Having decided you will benefit from financial planning advice, you generally have only a handful of choices when it comes to sourcing advice and guidance from a professional and qualified planner.
You could seek advice from:
- Industry funds such as CBUS, First State, REST, HostPlus etc
- The banking system using CBA, ANZ, Westpac NAB etc
- A planner who is licensed through a dealer group whose name is not readily associated with a big four bank or large institutionally owned brand.
The first two are obvious. You may already be a member of one of the first two choices and feel comfortable knowing they will assist you (and recommend) using their own product range. That makes sense; you don’t go to a BMW dealership expecting the staff to sell you a Mercedes!
The third choice is a more complicated one. Who owns that license is an important question, and knowing who owns and manages these licenses may in turn influence the choice of products recommended by the financial planner who is supposedly helping you.
When you make the decision to work with a financial planning firm that is not owned or influenced by a large financial institution, it may help you to find someone local who may be better suited to your advice needs.
The Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) lists Financial Planners in your area that are not owned or influenced by a large corporation, and is probably the best place to start.
At Partners in Planning, we are a part of the AIOFP.