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We answer your most commonly asked questions about financial advice.

What is financial advice?

Financial advice is the process of identifying your financial goals and creating a roadmap for you to achieve them. This covers your short-term and long-term financial objectives in an individual plan that suits your lifestyle and end goals.

You might be trying to save for a house deposit or your children's education, thinking about investing, or wondering how to make the most of your money before retirement. Or, you might already have a home loan or investment strategy in place and you’re looking to improve your current financial situation. Financial advice is all about helping you towards those goals.

What does a financial adviser do?

A financial adviser is a trained professional who creates a plan to achieve your goals. They will offer a big-picture view of your financial situation, your short-term and long-term financial goals, and what it will take to get from your present to the future life you want.

Strategies a financial adviser might offer you could include consolidating your superannuation accounts or helping you to access it, preparing for your retirement, taking out insurance, reviewing your social security eligibility and/or investing

A financial adviser will carry out the necessary research to tailor these solutions to your individual needs and goals, as well as ensuring that any recommended financial products are correctly implemented.

What are a financial adviser's qualifications?

When you’re figuring out how to choose a financial adviser there are a few necessary qualifications and standards they must meet.

First of all, a financial adviser should be listed on the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) financial advisers register. They also cannot have been banned or disqualified from giving financial advice.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has laid out education requirements for new and existing financial advisers.

  • New financial advisers will need to have been awarded an approved degree that's a Bachelor Degree (or higher)
  • Existing financial advisers will have to meet these new education requirements by January 2024. They’ll also need to sit an exam before January 2021
  • All financial advisers need to comply with a new code of ethics for the industry (applicable since January 2020)

A financial adviser needs to work for a financial-advice operation (this can be a small firm or a large bank) that holds an Australian Financial Services License from ASIC. You can verify this by asking to see their financial services guide.

How can a financial adviser help you?

Whether you’re saving for a house deposit, looking to invest your money, preparing for retirement or thinking about how to protect what you have through insurance, a financial adviser can help you in many ways.

They can provide professional, tailored advice on how to meet your financial goals through a financial plan. A good financial adviser will be on top of the latest legislation that affects you, and may suggest ideas, products or tools suitable for you.

Whatever your circumstances, a professionally devised plan for achieving your monetary goals can give you confidence that your financial future is under control.

If you’re looking for more information on personal financial advice, take a look through our investment articles.

When might you need a financial adviser?

There are several situations and life stages where you might find a financial adviser useful.

You might need assistance with your savings goals if you’re saving for something like buying a house, having a baby or funding your kids’ education. An adviser will look at your lifestyle, budget and end goal to see where you can make adjustments to meet your savings target.

If you’re looking to invest, a financial adviser can work with you to develop a plan and provide support along the way if you want it.

You could be interested in protecting your lifestyle or assets, a financial adviser can help by formulating an insurance strategy to suit your needs and budget.

Financial advisers can also plan for your retirement, show you how to pay off your home loan faster, refer you to experts for matters such as preparing a will, and reduce other debt. 

How do you prepare for your first meeting?

Before your first meeting with a financial adviser you should think about your financial goals – whether it be saving for something in particular, investing, purchasing insurance, planning for retirement, or anything else.

Write down or obtain documents that detail your current financial situation, such as your:

  • income
  • superannuation balance (and how much and how often contributions are made into your account)
  • investments
  • loans
  • insurance
  • assets
  • debts
  • day-to-day expenses (so the financial adviser can assess how much you spend on things such as rent, bills, groceries, transport and other regular costs).

(You can use the ANZ budget planner calculator to check your day-to-day and other expenses.)

In your first appointment with a financial adviser you’ll discuss and define your financial goals and costs associated with receiving personal financial advice. If you’re wondering what to ask your financial adviser in your first appointment, questions include:

  • How they will assist in its implementation?
  • How are they paid?
  • What services can you expect to receive?
  • How much will it cost?

What happens after the first appointment?

After you’ve established your financial goals with your adviser in your first appointment, they will assess your situation and come back to you with solutions. These might include stategies and financial-product recommendations to help you achieve your financial goals.

If you don’t feel that financial advice is right for you and your situation, you don’t need to do anything except let the financial adviser know at the end of your first appointment.

How much does a financial adviser cost?

Your first appointment with an ANZ Financial Adviser is complimentary. After that, you’re not obligated to continue any further in the process.

They’ll let you know which fees you can expect to pay and what services you’ll receive in return. Different fees to be aware of include commissions, advice fees, implementation fees, those based on a proportion of your investment portfolio, service fees, and performance percentage fees.

Is financial advice worth the investment?

If you want the advice of a trained professional to gain confidence in planning for your financial future, then seeking assistance from a financial adviser can be worth the investment.

A financial adviser will be across existing legislation and upcoming changes that affect your current wealth, investments, retirement plan and any other financial considerations. If your circumstances change, you can have your financial adviser review and adapt your strategy to fit your new direction or life stage, such as planning for a big life event, approaching retirement or launching a business.

What should you do with the advice you get?

Your financial adviser will be acting in your best interests, so following their advice can be hugely beneficial when it comes to achieving your financial goals. In saying that, you’re under no obligation to follow the advice of your financial adviser; they’re simply making recommendations to improve your financial situation.

At ANZ there is no pressure to engage with a financial adviser following your first complimentary appointment. You simply need to let them know at the end of the appointment.

Learn more about securing your financial future

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