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What does a financial adviser do?

October 2020

Article |  4-minute read

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You may be saving for your kids' education or managing your mortgage. Perhaps you’re heading towards retirement or need a new financial plan after a divorce or an inheritance. Or, you might be thinking about investing your money, taking out insurance or planning your estate. Whatever your goal, a financial adviser’s job is to work with you as you move towards achieving it.

What is financial advice?

In a nutshell, financial advice helps you meet your financial goals. A financial adviser creates a tailored strategy to help you meet your financial goals as efficiently as possible. They will provide professional advice specific to your situation, and strategies to help you stick to your financial plan.

They’ll use their in-depth knowledge of various financial products, such as insurance and investments to make recommendations based on your budget and needs. They are also across the latest rules and legislation that may affect your financial situation.

Why you might need a financial adviser

If you don’t have the time to manage your finances yourself, or could benefit from having an expert who is well-versed in the types of strategies that can help you get ahead, a financial adviser may be able to help.

People from a range of backgrounds and situations can potentially benefit from a financial adviser’s services. During your first appointment, it is important to communicate which financial areas you feel that you need help with. Your financial adviser may also identify other areas of advice that are relevant to your circumstances that you may not have thought about, but should be addressed to ensure that your best interests are being met.

Investing

If you’re thinking about investing, a financial adviser can offer advice on the suitable investment options for your situation and be available for ongoing support in the management of those investments.

Saving

If you’re saving for something like a bigger home, your kids' education or even just hoping to build that rainy-day fund, a financial adviser can create a plan to help you meet your savings target.

Budgeting

With money constantly coming in and going out, sometimes it can be tricky staying on top of your cash flow. A financial adviser can help you design a budget for your household, which may help you to efficiently manage your money and plan for big expenses.

Debt management

If you’re facing any kind of debt, a financial adviser can create a budget and strategy to help repay your debt faster. They’ll also look at your current financial situation to assess where you can potentially put extra money towards paying off your debt.

Insurance

Depending on your situation, insurance is often an integral part of any financial strategy to ensure that if something goes wrong, your financial strategy can continue. A financial adviser can offer professional advice in assessing your insurance needs to ensure that you are adequately covered, but not paying for cover that you do not really need.  

Retirement

If you’re approaching retirement, a financial adviser can assist with figuring out how to optimise your retirement income. They’ll support you in striving to achieve the retirement lifestyle you desire and managing your finances once you stop working.

Estate planning

To make sure your wealth and assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes in the event that you pass away, a financial adviser may assist you with your estate planning needs, including, where necessary, referrals to a legal professional for advice on wills or powers of attorney. A robust estate plan can give peace of mind that everything you’ve worked hard to build is going to the right people when the time comes, minimising the chances of disputes over your estate.

What qualifications does a financial adviser have?

There are some qualifications a financial adviser must have, including compulsory education requirements and holding certain licenses. For more information on the various conditions financial advisers must meet you can read our financial advice FAQs.

Understanding financial advice fees

Financial advisers generally charge an upfront fee to cover the advice given and its implementation. Some financial advisers may charge regular fees for ongoing advice. For more information on understanding financial advice fees, check out our guide to how much a financial adviser costs.

(ANZ Financial Advice only offers a fee-for-service payment structure, not an ongoing-service agreement. This gives our customers the flexibility to seek financial advice if and when they need it, paying for it as they go, rather than paying an annual fee regardless of what advice is required.)

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