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How to Find a Good (and Right) Financial Advisers Gold Coast

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Do you need financial advisers gOLD COAST?

Image displaying a trio of glass chess pieces, specifically a king, queen, and pawn, strategically placed on a financial report featuring upward and downward trend lines. The chess pieces cast a shadow over the market analysis, symbolizing the crucial role of strategic planning and foresight in financial management. The metaphor underscores the expertise a financial planner must possess to navigate the complexities of wealth management for clients on the Gold Coast.
Mastering the Game of Wealth: Financial Strategy and Success

How do you feel when you think about your financial prospects? Do you feel dread when you think about the future and the state of your finances? Are you uncertain of how you’ll be able to afford the life you want, and provide for your family?

Are you riddled by indecision when it comes to investing your money?

Have you jumped in at the deep end and completely stretched yourself to pay your bills and mortgage?

Do you wonder how you’ll have enough money to fund your retirement, send your kids to the right schools, and still enjoy a holiday now and again?

Are you well-protected should something compromise your ability to work?

Most of us have money-related concerns and addressing them will move us toward a more secure future and create peace of mind. Regardless of stage of life, most people can benefit dramatically from a solid financial plan, monitored through consistent visioning and goal setting with trusted, sound advice along the way. A long term commitment to planning and reviewing is the primary difference between the financially successful and those who do not thrive financially.

A conceptual image showing three clear glass chess pieces on top of financial charts with lines and graphs indicating market trends. The chess pieces, a king, a queen, and a pawn, are metaphorically representing strategic moves in financial planning, symbolising the thoughtful and tactical decision-making process in selecting the r.

1: What Does a Financial Planner Do?

Basic financial education is not taught in schools (but it should be!)

Specialised advice has historically come from different sources such as accountants, stock brokers, lawyers, insurance agents and other financial professionals. Financial advisers began emerging in the 1980s to fill the need for a specialised finance professional to help people with all of their money-related needs especially superannuation. The industry was not immediately regulated.

Through a series of reports and government initiatives, The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) developed minimum training requirements and legislation to regulate the financial advisory industry. By law a financial adviser must have a license or must be an authorised representative of an institution with a license in order to provide financial advice.

A financial adviser’s role is to work closely with you to understand your current financial position, help you get clear about your financial goals and highlight any issues you may be currently facing that would prevent you from achieving those goals.

In essence they will become your “financial coach”, developing a tailor-made financial plan for your situation, taking into account your lifestyle and objectives.

Think of any athlete or sporting team that has achieved success and you realise that, behind them there is almost always a great coach guiding them and pushing them toward success.

2: The benefits of financial planning

  • Specifically, a good financial adviser is also able to help you:

  • Identify and highlight your financial goals as well as give you the guidance and direction to achieve those goals

  • Help identify all of your financial resources and assist you to utilise those resources to get the best possible result whilst maintaining an acceptable work/life balance

  • Prepare for important lifestyle or financial changes such as having children, buying a house or retiring

  • Grow your income and investments

  • Protect your income, investments and financial position

  • Simplify investing and wealth creation whilst providing you with choices.

  • Provide ease of mind and security about your current and future financial situation.

  • See the big picture and help manage your finances on a “whole wealth” level

Photograph of a calculator and pencil resting on a white sheet of paper with 'FINANCIAL PLAN' printed in bold, black letters. The image evokes the meticulous process of financial planning, highlighting the essential tools used by financial advisers in the Gold Coast to design a personalized financial strategy. The simple yet powerful visual metaphor underscores the first step in the financial planning process – the laying down of a solid, calculative foundation for wealth management.

3: The planning process

The financial planning process can be broken down into 7 simple steps:

1. Gather financial information and data

An adviser will obtain relevant financial information such as a record of your assets and liabilities, income and expenditure and your attitude toward risk.

2. Identify a client’s goals and objectives

What you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it -your vision for the future.

3. Identify any financial issues

Once an adviser has gathered financial information and has an understanding of your goals and objectives, they can identify any issues and barriers to achieve those goals.

4. Develop a financial strategy

A strategy will be developed and discussed with all the necessary fine tuning that may be required. This is an important step in the process and a good adviser will make sure it happens as it allows the process to be interactive rather than dogmatic.

