A Guide To The Financial Advisors Register And How To Use It

A Guide To The Financial Advisers Register And How To Use It

Financial advisers are required by law to act in the best interest of their clients, although this is not always the case. Unfortunately, some financial advisers act negligently on behalf of their clients and cause detrimental financial losses. To minimise risk for investors the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (more commonly known as the ASIC), has created the Financial Adviser Register to protect investors from unethical advisers.

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Good financial planning requires the development of unique individual strategies that help to manage your finances to meet your financial goals. To help you with your goals, you may wish to hire the advice of a financial adviser. These licenced financial professionals will provide you with solid advice that will help you reach your goals in compliance with your current financial standing.

More About The Financial Advisers Register

The Financial Advisers Register (FAR) is a publicly available resource for those seeking financial advice. The register has a record of all currently employed or authorized financial advisers and their history of negligence. It is has been put into place to help prevent uninformed investors from doing business with misleading financial advisers.

How Do I Choose An Advisers From the Register?

The Financial Advisers Register (FAR) cannot endorse or recommend a financial adviser for you to choose, they purely exist to provide you with the information required to make a decision. Having said that, many professional associations can help you find a suitable adviser that suits your needs. You should make a list of financial advisers that suit your requirements and cross reference them with the Financial Advisers Register to see who is most suitable.

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Who Can I Find On The Financial Advisers Register?

The FAR contains financial advisers who are qualified to provide advice in the following areas:

  • Superannuation
  • Investments
  • Life Insurance

These authorized advisers will help you create financial strategies that are superficial to your needs and reflect on your financial standing at the time of investment.

What Information can I find on the Financial Advisers Register?

On the FAR you can find information regarding:

  • The name of the financial adviser, registration number and current status
  • The training and qualifications that the adviser has
  • The current and previous licensee of the financial adviser

When searching the database, you should accept nothing less than a financial adviser with a current AFS (Australian Financial Services) licence, or acting on behalf of a company who holds the licence. Things to keep an eye out for on their listing include:

  • Area of Specialisation
  • Memberships of Professional Financial Associations
  • Any red marks such as bans, disqualifications or restrictions from practicing
  • Employment History in the Industry

What Should I Do If I Can’t Find My Financial Adviser?

More often than not, there are several results for a search so it may be hard to find your adviser right away. Don’t panic. For a more specific search, provide more details into your query such as their ABN and their registration number. If you follow those steps and you still can’t find your financial adviser you may have an issue as it could mean that your adviser is not registered or licenced, or that they have failed to provide all their representatives information.

In either situation, you should avoid using this financial adviser's services. If you are currently involved with an adviser that you can’t find on the registry, you can report your concern to the ASIC who will investigate the situation and let you know what the issue is in regards to your adviser not being listed.

What Benefits Come With the Financial Advisers Register?

Unfortunately for investors, there are continuous instances of negligent financial advice being given by unethical advisers, leading to catastrophic financial losses. By using the Financial Advisers Register, you are actively protecting yourself from negligent advisers who can cause massive issues for both you and other investors. The service lets you to see their employment records and their status in the industry, allowing you to make informed decisions on those who will be handling your finances. Like any big decision, the more research you do, the better it will be.

Examples of negligent practices that should lead you to re-consider your current situation include when your financial adviser does any of the following:

  • They fail to inform you on all of the risks associated with an investment
  • They recommend a big investment for one product in particular rather than offering a balance
  • They recommend products that allow them to receive commission for, despite the risk involved for you and your financial standing
  • They recommend products that you believe to be too risky