Initial questions to ask a financial adviser
Your initial discussions with a financial adviser should be treated as a fact find.
Think of it as a job interview – you are interviewing this person for the job of advising you. What things do you need to know before you hire them? This discussion is not about putting your financial plan together, although the adviser may need to know what your high level goals are.
You may need to make an appointment. Be open and honest with the adviser and let them know you will be ‘interviewing’ a couple of advisers to find the one that you believe will best suit you. Avoid trying to do all the talking, you want to find out as much as you can about them.
The following questions can be used as a guide:
- What is the name of the advisory business?
- Do you hold an Australian Financial Services License?
- Can I have a copy of your financial services guide? (All licensed advisers are required to produce a financial services guide that sets out the services they offer).
- Does your practice specialise in any particular area?
- Who will be providing me with advice?
- Can this person offer me full advice or are there any limitations on the advice that can be offered?
- What qualifications does this person have?
- How long has this person been giving advice?
- What fees or costs will I have to pay? Can these be negotiated?
- What other information could you give me, or actions could you take, if I’m not comfortable with your recommendations?
Keep notes of your discussion so that you can compare all the answers.