What does a Financial Adviser do?

At its most basic level a Financial Adviser helps people to make better financial decisions whilst helping them to move forward towards a better future. How this takes place may be different for every client because every journey is unique.

Financial advice begins by helping clients to see what is possible in their future, and to identify areas that they may be able to do better with their money in the present. From this point we work with clients to put together a series of steps that will get them closer to achieving their dream. For some clients this may be an upgraded home, for others time off work to have a baby, whilst other still may want to have the big overseas trip in retirement. There is no right or wrong to your dreams, but we are committed to help all our client find the right path to theirs.

I wouldn't call myself rich. Can you still help me?

Absolutely. Financial advice is important for everyone. At Watson and Sons Advisory Pty Ltd we don't set a minimum asset level for clients, however we will only work with clients that feel that they need help and are prepared to take advice on their situation, knowing that they may need to make changes to be able to reach their destination. If you feel that you need assistance and would like to work in partnership with us, we would love to make a time to meet with you.

What areas of Advice do you work in?

Robert specialises in working with clients on automated spending plans, protection and pre retirement planning. He has accreditation's to deal in Direct Securities and Self-Managed Superannuation. He is especially passionate about working with clients to ensure their families are protected if something goes wrong.

John has a background in Accounting and over many years has devoted his expertise to helping clients take control of their retirement investments through Self-Managed Superannuation Funds. He is also passionate about helping clients manage their wealth through their retirement journey and ensuring it is their to create a legacy for the next generation. John is also accredited in Direct Securities.

If there are any situation that we feel we are not suited to, we will endeavor to find an expert and provide an introduction to you.

How much does it cost to get advice?

Without knowing everyone's situation is difficult to give you an exact cost, however we have put together an idea of costs on our costs page. Our initial meeting is on us, to give us a chance to each work out if we are the right fit to work together into the future. After the first meeting, we will give you an idea as to what our partnership will look like, as well as the expected costs of our advice and ongoing service. If you are happy with this, we will get to work on preparing your map for your life 's journey.

Will you help me put your advice in place, or do I do it myself?

We are here to partner with you on your life journey. That includes on the any changes you may need to make to get back on the right path. We will help you to make all of the changes that we recommend and are absolutely dedicated to making as smooth as possible.

Are there any questions I should ask a Financial Adviser before we meet?

We wanted to make this site, and our business as open as possible. We wanted to answer your questions upfront and honestly so you could be sure of who you were dealing with. Whilst we think there are a lot of areas we can help our client in, we also understand that we can't work with everyone. But don't worry, we have put together a list of questions that may help you if you decide to get advice from another financial adviser. This is our what to ask if this was for mum list.....

What are your qualifications?

If someone was dealing with my mum's money I would want to know that they are serious about this occupation and have invested their time and effort to continue to learn and grow

Who is your licensee?

Whilst your adviser may be part of a private company it is important to know who provides the financial license as this can dictate which products they can and can not use. Now large licensees are not necessarily bad, it is important to go into this process knowing what biases there maybe so you can ask the right questions (such as why is this super fund better than my current fund?)

What types of advice do you provide?

Not everyone is an expert in everything and as you get more complex advice it is important to get advice from the right people. That was one of the reasons we started this business as we had two different skill sets that meant we could help more people together than individually. If someone says they can do everything, I would be wary as they are either the greatest adviser or pulling your leg. If you want retirement advice, someone who specializes in insurances may not have all the answers on Centrelink. They may be fine but there may be people better suited to help. Similarly if you want to discuss Self Managed Superannuation I would be looking for a specialist who may be a member of the SMSF Association.

Can you give me an idea as to what you fees will be?

If you are calling an adviser to set an initial meeting, do not expect a solid answer on this questions there are a lot of variables, but if they do not have an idea as to their costs, especially if they have an idea as to what you want, I would be wary. Financial advisers can charge in different ways, such as a percentage of assets, fixed dollar fees or even time based fees, and as long as they are open and honest about it it is up to you to decide if that suits. There is no right way for this to be charged but they should be upfront and honest about it.

Do you provide Ongoing Advice? If so what do you do and how much will it cost me?

Again this is all about honesty and transparency. If an adviser is not willing to tell you what their costs are, again I wouldn't send my mum there. The adviser may be the best adviser in the world, but if they are not transparent about themselves, there processes and fees then how can you adequately judge them?

Lastly take a look at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/financial-advice/financial-advisers-register and see if the advisers information matches up with what you are being told. It will list Licensee details, qualifications and if the adviser has any disciplinary action taken against them by ASIC. Definitely a good place to look!

One final word on what to look for. If someone is selling you something that is too good to be true, chances are it is! If the rate of return that is being sold is higher than a bank rate you should ask questions as to why as it may indicate some risk you need to be aware of. Again this is not necessarily a bad thing, rather it means you need to ask more questions!