8 Things Millennials Should Look For In A Financial Adviser
As we millennials keep moving up the corporate ladders and making names for ourselves, our paycheques and savings accounts are (hopefully!) starting to grow.
There’s never been a better time to choose a financial coach, but it’s also never been more overwhelming as every ‘Bitcoin expert’ is happy to dish out financial ‘advice’ over a few beers.
To help you in your search, our Financial Coaches have put together a list of 8 things millennials should look for in a financial adviser:
1. Someone you can connect with, but not your bestie.
If you just can’t connect with your financial adviser, will you really listen to what they have to say? As you progress your wealth building journey, you’ll have a close relationship with your financial planner, so make sure it’s someone you get along with. Don’t be afraid to tell them it just isn’t working out if you don’t click. If they have your best interests at heart, they’ll get it, and most likely even recommend you to someone they think you might work better with. If you spend your life avoiding them like the dentist, it won’t be helping anyone!
By the same token, you need someone who isn’t too close of a friend. Your coach shouldn’t be afraid to challenge you or play devil’s advocate for fear of ruining the friendship!
2. Someone who practices what they preach.
They’re living it themselves. If they are doing in their life what they are telling you to do in yours, it’s a pretty good sign! They are proof they believe in their advice and aren’t just trying to sell you a product. (It’s also a lot more likely they will have ironed out any bumps in the advice as well!)
3. Someone qualified.
A no brainer. You need someone who knows their sh*t, so make sure they have a financial planning qualification.
RG146 compliant is a minimum to meet ASIC’s requirements of being a financial planner, but other qualifications you might see are CFP and FchFP. Not all of our coaches agree with the qualification your adviser should have, but you do want to know it is a credible person. Testimonials and case studies are a must!
4. Someone you can understand and who can understand you.
There’s a lot of financial planning lingo out there and unless you’ve studied it, you might not know what it all means. Make sure your adviser speaks in a language you understand. It’s your money they’re handling, so you need to ensure they really listen to you and understand what you’re looking for.
5. Flat fees.
Look for someone who isn’t charging a percentage based fee. A lot of, shall we say, older advisers will charge a fee which is percentage based out of the product they recommend to you. One of the problems with this is as the value of your funds grow, so does your fee – but the service you are provided stays the same.
Look for an adviser that charges a flat dollar fee so you know exactly what you’re paying and what you’re getting for it. Advisers who charge flat fees are much less likely to be biased in their recommendations, whether it’s property, share portfolios, or super, for example, because it’s less likely they’ll be receiving commission.
Many financial advisers also charge extra fees to manage investments, so be sure to read the fine print.
6. A supporter.
Your adviser should support you where you need it, challenge you to shift your thinking when it’s called for, and not pretend to fix everything at once. Wealth creation is a journey! When most of us start with financial planners, our finances are a mess. Or, you know, could be better. If you’re $50k in debt, don’t let someone tell you everything is okay when your gut tells you it’s not (yet!). You need an adviser who is real with you. This is your money and your life!
Your financial coach should understand you’re running your own race. Don’t let them compare you to other people or make you feel bad. Your adviser should inspire you to take action.
7. Someone with a holistic approach.
Money is a facilitator of life. Your adviser shouldn’t want to build your wealth for the sake of it, especially if they only focus in one area (like super or insurance, for instance). Money, life and your goals go hand-in-hand (-in-hand). It really is an all or nothing approach.
8. Someone who understands your stage of life.
For every point of your life, there will be an adviser for that point. Whether you’re a professional athlete, in the entertainment industry, an entrepreneur, a doctor, a baby boomer, a Gen X-er, a millennial, you make over $100 million, or you have recently retired, find the company with the capability and resources for the life stage you’re in.