What Everybody Ought to Know About Financial Advice
Good news! There's no 'stupid' question!

Good news! There's no 'stupid' question!

Financial Advice tips for women - the questions to askI was approached recently to assist women feel a little more in control when approaching a financial adviser and what questions NOT to ask so as to not look stupid.

I confess to being a little taken aback. I have yet to hear a 'stupid question' from a client. If you don't know the answer, it makes sense to ask a professional, and no-one should ever make you feel uncomfortable about asking a question you'd like the answer to.

A financial adviser needs to be someone you form a bond with professionally, trust, and feel comfortable enough with to help you take control of your financial destiny.

I thought instead it may be more appropriate to help put together some questions that you SHOULD ask a planner and help empower women (or anyone for that matter) to feel they're getting value from the relationship.

Has the Financial Adviser Got the Goods?

So, some things you should know first:

* Deal only with a licensed advisory firm - you can usually check out credentials on the firms' website, then cross check with ASIC and/or the FPA
- each Adviser needs an ASIC number to prove they're licensed and be part of an Australian Financial Services Licensee and many are members of a professional body

* the first document you receive should be an FSG - or Financial Services Guide which outlines your adviser's qualifications & history, who they are licensed with, services available to you, how they charge, and how to make complaints if you're ever dissatisfied

* take the time to interview up to three or even more Advisers to find someone you're personally compatible with. You need to trust this person with your finances - it's a pretty big step to take!

* if you've found someone who suits, make sure you're getting what you see as value for money - what services will you receive for your fees and do you see value in the offering?

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What Do You Want from a Financial Adviser?

Some questions to ponder before you go, are:

* What do you want to achieve from the partnership?

* Has the Adviser been in a similar position to yourself in life stages or do they deal with a lot of people in circumstances such as yourself?

* What is it going to cost? How flexible are their charging options and does it fit your situation and budget?

* Are you happy for this person to help you make important financial decisions?

* Are they interested in what is important to you - your goals and priorities?

* Can you 'sleep at night' with the recommendations? Or are you overly concerned about the consequences? Is there an exit strategy or cooling off period available?

* Do you have a specific query such as redundancy or an inheritance, superannuation and retirement planning, insurance protection or just want a general hand with finances?

* Is this to be a one-off transaction or do you require an ongoing relationship with this person whenever you require answers to queries?

Respecting Women

Unless you're seeing an old misogynist dinosaur, most advisers know that women fill an important role in the household, whether single, partnered or as part of a family unit, and are very influential in the decision making processes. Their concerns are legitimate and fears real and need addressing.

Please don't ever accept being made to feel small, but take charge of the relationship. Great tools are also available via the Financial Planning Association's website www.fpa.asn.au

if you'd like to do more research before you head out and find the planner who will help you take charge.

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Find out about Amanda Cassar

Find out about Amanda Cassar

Guest Writer Amanda Cassar of Wealth Planners Partners

Amanda Cassar of Wealth Planning Partners has a passion for creating financial freedom and believes it's possible for all of us.

Amanda has been involved in the finance and insurance industry since 1991. Her particular passion is making sure all families have adequake risk strategies in place to protext what they're already worked so hard for, and then look to wealth creation for the future.

Amanda has recently completed her Masters in Financial Planning (MFP) and is a Telstra Business Women's Award Network member. She is a mum of two teens, enjoys good food, great wine and travel - and loves living on the beautiful Gold Coast. 

You can find more financial knowledge and wisdom through the Wealth Planning Blog and Wealth Planning Partners Facebook online resources.

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