5. Provide a Statement of Advice (financial plan)

Once a strategy has been agreed, it will be provided in the form of a written, individualised ‘Statement of Advice’ outlining a detailed investment plan and the agreed course of action.

6. Implement the plan/recommendations

The written plan is agreed upon and implemented.

7. Review, revise and maintain the financial plan

The plan and strategy is reviewed, at least annually, to ensure it is still meeting your financial needs and investment goals. This last step is the most important part of the process. Many a good plan has fallen by t

he wayside through a lack of proper review, apathy and lack of commitment on behalf of both adviser and client.

Note: A proper review involves much more than a discussion of how your portfolio has performed over the last year. Find an adviser with a commitment to a comprehensive review process and you will have found a great adviser!

4: Before you engage a financial adviser

What’s on your mind?

A good first step before seeking any financial advice is to think about your current financial situation and any concerns you may have.

A few questions you may want to ask yourself as you begin the process of finding a financial adviser are:

• What resources do you currently have?

• Do you know what your income and expenses are?

• How about your assets and liabilities?

• What are your concerns and priorities, financially?

• What investment time frames would you consider?

• How do you feel about your work/life balance?

Goals, objectives & dreams

Identifying your goals and dreams and writing them down is a recommended first step before the planning process begins. This will allow your adviser to get a clearer understanding of what your intentions are, allowing them to develop and formulate the most suitable plan to get you there.

This is the foundation upon which your goals and wealth creation will be built. Any good adviser should be able to examine the sum total of all your financial resources. He should then customise and develop a strategy that not only meets your particular goals, but also allows you to achieve the maximum potential with the resources available to you.

Investment time frames

Gaining an understanding of your investment time frames is important and will help your adviser develop a plan and utilise products which match your situation.

For example, if you only wanted to invest for one year, purchasing an investment property may not be the most viable option. A better solution may be moving into a cash management fund or fixed interest investments.

Some advisers will define these time frames in the following way:

• Short term 1-2 years

• Medium term 3-5 years

• Long term five years plus

However, for others 10 years is considered short term, 20 years’ medium term and lifetime is considered long term.

Either way, it is important for you to first develop your own idea in relation to time, at the same time your adviser can also instruct you in this area. Don’t be surprised if your adviser guides you toward a longer investment horizon, as having a longer time frame will decrease the impact of volatility and risk on your plan and overall strategies.

5: Finding a Financial Adviser

So what exactly is a financial adviser?

A financial adviser is a licensed professional who helps you make better decisions when it comes to your money and helps you focus on planning for your future. They will also educate you about all money-related matters and help you understand the ramifications of your current money habits and future investment decisions.

You may feel uncertain or nervous about interviewing prospective financial planners. That's natural. Take your time. You are hiring someone to do an important job.

Where to begin looking

By now you should have a basic understanding of the financial planning process and you’ve prepared and equipped yourself to take the next step. It’s time to find a financial adviser that is best suited to assessing your needs and helping you achieve your goals.

There are many avenues to explore to find a good financial adviser.

One good place to start is to speak to family and friends to see whether they use an adviser or whether they are able to recommend someone.

Recommendations from other professionals such as accountants are also worth seeking. Referrals such as these are often a good place to start.

The traits of a good financial adviser are not unlike those of a good coach: this is a person with depth of knowledge in their field who will motivate, seek new information, educate, listen, communicate effectively, inspire, empower, display commitment and patience, emphasise goals and, above all else, help achieve results that may otherwise have been unobtainable

As with making any major decision, you should shop around and talk to a number of advisers before making a final selection.

Licensing and qualifications

Find someone who is licensed to give financial advice.

In order to legally give financial advice one must hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence. When choosing your financial planner, make sure they have all the necessary skills and qualifications and they represent a reputable organisation, committed to servicing its clients’ long-term needs. Consider the following criteria when choosing a financial planner:

The first and most important thing to look for when choosing a financial adviser is whether or not they have a financial service license (AFSL) or are an authorised representative of someone with a license.

Most representatives and small planning firms will fall under the license of a large financial institution such as a bank, and what they can advise on is tightly controlled by those institutions.

That is the main reason why the majority of financial planners do not advise on investment property strategies.

Smaller firms with their own AFSL have much more flexibility in their recommendation process and are not bound by such restrictions.

The main point to remember is to only deal with a licensed advisory business. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) are responsible for all licensing within Australia.

