Financial planning is a field in which professionally qualified planners and advisers assist clients to obtain advice on the most effective structures and products for their financial and investment security.
What Qualifications Should They Have?
Check that your financial planner is qualified, before you engage them. The easiest way is to ascertain whether they are a member of the FPA (Financial Planning Association of Australia). FPA membership means the planner has agreed to a standard of ethical and professional behaviour higher than that required under the applicable legislation for financial planners in Australia.
What Experience Should They Have?
Experience is an important consideration in choosing any professional. Ask how long the financial planner has been in practice, the number and types of firms with which they have been associated, and how their work experience relates to their current practice. Enquire about what experience the planner has in dealing with similar situations to yours, and whether they have any specialised training.
Are They Licensed?
You should expect a planner to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). They should also provide a copy of their Financial Services Guide. At all times, you should feel you are able to rely upon their qualifications and endorsements by their associated professional bodies.
Do They Specialise In An Area?
Different Financial Planners specialise in different areas, such as superannuation or retirement planning or property investment. Some may only be able to advise in certain restricted areas, so it is a good idea to ensure they have expertise in the area that interests you. It is important their skills and knowledge meet your specific needs.
Are They A Member Of The FPA?
Members of the Financial Planning Association of Australia actually adhere to a higher standard than required by Australian law. Their ethical and professional standards require that they put your interests first, at all times. This means that an FPA memnber has an obligation to recommend to you the product that is best suited to your needs, rather than theirs, every time.
How Do They Charge For Their Services?
By law, all financial planners must disclose all forms of payments and fees. The cost to you will depend upon the complexity of your financial situation and plan, and the fee method the planner uses. FPA members must disclose all fees up front and you must understand and approve the fee structure and the quote before any fees are incurred.
Lifestyle Investment & Planning Solutions are FPA members and adhere to their ethical and professional standards requirements in all of our dealings..