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How much do financial planners charge?

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#1 ~Nic~

Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

DH and I have been thinking for a while now that we need to see a financial planner - nothing drastic, just need to decide whether we should lease v's buy a new car, possibly refinance home loan, how to pay off credit card sooner, how much extra we should be paying towards super etc etc. I don't want him to be writing out detailed budgets etc for us, just a basic overview. My brother is a small business banker with one of the big 4 banks and he suggested a guy that he uses himself for his own finances and he recomends for his clients for their personal banking, so I called him today to get an idea on charges. He doesn't charge anything upfront for the first appointment, but he doesn't give any actual advice then either - it's basically just a meet and greet type of appointment so we can explain what we hope to gain and he tells us the types of services he can actually offer. He will then give us a fixed price, one off quote - we only pay it once and it depends on how much advice he needs to give and how detailed it is. If we accept the quote and then wind up going in a few more times for follow ups, we don't pay any extra. He said the quote will be on the lower end of the scale, but it normally ranges between $500 and $3000. Does this sound about right? I've got the financial planner from the bank that we use calling me back later today so I can chat to them as well, but to be honest, I'm not keen on using them as they are probably only going to promote their own products, whereas this other guy is independent from the banks - he probably has deals set up with certain institutions, but at least it won't be limited to one bank.

So, does that price sound reasonable?

#2 MrsLexiK

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

This is the issue that I have when they changed the law to fee for service for financial planners as opposed to commission.  When it was commission based planers didn't charge upfront the commission was paid by the company (and you had to detail to your client the commission you received from said company) and it was swallowed up and the client was not aware.  

You are right that the bank will only be able to offer you advice on the products they have but I personally don't think that all of them are that bad. If you can get free advice from your bank manager I would take that first and see how that went before meeting with some more.  If all where going to charge me to give me advice I would meet with them all and get their quotes and ask for it detailed.

I think you will find there are plenty out there who are not charging to just give advice.  Also some of the questions might be better to speak to an accountant about? when it comes to leasing and super there are tax implications and benefits.  I have found that alot of accountants now have planners in their offfices.

ETA: the amount is fair depending on the advice you accept and your portfolio (ie simple straight forward nothing being set up $500 is fine, setting up new accounts and managing all this etc I would def expect $3K if not more) but my issue is charging before you have any advice.  (unless the quote is actually an SOA which will give you advice and then you accept the quote/SOA and the advice is carried out)

Edited by MrsLexiK, 01 February 2013 - 12:52 PM.

#3 Escapin

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

$3k is about right. Especially if you've got loads of inter-related issues to work through, as you do. And the last thing you want is 'cheap' financial advice. Re the bank guy or the other guy, most products really aren't that different from each other (bit like toothpaste!!!), so I wouldn't be too worried about only being sold products from one bank.

#4 balancing.act

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:25 PM

I've had both good and bad experiences with financial planners.

One was free but I ended up being quite intimidated by them when I chose to only purchase one of the two products they recommended. After a bunch of emails from them I ended up buying both and then cancelling one six months later because, as I knew at the beginning, we could not afford it. Basically it was an exercise in selling income protection insurance and a kind of trauma/illness insurance.

More recently my husband and I had an excellent experience. We agreed that we would pay $3300 (including GST) for an analysis of our financial situation, our medium and long term goals and for them to tailor some advice to us. They were GREAT. It took a while to fill out the forms and was a bit eye opening looking at our budgets during the process but the team were wonderful - following up to get extra information or clarity about some aspects.

We were given a set of options and investment strategies we could take up. We discussed with them the pros and cons and the impact it might have on us as well as how we could adjust out plan if our circumstances change. They didn't give us a set of automated budgets but instead a really good analysis taking into account tax and a number of other variables. We feel much more in control of our plans and have a better understanding of our finances - if all goes to plan we're going to be in a really good position in a few years. And remember that in some situations (if it directly relates to investment advice/income generation) the fee is tax deductible which can lessen the pain a bit.

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