A financial adviser will assess where you are financially and design a plan to help you meet your financial goals. A good adviser should look at the big picture, taking into consideration accounting, investing, tax, and insurance issues.

Finding a good financial adviser may seem as challenging as actually doing the investment research yourself. Brokerage firms, banks, accountants, certified financial planners, and managed fund companies are happy to offer advice and guidance at a price. Sifting through all of these options to choose a qualified planner you're comfortable with and that will look out for your interests will take some footwork, but don't make the mistake of trying to save time by picking an adviser from the phone book.

Know what you want to obtain from a financial adviser. This will be determined in part by the nature of your investments and other assets.

Know your risk tolerance level. Can you ride out the swings in the stock market and retain your sanity? Or will a downturn cause sleepless nights?

The interview process

During an interview with a potential adviser it is important for you to remember that you are in charge of making any decisions.

Do not allow anyone to force or pressure you into doing anything that you do not feel comfortable with or don’t understand. It is important for you to understand that you will be hiring them to do an extremely important job for you, so you must ensure you are completely comfortable with the person you choose.

Use the list of prepared questions you have and listen to their responses. If you don’t understand something, ask them to explain.

Sample list of questions

The following is a list of suggested questions you may wish to ask a potential adviser:

  • Do you have a current financial services license?

  • What is your level of experience and qualifications?

  • What type of clients do you normally advise?

  • How do you charge for your services?

  • What are your areas of specialty?

  • Do you advise on institutional type investments only, or are you able to also advise me on direct investments such as direct property?

  • What level of control do you take in regards to the overall process, and how much do you get involved in the implementation phase?

  • How do you do your research and how do you keep up to date professionally?

  • How do you choose investment managers?

  • How do you maintain an ongoing relationship with clients?

  • What makes you different to other financial advisers?

  • At this point, you should also be provided with a Financial Services Guide (FSG). You may need to interview more than one person to establish whether they are the most suitable to work with you.

How much will it cost?

The final aspect in comparing potential advisers is price.

The cost to you will depend on the complexity of your investments and financial situation, as well as where you live and the fee method the planner uses.

By law, all advisers must disclose all forms of payment, upfront or ongoing fees, and commissions.

Many advisers will charge using one or a combination of these methods. When comparing, it may help to get an example to help you understand the implications of the different methods. Potential advisers should be able to go through and explain these payments.

In addition, this information should also be made available in the Financial Services Guide (FSG) which, by law, must be presented to clients.

In any event, it is important to consider all of these aspects as well as reading any FSG before choosing a potential adviser.

A focused image of a young couple in a consultation with a financial advisor, not visible, over a document. The couple appears engaged and thoughtful, discussing their options. The setting suggests a professional environment, likely an office, where crucial decisions about financial planning are being made. This scene represents the vital step of selecting a suitable financial advisor on the Gold Coast, an essential moment in shaping one’s financial journey.

6: Making your Selection

Remember, maintaining an ongoing relationship with your adviser is critical.

As your guide they join you on your journey to achieving your financial dreams. Financial advisers on the gold coast should be able to give you support and answer any questions that may arise along the way. Once again, drawing on the comparison of the relationship between a top athlete and their coach, we can see the journey travelled and the success achieved is made possible only by the combined and focused efforts of both parties.

It is important to understand that the financial environment is always changing and the rule books are always being revised and re-written.

In some cases, it may be crucial for a change in strategy if a particular event occurs or a new law is passed.

Detailed and regular reviews are key and, if maintained, both parties should be able to act swiftly and promptly to ensure ongoing financial and investment success.

After you have sorted through all the data as well as considered the individual adviser’s approach and skills, you are ready to make your final choice.

You should now be able to make a well informed and confident selection and be assured that you have given yourself every chance to succeed in choosing a suitable adviser.

Take the next step

We now invite you to take the next step and meet with an adviser to discuss what it was you were hoping to achieve when you downloaded this handbook and to establish if we can help you achieve your goals and objectives.

Next you will find details on how to book an appointment with one of our experts.

We look forward to meeting you soon.

Chris D'souza

Financial Planner Gold Coast / Mortgage Broker Gold Coast

The information posted is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial product advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and the nature of the relevant financial product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice and read the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) or other offer document prior to making a decision.

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