How to Choose a Financial Planner: Key Questions to Guide Your Decision

How to Choose a Financial Planner: Key Questions to Guide Your Decision

May 30, 2024 |
Ben Cole

When considering whether to seek the guidance of a financial planner, it’s crucial to understand the triggers that signal the need for professional advice. At Fowler’s Group, we believe in empowering individuals to make informed financial decisions. Here’s a guide to help you determine if it’s time to consult with a financial planner and what to focus on during your first meeting.

When to Speak to a Financial Planner

  1. Life Changes: Major life events such as getting married, having a child, buying a home, or retiring often necessitate financial planning.
  2. Complex Finances: If your financial situation is becoming too complex to handle on your own, it might be time to seek professional help.
  3. Financial Goals: When you have specific financial goals, such as saving for education, investing for retirement, or planning for estate transfers, a planner can help you strategise effectively.
  4. Investment Advice: If you’re unsure about where and how to invest your money, a financial planner can provide valuable insights and recommendations.
  5. Tax Planning: To optimise your tax situation and take advantage of tax benefits, professional advice can be crucial.
  6. Debt Management: Struggling with debt or looking to manage it more effectively? A planner can offer strategies to reduce and manage debt.

Key Questions and Areas to Focus on When Meeting with a Financial Planner

  1. Request Their Financial Services Guide (FSG): Every financial advice firm is required to provide an FSG. This document offers crucial information to help you decide whether to obtain financial advice from them. It’s typically available on the planner’s website.
  2. Plain English Communication: Ensure that the planner can explain financial concepts in plain English, especially if these concepts are new to you. Clarity is key to understanding your financial strategy.
  3. Understanding Your Needs: A good planner should be able to have a meaningful conversation with you to understand what really matters to you. This helps in crafting a financial plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.
  4. Verify Credentials on the ASIC Adviser Register: Search the planner’s name on the ASIC Adviser Register to verify their credentials and ensure they are authorised to provide financial advice.
  5. Research Online Presence: Google the planner to see what content they’ve put out online. This can give you insights into their expertise and how they communicate with the public.
  6. Ask About Fees: Understanding how a planner charges for their services is crucial. Ask them to explain their fee structure clearly, so you know what to expect.

If you want to learn more about the strategies discussed here, get in touch with me and the friendly, experienced team at Fowler’s Group. We’re here to help you navigate your financial journey with confidence. For email and phone contact details, head to our website

By addressing these questions and considerations, you can make a more informed decision about seeking financial advice and ensure that you choose a planner who is well-suited to help you achieve your financial goals.

Ben Cole, Financial Planner at Fowler’s Group

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