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Financial Planning

Financial advice or financial planning in Oz is a topic that has had extensive media coverage over the past few years and the federal government recently announced new policy reforms to further regulate the financial advice sector called the Future of Financial Advice reforms (or FoFA).
These reforms include restrictions on the sort of fees that financial advisors receive including a ban on commissions and some volume based payments from financial providers. Licensed advisors must also provide you with advice that is in your best interest as opposed to directing customers to products because of commissions or incentives offered to the advisor. More information on FoFA can be found on the ASIC FoFA web page or on the Government’s FoFA Website.

Choosing a Financial Planning Advisor

It is important to ensure that your financial advisor is registered and this can be done via the ASIC financial advisor’s register which will also ensure that they have the right qualifications and experience to assist you.

There are also professional associations that financial planners or advisors are members of and require that their members adhere to their code of conduct and have a mechanism for managing complaints, these include: The Financial Planning Association and The Association of Financial Advisors. CPA Australia also has members who are Financial Planning Specialists, ensure that you select the “I am looking for a CPA Financial Planning Specialist…” option.

It is also important to check that your financial advisor has the right qualifications and experience to assist you as an advisor can be qualified to give advice after meeting minimum training requirements, you should ensure that an advisor has a diploma, advanced diploma or suitable degree qualification in a discipline accounting, finance, economics or financial planning.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) MoneySmart Website has an extensive section on Choosing a financial advisor, questions to ask a financial advisor and many other relevant topics to assist you in finding a suitably qualified professional to help you.

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