“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair.
The value of the right financial advice can be truly priceless, but just how do you select the right financial planner for you and your family. This person, or team of people, will be chosen to help you achieve your financial goals, manage your investment portfolios, provide you with ongoing advice and be your trusted source of financial information. Needless to say, it’s an important decision.
I’ve outlined below my top tips in selecting the right financial planner for you and your family:
1. Education and Qualifications
With the help of LinkedIn and other social media channels these days, it’s become quite easy to determine what qualifications your prospective financial planner has. Do they have a finance degree? Have they receive specialist qualifications in areas that are relevant to you and your family? While education is not the only criteria, with an ever-changing world of personal finance, it’s important that your financial planner is dedicated to keeping up to date with the latest information and strategies that can benefit your personal financial situation.
2. Alignment of Interests
The simple question to ask your financial planner here is ‘how do you get paid?’ Are they incentivised to protect and grow your investments, or are they tied to and incentivised by certain fund managers or product providers? Ensure that you start your relationship with a financial planner in a transparent manner from the start, to avoid any potential conflicts of interest in future.
3. Shake Them Upside Down
Would you seek legal advice from a plumber, or get your taxes filed by a mechanic? This is the equivalent to seeking financial advice from someone who is broke. Ask your prospective financial planner about where they have their money and what their financial plans are. If they’re not following their own advice, then perhaps you should take this as a red flag and run for the door.
As expats, particularly Australian expats, many will return home to Australia at some point in the future, whether this be to continue working or to retire. Is your prospective financial planner able to continue working with you after you’ve moved back home? Have they considered your repatriation strategy? Do they have the necessary experience to advise you in these areas? Ensure that you’re working with a financial planner with the right experience in the right jurisdictions.
If you’re an Australian expat working abroad, and likely to head back to Australia for your retirement, consider an adviser with the experience and training in that environment. Your adviser should have significant experience in superannuation and Australian investments to ensure that they can add value to you.
5. Stage of Life
Is your prospective financial planner considering how to help you to construct your retirement strategy, or how to make you part of their own? Entering into a partnership with a financial planner is often a long-term relationship, so it’s important to consider just how long they plan to remain in the industry as your trusted adviser.
6. If it sounds too good to be true, RUN!
There are very few people in the world who have consistently outperformed markets, and most of these have been through strategies other than simply investing in a company and waiting for it to rise. Any adviser guaranteeing lofty returns is almost certainly lying, and this will likely lead to them taking risks with your money that you may not be comfortable with. Instead, they should be guiding you through the risks of different asset classes, what to expect, and carefully designing financial strategies to suit your goals.
Ensure that you’re making an informed choice when it comes to selecting the right financial planner for you and your family.
To Your Financial Success!
Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner with Australian Expatriate Group, division of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to international and local professionals in Singapore.
Australian Expatriate Group is the trusted fee-based financial advice provider for Australian expatriates living in Singapore and throughout Asia-Pacific. Licensed by Global Financial Consultants in Singapore, our team is Australian-trained, experienced and qualified, allowing us to provide specialist advice to Australians living abroad.
To learn more about how we may be able to help you, please contact us:
✆ +65 8282 5702
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General Information Only: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take into account your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. You should consider your own financial position and requirements before making a decision.