Never take financial advice or hand money over for a financial product (investment, insurance, super) unless you have consulted with a Financial Adviser or Financial Planner.

‘Financial Adviser’ and ‘Financial Planner’ are protected terms under the Corporations Law.  The two terms are interchangeable.  To call yourself one, you must be included on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register.  This also means holding a licence from ASIC or being authorised by another licence holder to provide personal financial advice.

You should always check the name of the individual you are speaking with against the Financial Advisers Register on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.  The Register will also detail:

  1. The adviser’s licence history;
  2. Their qualifications;
  3. Whether there has been a banning order or any other disciplinary action taken against the adviser; and
  4. Whether they have met their education requirements each year as a required by law.

Assuming you are consulting a registered financial adviser, details of the Financial Services Licence under which your adviser operates must be included in the adviser’s Financial Services Guide (or Financial Services Guide).  A link to our Financial Services and Credit Guide can be found on our website.  You should also expect to receive this from your adviser as soon as it becomes clear they may be providing you with personal financial advice.

If you haven’t received a Financial Services Guide from your financial adviser, ask for one.  Don’t take any other action until you have seen it, had a chance to review it and ask any questions you might have about it.  It’s best not to discover things by accident, especially when it may involve your life’s savings.

Of course, meeting a minimum standard at law does not make one ‘great’, but in making a major financial decision, it’s a place to start.  If the person you are consulting is not on the register, find one who is and consider working through the process we have outlined on our Financial Advice page.

It’s not enough just for it to feel right.  Everything should add up.