Why you should be using an Independent Financial Adviser/Planner, and what it means to be truly ‘Independent.’
Planning for your financial future can be daunting if you don’t know where to start.
The financial services industry is riddled with confusing language, complicated finance products and pushy advisers that feel more like sales representatives rather than someone looking out for your future.
We are here to help cut through the noise, and help you understand what the difference is between your regular run-of-the-mill advisors and an independent financial planner who has your best interests in mind.
First let’s clear a few things up…
What is an Independent Financial Advisor?
If you’ve heard the term ‘Independent Financial Planner’ or ‘Independent Financial Advisor’ you may be asking yourself, what does it really mean? The truth is that many advisers throw the term around because even they don’t know what it means. Let’s be clear, to call yourself an Independent Financial Planner there is a strict criteria set out by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) because an Independent Ad
viser should be free from bias, conflict and influence of all products. While someone may deceptively claim to be Independent, here are some signs of a truly Independent Adviser:
- A bank employed financial planner cannot be Independent. This is due to the bank owing products which an adviser can recommend. If you want financial advice that’s the best for you, yet the boss of your financial planner (being the bank who actually owns the Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL)) has products that they are paid for, and your adviser is recommending it (maybe not to you but at least to some of the people they meet), would you feel like your advice is free from bias and only looking out for you?
- Any financial planning firm who’s licence is owned by a bank or a product provider/ superannuation fund. You would be shocked by the hundreds of Financial Planning firms in Australia which are ultimately giving advice under a Banks Licence. It’s estimated that over 80% of all Financial Planners in Australia are linked to a bank/ product provider in some meaningful way.
Here are some key characteristics that make an Independent Financial Advisor different from the remaining 99.5% of financial advisors in Australia:
- Independent Advisers don’t take commission. It doesn’t matter if it’s on an insurance policy, investment product or alternative recommendation. An Independent Adviser will never accept commission, as commission has the opportunity to sway someone’s recommendations if they are paid to recommend that product.
- They are completely transparent with fees, so you’ll know exactly how much you pay. In dozzi’s case, we only offer our services on a fixed and known fee. There is simply no other revenue we will ever receive.
- This is a step further than ASIC regulations, however in our mind truly Independent Financial Planners do not charge percentage based fees. If you want an Adviser who is even more Independent than the current government regulations (aka going beyond the call of duty), you should find an Independent Adviser who does not charge percentage based fees. Under a percentage based fee structure your costs will fluctuate, and the Adviser will regularly be paid more, by you, without justification and without your knowledge (as the fees are automatically deducted).
- Should an adviser really be paid more just because your employer contributes into your superannuation fund? Or because you’ve worked hard to earn the bonus at work. We don’t think so.
- No entry or exit fees should relate to a Financial Adviser’s recommendations for you. That means it should cost you nothing to enter or exit a product. If you are unhappy with its progress or if your plans change, you should be able to move wherever you want without penalty fees. This sounds simple, because it is.
- Philosophically, a Financial Adviser should be there to provide advice and support. If someone is paid for more than their advice, well then, in our eyes they become a product representative and move away from the core of what financial advice should be about. While Financial Advisers must recommend products that suit your needs, we are simply saying that they (or their parent company) shouldn’t be paid incentives from those products.
- When an adviser is truly independent, it means they put your needs and success above their own.
- Independent Financial Planners aren’t limited to recommending products that they’re getting paid a commission on; this way they can recommend investments based on what works best for your situation, not what gives them the biggest kickback.
- A challenge with the many traditional (non-independent) planners is they aren’t always as transparent about how they (or their owners/licence provider) earn money as you may be led to believe.
- So, now we’ve cleared up the difference between Independent and non-independent Financial Advisers, here’s how you can find the financial planner who’s right for you.
Here at Dozzi, we pride ourselves on being 100% independent and free of influence from products or third-parties.
That’s right! We never get kickbacks from any of the products we recommend. Instead, we recommend only those strategies and products which are in YOUR best interest.
We can help you with any advice you need, regardless if you prefer property investments or an industry super fund. We will tailor a strategy that suits you, and we will only execute once you are completely happy and fully understand how and why each step is being made. We work hard to PROVE that we only have your best interests in mind when it comes to your financial future.
Here’s what one of our clients had to say:
“At Dozzi, I know that I will be charged a set fee for advice, but this comes with the reassurance that the advisors are NOT limited to a list of products or strategies that will only bring benefits for the firm. This reinforces my feeling that Caleb and his team are truly in the business for the benefit of their clients.” ~ A & E. GRYL
We guarantee that we will always be 100% up-front and honest with you.
You will always know exactly what we charge, and you will never have to worry about our team recommending a product based on our business earning a kickback or commission.
Get your no-obligation consultation with one of our Independent Financial Planners
If you are ready to take the first step to take control of your fiscal future? Contact us now for your no obligation consultation with one of our dedicated and independent financial planning experts.
So how does this work?
Step #1 – Initial Meeting
We schedule in an initial meeting, either by phone, internet or in person to discuss your current position and gather enough information so we can carry out the research necessary for the next stage.
Step #2 – Concept Meeting
Here we present an outline of the potential strategies we are looking at for you, as well as the value that you would stand to experience.
Step #3 – Strategy Presentation Meeting
This meeting is where we formalise what we discussed in the previous meetings, incorporating any additional or updated information, thoughts or feelings you have had. Only if you are 100% happy, do we sign off and move ahead with implementing the recommended strategies.
Our mission at Dozzi is “we want to better the lives of everyone we come in contact with” — And with our team of highly qualified advisers, many with the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, you can feel confident that your finances are in good hands when working with us.
Just click the button below and we will contact you to line up a call.