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With a Royal Commission into the finance industry just around the corner, it’s important now, more than ever, to obtain accurate financial advice. We’ve created a list of go-to questions to ask before partnering with a financial planner.

Traditionally, the local Bank Manager was seen as the oracle of all things financial. Our parents would look to the Bank Manager to obtain advice and guidance on all things money. Oh, how the world has changed.

Now, banks employ teams of Financial Planners to give advice and indirectly sell products that, in many cases, the banks own themselves.

The big question is; how can you be sure you’re getting the best advice, without being sold an in-house product that may not meet your needs? How do you decipher through all the financial jargon, and reach a point where you’re satisfied with the information you have, and the product that you have received?

It’s true, having the right financial planner can make a world of difference. Research by the Financial Services Council has shown that people who received financial advice were almost $100,000 better off in retirement. However, how do you know which financial planners are putting your best interests before theirs?

To get you closer to your financial goals, here is a list of questions to ask before you decide to partner with a financial planner;

1.      Who owns/controls your license to give financial advice?
         It’s a sad fact 80%* of financial planners are owned/controlled by the banks.

2.      What are your qualifications?|
          It’s a worrying fact only 52% of advisors have a tertiary degree or higher.

3.      How many years experience do you have?
         This is important. They may have the knowledge, but do they have the experience?

4.      What are your fees? And how do you charge?
         If the fees outweigh the benefits, what’s the point?

5.      Does the planner have a conflict of interest with any in-house products?
         If they manufacture the products, how do they have a clear view of what product is best suited to your needs and requirements?

Asking these questions upfront at your first financial planning meeting is a responsible measure to take to help avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.

Be sure to chat to Partners in Planning about all of your Financial Planning needs. Financial Planners Melbourne.