5 tips for finding a good financial adviser

As living costs blow out and budgets squeeze, you may be thinking the time has come to seek financial advice.

With inflation, living costs and interest rates all soaring, many Australians are fearful for the future and curbing their spending.

While it’s always good to reign in frivolous spending, there are long-term gains to be had by advancing while others are retreating – provided you do it armed with good advice and a solid strategy.

Seeking financial advice is a great way to look at the big picture and devise an investment strategy that works for you.

This checklist will help you to choose a good financial adviser and make the most of their expertise:

1. Revisit your spending and investment plan

An independent set of eyes can help you explore untapped savings, tax and debt reduction strategies, underused investment opportunities, and scrutinise your safety net to ensure your money is working its hardest for you.

But you’ll need to know your numbers and have an idea of what you’re working towards first. That will help you whittle down your adviser prospects to someone with experience in the areas of greatest importance to you.

2. Maximise your money strategy

The old belief of ‘pay off your home first then invest’ becomes a case of too little, too late.

It’s important to maximise your strategy and make the most of what you have today. And you’re more likely to buy into advice on how to achieve this if it comes from someone you can relate to.

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You don’t need to be a billionaire to benefit from financial advice – but advisers who specialise in high-net worth individuals may not be a good fit if you earn a minimum wage. Similarly, many women prefer a female adviser because of relatable life experience.

Also consider which financial adviser would best be able to work with you and your accountant, because working together gives you a holistic view of your finances.

3. Try to avoid money mistakes

Prevention is always better than cure.

In money matters, mistakes can be expensive. For instance, many people have consolidated their superannuation without realising they inadvertently cancelled their life and income protection insurances in the process.

Others struggle under a debt mountain without realising there are methods for climbing that mountain.

Going it alone means you risk making mistakes, simply because you don’t necessarily see the full picture.

So, look for a financial adviser with the experience to identify the mistakes and hazards for you ahead of time.