A financial advisor is a professional who offers guidance on investment and financial services to clients. The services provided include estate planning, income tax preparation as well as investment management. When selecting a financial advisor for your needs, there are various aspects you have to consider. To sort you out, below is a quick and simple guide you can follow.
- Industry Associations – Industry associations usually help in finding an adviser within your area. One of the privileges of working with an adviser from such organizations is that you can be sure they will deliver professional services according to all national and association regulations. To be a part of the association, the financial advisers have to indulge in various training modules which shape their code of conduct. The organizations also have multiple strategies of handling conflicts whenever they arise. Some of the associations include the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA), the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA), the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) as well as the Independent Financial Advisors Association of Australia (IFAAA).
- The Advisors Qualifications – It is imperative especially when dealing with money to work with someone who is well qualified. This includes meeting specific training requirements which expound on their scope and experience. The educational needs for a financial advisor would be a diploma or a degree in disciplines such as economics, finance, financial planning or accounting. One of the places where you can confirm the academic qualification about your financial advisor is on the public register. This will feature a total of five different qualifications which list the name of the course, the institution as well as the year of study. Such information will enable you to know whether the advisor you hire is well versed to deal with your requirements.
- Financial Services From Lawyers – Apart from the usual professional legal services, some lawyers go the extra mile to provide both financial and investment services. Such lawyers are qualified and can offer sound counsel just like an ordinary financial advisor. However, the lawyers need to either directly possess or work for someone who has an Australian Financial Service License (AFSL). You should also ensure that you check the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) before proceeding further with the services. If you are in doubt that the lawyer or firm providing the financial services may not be licensed, then you should immediately report to ASIC to avoid the many consequences that may come along with malpractice.