You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

Financial planners and advisers help you manage your existing investments as well as implement strategies to increase your wealth. Choosing a financial adviser to be responsible for your financial plan is a big decision and should not be made lightly.

Follow these 3 tips to help you select a financial adviser who is right for your needs and goals.

1. Search the Financial Advisers Register

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission Financial Advisers Register contains details of all individual financial advisers who are authorised to provide personal financial advice.

The Register provides important information about a financial adviser such as:

  • how long the adviser has been providing financial advice
  • the adviser’s employment history
  • the adviser’s qualifications and training
  • what type of advice the adviser can give
  • whether there has been any disciplinary action against the adviser.

Click here to search the Financial Advisers Register.

2. Obtain a copy of the Financial Services Guide

A financial adviser is obligated to provide you with a copy of their Financial Services Guide prior to giving you any financial advice. The Financial Services Guide contains:

  • the adviser’s contact details
  • details of the type of services the adviser can provide
  • who the adviser acts for when providing advice
  • how the adviser will charge for their services and whether they will receive any payments for providing their services
  • any associations or relationships the financial adviser may have with financial product providers (which could influence what advice they provide to you)
  • information on what you can do if you have a complaint about your adviser.

3. Understand what services the financial adviser will provide

The types of services financial planners and advisers provide vary between advisers. For example, an adviser may not be able to provide you with advice on products that are not on their ‘approved products list’ (a list of financial products that the adviser will consider when recommending investments to you). The products that are on the approved products list are different for each financial advisory firm.

In addition, a financial adviser may provide once-off advice or on-going advice. If it is once-off advice, the financial adviser will not review your investments on a periodic basis to check whether the initial advice they gave to you continues to be appropriate for you, particularly if your personal circumstances have changed since you received that advice (eg. you have a new job or have started a family).

Doing your research before choosing a financial planner or adviser will go a long way to securing your financial future and to avoid time-consuming and costly disputes associated with bad financial advice.

If you have concerns about the financial advice you have received from your financial planner or adviser, contact us to speak to one of our experienced lawyers about your options.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

Consumer and the Law
Banking Royal Commission legislation introduced

On 28 November 2019, the Government introduced legislation in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The legislation is designed to provide further protections for consumers and small businesses and is set to be passed in early 2020. Below is an overview of the proposed legislation. Click here for a recap of the Banking Royal Commission from our Head of Class Actions, Ben Hardwick. Under the proposed legislation, mortgage brokers will be required to act in the best interests of consumers when providing credit assistance. That means where there is a conflict of interest between the consumer’s...

Gavel and weights two people talking resized
Financial Negligence
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s powers are being expanded for 12 months: Do you …

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is responsible for providing consumers and small businesses with free and independent dispute resolution for financial complaints. AFCA considers complaints in relation to: These complaints were previously handled by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. The usual time limit for making a complaint to AFCA is 6 years from the date you became aware of the financial loss.[1] However, when a complaint has already been through the financial firm’s internal dispute resolution process, the time limit is reduced to 2 years from the date you receive response from the...

Finance Planning People Documents Resized
Financial Negligence
Online scams and the Financial Ombudsmen service

As our population ages, our vulnerable elderly people are increasingly falling victim to elder abuse perpetrated by adult children, family members, friends and carers. But older Australians are also increasingly preyed upon by fraudsters. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has recently published two determinations which consider whether the older person’s bank is liable for “allowing” them to transfer funds. In the first case (Case number 431342, 2 December 2016), the Applicant transferred $123,019 from his bank account to a fraudster who kept the funds. The Applicant claimed the bank should compensate him for his loss. FOS found, however, that the bank did not cause or contribute...

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our team.