Last time round, we asked CEO and Founder of AdviceMarket, Spiros Christoforatos, to run through the reforms in the financial advice world. In part 2 of this 3 part financial planning series, he shares with us his top tips for finding the best financial advisor for you.
There are various ways to do your due diligence on financial planners. Most of us have access to the internet. So all you need to do is type the planner’s name in Google and see what information is out there. You may also be able to get a sense of the financial planner via social media, e.g. their Facebook and LinkedIn profile.
As part of the FoFA reforms described in part 1 of this 3 part financial planning series, the government is launching the Public Register of Financial Planners toward the end of March 2015. The aim of the register is to give the consumer pertinent information about the credentials of individual planners.
You can do a Banned and Disqualified search via the ASIC website to confirm that the financial planner is not banned or disqualified from providing financial planning advice. And there are also other businesses that can provide information about planners and give you some extra comfort. Of course, one of the best ways to find a credible financial advisor is through word of mouth, by asking family and friends if they know the planner you are thinking of engaging.
If you sign up with a financial advisor you are unhappy with and want to complain about the planner, a number options are available to you:
Step One: Approach or write a letter to your financial planner and tell them you’re not satisfied.
Step Two: If the planner is an authorised representative of a larger organisation, then you can write to the organisation (the details are normally in the organisation’s Financial Services Guide that you should have received when you first met your planner). If they are self-licensed, then you should write to the principle or head of the business.
Step Three: If you are unsatisfied with the outcome, then you can lodge a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service of Australia.
Step Four: If you have concerns that may be more systemic, then you can also approach ASIC.