial Advisor in the Gold Coast

Before we come to that, let’s first understand a few basics here.

What Is A Financial Advisor?

Financial advisor is a licensed professional who dispenses advice and services related to financial matters to his or her clients.

Given this explanation, it means the person is a “professional” meaning he or she should hold certain qualifications or should have undergone certain training. Secondly, the professional should be licensed to provide advice. Thirdly, the person should advise on financial matters. Now let us look at each of these carefully.

  1. Professional: The person should have cleared Regulatory Guide 146 (RG 146) stipulated training on financial products. Additionally, he or she should be a member of Financial Planning Association (FPA).

  2. Licensed: The person should hold a license issued by the market regulator – Australian Securities and Investments Commission. They should also have a Financial Services Guide to share with their clients.

  3. Financial Advice: Now here’s a tricky thing. The term finance includes a whole lot of things. It is kind of an umbrella term used today. And that is what the term financial advisor also does. It includes subsets of different professionals who advice clients on specific portfolios of finance. So the term financial advisor will include professionals like financial planner, stock broker, estate planners, wealth planners, etc.

People often confuse financial advisors to be financial planners. All financial planners are essentially financial advisors but not all financial advisors are financial planners.

Who Should Hire a Financial Advisor in the Gold Coast?

A common misconception is that only the wealthy need to hire financial advisors. Well, that’s not true. Even people with a fixed income source or a relatively unstable income can hire a financial advisor. What really determines if you need to hire a financial advisor or not is your situation.

If there is something big or major happening in your life like you are planning a family, you are closing in on retirement, or you are expecting inheritance then it would be good to have a financial advisor help you.

You can also use financial advisor’s help when your financial matters are becoming complex or your investment portfolio is growing. Even for things like buying a house, it is good to have get advice from a financial advisor.

However, if you are looking merely for information or your financial matters are pretty straight and simple then you can manage things on your own.

Establish Your Financial Needs

Before you start looking to hire a financial advisor in Gold Coast, it is important that you ascertain your own financial needs. Ask yourself why you need a financial advisor. Is it a one-off thing or are you looking for a long-term support.

For one-off engagement you can hire a financial advisor at hourly consultation rate. This is ideal for situations where you need help around a specific financial situation.

For a long-term engagement, a financial advisor can help you with:

  • Comprehensive financial planning: The advisor can create a one-time roadmap for you to follow to achieve your long-term financial goals. In such cases, they would look at your income sources, living expenses, assets and their values, liabilities, investments, etc.

  • Asset management: The advisor can advise you on where to invest and how much. They will give you more comprehensive investment planning that will cover all the life stages. They will primarily be focused on managing your assets and adding value to them.

How to Hire Financial Advisors in Gold Coast?

Once you have determined that you need a financial advisor, then you can start looking for advisors on the ASIC website which maintains a list of all the licensed advisors.

The other easier option is to use our website On the website you just have to fill up a form and let us know a few details of your requirements and budget. We will then match these with the large pool of professionals that we have. The ones that match your requirements will contact you directly. It’s a simple and hassle free way of finding financial advisors in Gold Coast.

What Questions To Ask a Financial Advisor During First Meeting?

Once you have narrowed down your search to a select few financial advisors in Gold Coast, you would have to meet them before making a final decision. So what questions you should ask them or what kind of information you should try to collect during this first meeting? Here is a quick compilation that we have put together for you.

  1. Financial Advisor Gold CoastLicense: This is the first and most important thing. Make sure they have the appropriate licenses you require.

  2. Financial Institution Associations: Ask the advisor if they are associated with any kind of financial institution. If the answer is yes, then probe them further to find out exactly what kind of association it is and if they stand to gain monetary benefits from it.

  3. Financial Services Guide: Ask the advisors to share a soft copy of their financial services guide before you meet them. This will give you enough time to review the guide and understand basic details like what kind of services they offer, their associations with financial institutions, their fee structure, etc.

  4. Experience: Ask the advisors to share a few client references that you can go back and verify. When you are doing the background check, ensure that you ask the client about the extent of services the advisor provides. If you are looking for an advisor to help you plan your retirement and he gives you reference of a client who is planning to start a family, then there is a mismatch in life stage and objectives.

  5. Financial Products: In addition to client references, check what kind of financial products the advisor deals with. If an advisor is working with only one type of investment product or solution then their advice may not meet your specific requirements. Secondly, an advisor may not be able to provide you any advice if a certain financial product is not on their approved list.

  6. Business Model: There are two types of business models followed by financial advisors. They either work for independently owned financial advisory firms or they are associated with a big financial institution. The ones who are aligned to independent firms will cast a wider net in terms of financial products. They will help you diversify your portfolio better. However, the ones who are hired by financial institutions (including firms associated with financial institutions) will recommend only the products of the institution. They will not venture into other products or investment strategies.

  7. Fees: The fee structure of the advisor will be available in their financial services guide or on their website if it is a firm. However, it is always better to discuss this and get more clarity.

    The three most commonly followed fee structures are:a. Commission Based: Here the financial advisor will make his or her remuneration by selling products like mutual funds, annuities, etc. Such advisors will earn a certain percentage of commission on the financial products they sell. Such agents may claim that their service to you is completely free.b. Fee Based: Here the financial advisors will charge a particular fee for the advice that they provide or the service that they provide. For example, a financial planner may charge you a certain amount for creating a long-term financial plan for you. So here they are getting paid for the planning service. However, a grey area here is that they may be getting commissions on sale of certain products and these products, although not suitable, would be included in your plan. This conflict of interest has been addressed by the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms which became mandatory from July 1, 2015. As per these reforms, all financial advisors are mandated to act in the best interest of the client and not to put their personal benefit over and above the client’s benefit.c. Fee Only: This is the most transparent form of fee structure where financial advisors will make money only from fees that can be an hourly rate, fixed fee for service, or even a percentage of the assets managed. Such advisors will not receive any commissions or incentives on sale of any financial product.

  8. Financial Outlook & Approach: It is very important that you feel comfortable with the approach of your financial advisor. You two need to be completely in sync with each other. Ask them about their philosophy of financial management. If your financial advisor has a more aggressive approach while you believe in minimum risk taking, then chances are that your engagement won’t work. However, it is important that you let your financial advisor explain and justify his or her approach to you. It may be possible that the advisor is recommending a more aggressive approach given your age, your current financial situation, and your long-term goals. If either one of these changes, then their approach might also change.

  9. Visitation: Ask the financial advisor how frequently he or she would be meeting you. Here again, we see different trends. Some advisors prefer to meet their clients on a monthly basis. This helps them strengthen the relationship. However, there are a few advisors who adopt a more team based approach and meet the client only once a year while asking a junior member of the team to continue periodic communication. There is no right or wrong way here. It will depend on what you prefer.

Also try to notice if the financial advisor is really attentive towards you or not. The whole purpose of hiring a financial advisor in the Gold Coast is to help “you” deal with your finances as per “your” goals. If the advisor is doing all the talking during the first meeting and not asking you a lot of questions then the chances are he or she is not really focused on what you need and more focused on what they can do for you. If they are not investing enough time in understanding your circumstances and needs, then they would hardly be effective with their advice.

However, having said that, it is important to understand that at the end of the day it is your money and it is your decision. You are responsible for whatever investments you make. Bad advice from an advisor will not absolve you from your responsibilities. You are expected to be equally vigilant and careful with your money and financial decision.

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