Choosing a financial planner can prove to be a challenging task. When selecting a financial planner, you should consider their professional qualifications and memberships, relationship potential, agreed fee structure and ensure that all recommendations are provided in writing. You should only consider financial planners who hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or are an Authorised Representative of a financial services dealer group (like Lonsdale).

Professional qualifications and memberships

  • Certified qualifications in the financial topic on which you are about to seek advice. Such qualifications include Diploma of Financial Planning (DFP) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP)TM.
  • Membership of either the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) or the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA). These national bodies enforce a strict code of conduct upon their members and have the authority to investigate complaints and discipline members if required.
  • Evidence they are an authorised representative of a financial services dealer group (like Lonsdale). The dealer group must be an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) holder through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This ensures they are legally registered to support their planners (called Authorised Representatives) in the provision of financial advice to you. Alternatively, the planner may hold their own AFSL.

Relationship potential

When choosing a financial planner, you need to feel comfortable sharing personal information so, trust is critical in your decision-making. In many cases, your first meeting is complimentary and this is a great opportunity to meet your potential planner face-to-face.

Agreed fee structure

Your planner should be completely transparent about how they get remunerated and ensure that you understand how their fee structure for advice is set up.

All recommendations given in writing

Before committing to a financial plan,you should receive clearly outlined - in writing - the strategy they are proposing to you.

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