Finding a Good Adviser Involves Many Questions


By Dale Gillham | Published 18 March 2014 | Last Fact Checked 12 November 2018


Finding a good adviser involves asking many questions but often the quality of the answers you receive are only as good as the questions you ask. 

Given this you need to be prepared prior to talking with your potential adviser, and to do this you first need to ask yourself many questions.

  • Why do I want an adviser?
  • What am I trying to achieve by using an adviser?
  • What sort of investments and level of risk am I comfortable with?
  • What sort of returns am I looking for?
  • What time frame am I looking at for my investment to grow?

The answers to these questions will assist you in preparing to not only select an appropriate adviser, you will save time and money in not to having to deal with someone who does not have the knowledge in the areas you want to invest in, such as direct property and shares. 

More importantly, the answers to these questions will assist you to go into your meeting properly prepared. 

I would suggest that the best way to find an adviser is through word of mouth, as you will know more about them and why you might use them prior to your meeting. That said, you will find a link to Choice at the end of this article, who also provide some great advice on finding a suitable financial adviser.

Questions to ask your adviser

Important questions to ask your adviser include:

  • How long have they been in business, what are their qualifications and areas of expertise?
  • Their approach or philosophy to investing?
  • Their fee structure?
  • What is their process when you agree to become a new client?  
  • Will the first meeting be free or is it fee based, and what is provided?
  • If you decide to switch advisers and or investments can you do that? What is the process? And are any fees involved? 

Take a list of questions to your meeting with your adviser and make sure your questions are answered to your satisfaction. If you don’t understand the answers keep asking for clarification until you understand.

Traps to avoid

  • Any plan needs time to work and this can be an issue if you fall out with your adviser as you don’t want to jump from one person, or company, to the next as this is a sure fire way not to get ahead. This can be even more of an issue for those later in life, as you have less time to invest;
  • Read everything, including the fine print so you understand what you are investing in. If you don’t understand your risks in a particular asset class why invest in it;
  • Take an interest in what your adviser is doing, remember it’s your money and your future;
  • Be wary of free advice as nothing is free;
  • Don't rollover your superannuation to a self-managed super fund unless you understand the ramifications of any downside risk that arise from doing this; and
  • Don’t place all of your nest egg in one investment.

Choice provide some great tips on how to find the best financial adviser

If you decide you would prefer to handle your own investments, then you maybe interested in reading the following:


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