All financial planners drive mercedes

There are a lot of myths and fallacies surrounding Financial Planners.  However the profession has changed.  A lot.  And it is essential that consumers know what is true now.

Here is some of what you may hear:

All financial planners drive Mercedes.

There are always hidden kickbacks and costs.

My aunt/uncle/brother/friend/taxi-driver saw a financial planner and got ripped off.

But I don’t have enough money to see a financial adviser.

Whilst every profession has their issues, and financial planning has certainly had theirs, if you do your due diligence (check them out) you should be able to find a planner who is willing and able to offer you a quality service, where you pay a fee for your advice, and achieve an outcome that is both in your best interests, and will help you achieve your goals.

There is still a lasting legacy of thinking that if you want to work with a financial planner, you need to be rich first.  Kind of like cleaning up your house before the house-cleaner comes.  Good Financial Planning is changing these perceptions and opening up life-changing financial opportunities for thousands of Australians.

So how do you find a good financial planner?  Consider these things:

  1. Authorised to provide Financial Advice in Australia (so not a Mortgage Broker, Accountant, Real Estate salesperson, Banker or someone at a BBQ).
  2. Qualified and experienced.
  3. Not linked to a large financial institution (unless you want to buy that institution’s products).
  4. Member of a professional association with a strong code of ethics, e.g. FPA, AFA
  5. A provider of strategic, holistic or relevant advice that cares about your goals and objectives, and they are focused on you and not themselves.
  6. They are good listeners, you like them and you think you should be able to work together.
  7. They know what they are talking about, and have empathy and understanding of your situation.
  8. They are used to working with clients in your situation (whatever that situation is).
  9. They are recommended by someone you know (who has used their services).
  10. They clearly explain what services they provide, what you will get out of it, and what fees are payable.
  • I’ve worked with dozens of financial planners, some did drive Mercedes, and one drove a Ferrari. (He was very young, and naïve and borrowed a LOT of money to buy it).  The local Real Estate agent has a Lamborghini though, and it is red, shiny and expensive.
  • Legislative changes mean that there should no longer be any hidden costs or kickbacks in advice, which is great.
  • Someone else’s experience is not your experience, and I can find you dozens of testimonials from people who have had great experiences with their financial planner.
  • But do take note, if someone is advertising on the television frequently, they must be backed by someone who makes large profits, and wants you to be another person to help them make more.

There are somewhere around 18,000 practising Financial Planners in Australia (the numbers quoted vary from 15,000 – 25,000.  If they each have an average of 200 clients, and those clients are still with them, then there are around 3,600,000 Australians who know there is something good about financial planning.  What are you missing out on and why?

Melinda Houghton

Adv. Dip FS (FP)

Insider Out – Understand and Trust your Advice

This information may be regarded as general.  That is, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information.  Accordingly, you should consider the appropriateness of any information we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it.

I am no longer authorised to provide financial advice.  If you wish to receive financial advice you must contact an authorised provider.

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