5 ways to choose a Financial Planner

Why is it such a big decision for choosing the right financial planner? Sharing your deepest, darkest financial secrets with someone is a big step to take. We are often told stories of our client’s parents or grandparents hiding money around the house or in the back shed because they felt it was safer to do that than entrust either a bank with the money or a financial planner with their future.

Thousands of dollars hidden in books, tyre rims and inside crockery statues!
Thankfully times have changed somewhat and now the financial planning industry is regulated by ASIC and has some great industry associations that focus on keeping the standards of this industry high and authentic.

And yes, there will also be sharks in any industry. That’s a given.

So here are our tips on how to choose the right financial planner and keep those sharks at bay by separating the financial planning wheat from the chaff.

1. Check Industry Association Membership
The Financial Planning Association and the Association of Financial Advisors are the two main industry associations in Australia. Members are bound by a code of ethics and professional practice and must meet continual professional development requirements.

2. Ask for Qualifications
While experience is great, a qualification gives that experience credibility. It quantifies the experience with theory and currency.

3. Who is Really Running the Show?
A number of organisations such as banks and insurance companies also offer financial advice. While that’s great, it also means that sometimes the focus is on that company’s products and signing clients up to use them. Blenkhorn Financial Planning is privately owned. We don’t recommend products that won’t meet your needs.

4. Gobbledygook
If you can’t understand half of what your financial planner is saying, you may want to reconsider the relationship. Every day we speak to mums, dads, grandparents, retirees, young singles, business owners….all sorts of people! We talk their language and leave the financial jargon at the door.

5. In Sickness and in Health
It’s a volatile world. In the past ten years we have seen a global financial crisis, the slowing down of the resources boom, even countries going broke! Look for a financial planner or advisor that has ridden out the bad times as well as the good and prepares for all sorts of future scenarios.

We say to a lot of our clients that it comes down to instinct. We know we have the scores on the door, the runs on the board…. whatever metaphor you can possibly think of!
But nothing beats the gut instinct. You know when you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with someone. You get that feeling. Our advice would be if you’re feeling uncomfortable and thinking that something isn’t quite right, get going on those five tips above and make sure your financial planner is all about YOU and YOUR future.

If you would like some real alternatives to your financial future or need some help with your current set up, feel free to contact us here https://blenkhorn.com.au/contact/