Choosing an Investment Adviser

Do I need an adviser?

If you are confident of your own knowledge and experience about investment choices, then you may not need a financial adviser either. But the decision on where to invest is only part of the equation; often, the taxation and social security ramifications of your decisions are equally important and you may not be skilled in those areas.

Choosing a financial adviser

  1. Your adviser should understand your financial needs and goals. They should give you advice that suits those needs.
  2. Only deal with a licensed adviser, their employees or authorised representatives.
  3. Before giving you investment advice, your adviser must give you a financial services guide. The guide will explain how your adviser will deal with consumer complaints, what services they offer and how they are paid.
  4. Find out about commissions. Advisers must tell you about all commissions they receive from your investments. They must also tell you all other important benefits they may get as a result of your investments, for example free holidays, or a reduced mortgage interest loan. You have a right to know because these benefits could sway the judgement of the adviser. You should also find out if the adviser, or their company, has any links with the owners of the businesses they recommend.
  5. Find out about any conflict of interest. Your adviser must tell you about any financial or other interest they have that might influence the advice they give you. This is what the expression 'disclosure of interest' in stockbrokers' reports and financial plans means.

By Australian Securities and Investment Commission


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