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Choosing a financial adviser

Find an adviser that suits you and your goals

Page reading time: 3 minutes

A good financial adviser works with you to understand your needs, set your financial goals, and create a plan to help you achieve them.

Anyone who gives financial advice must have an Australian financial services (AFS) licence.

1. Decide what you want from financial advice

Before you get financial advice, decide what you want to get out of it. This depends on your stage of life, how much money you have, and what you're trying to achieve.

A financial adviser can help you make financial decisions and plan for the future. This might include advice about budgeting, investing, super, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance and taxation.

If you're eligible to access your super early because of COVID-19, financial advisers can provide a simpler Record of Advice. The advice fee, if any, is capped at $300.

2. Choose the right financial advice for you

A financial adviser can give you general financial advice. This type of advice doesn't take into account your personal situation or goals, or how it might affect you personally.

A financial adviser can also give personal financial advice. This advice is tailored to your financial situation and goals, and is in your best interests. It can include:

To find out more about what financial advisers can do for you, see working with a financial adviser.

3. Find a financial adviser

Once you know what you want, find an adviser who offers the right services for you.

You can look for a financial adviser through their professional associations:

Or you can try:

Use our financial advisers register to check your adviser is licensed.

Check the Financial Services Guide

The best way to see what a financial adviser offers is to read their Financial Services Guide (FSG). It should be on their website, or you can ask them for a copy.

The Financial Services Guide shows:

Robo-advice

Robo-advice is automated financial advice you can get online. You enter your information, for example, your personal details, investment goals and risk tolerance. Then the advice is generated using algorithms and digital technology.

Robo-advice might be cheaper and more convenient than a financial adviser, but it has limitations. Most robo-advice only offers a narrow range of services. A computer program can't help you set goals or objectives. It can't answer your questions, and it can't give you advice about complex financial situations.

4. Meet and compare financial advisers

Financial advisers don't usually charge you for the first meeting. This makes it easy to meet with a few different advisers to compare what they offer.

When you meet an adviser, ask them about:

A good adviser will get to know you, keep you informed, and help you achieve your goals. They'll also discuss how much risk you're comfortable with.