Everything you need to know about engaging a financial adviser

When it comes to managing our moolah, there are very few experts among us.

You may know the basics (or not). And of course, you may know deep down what the sensible decisions are when it comes to handling money. But acting on these is easier said than done. 

Especially when there are many million more exciting things to do with your money than getting that home loan structure right, or house and contents insurance sorted.   

It’s safe to say that when it comes to money, listening to our heart can be much easier than our head.

So, for those who need some guidance, encouragement and a good solid helping hand when it comes to money management, financial advisers (also known as ‘money coaches’) can come in very handy.

What do financial advisers actually do?

At a high level, they can help you identify financial goals and create a plan to reach them.

However, many people seek out financial advisers for guidance when it comes to big life decisions such as buying a home.

Financial advisers can recommend or provide advice on financial products like KiwiSaver, insurance, home loans and shares and cash investments.

Some provide a comprehensive long-term financial plan that sets you up for many years into the future. Others (like me) specialise in certain areas. So, depending on what you’re after, it pays to check this out first.

Financial Advice Providers are only licensed to offer advice on areas they’re competent in and must tell you this up front, so make sure you’re clear on that before you begin working together. 

How do I find a good one?

The good news for you is that this has just become a whole lot easier. That’s because the government has made some changes to the way financial advisers, like me, are required to operate.

The Financial Services Amendment Act (FSLAA), which outlines the changes, was actually passed a couple of years ago, but implementation was delayed until last month (thanks to COVID).

In a nutshell, the changes mean that all financial advisers must be licensed and comply with a code of conduct (which sets standards of competence and conduct). This applies to both online and in-person advice.

It also means greater transparency – advisers must disclose any conflicts of interest, commissions, or limits on companies or products advised on.

The upshot? Consumers can have greater confidence you’re getting the best quality financial advice.

No more Joe Blow from two-doors down getting away with calling himself a financial adviser (with no qualifications or experience).

I’ve been set up as trusted adviser (under Financial Advice NZ), and a FSP (financial services provider) [HM1] member for many years already, but not all advisers are. And this law change will whittle down and weed out those who aren’t up to the job.

Moral of the story: Be sure to double check your financial adviser is licensed before you go any further.

Other things to look for when choosing your financial adviser:

Their specific qualifications and experience – are they experienced in the area you need help with?  

How much time and effort are they putting into understanding you and your goals before making recommendations.

Are they easy to work with? Do they explain things in language you understand and make you feel empowered to make the right decisions for you?

Financial advice for important milestones

Buying a first home or moving house is one of the most common reasons for seeking financial advice (via a mortgage broker). The big wide world of home loans can take some effort to get your head around. But, if done right, can save you oodles of money in the long term.

Mortgage brokers take the stress and hassle out of arranging everything for your loan and insurance.

What specifically do mortgage brokers do?

  • Deal with a range of lenders to save you time shopping around.
  • We know the interest rates and application criteria for different lenders, so can negotiate on your behalf.
  • Help you sort out your loan application.
  • We can often get better deals than if you approach lenders directly.
  • Help you find a loan elsewhere if a bank can’t give you one.

This is one of my areas of expertise (along with insurance solutions). So, if you need a hand in this department, get in touch and let’s get you sorted.


The Finance Marshall

0508 543 627


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