Personal finance has become increasingly complex. Tax legislation, health legislation and the products themselves have all exploded in complexity leaving the individual faced with a bewildering array of options and choices. Not even the financially literate have the time or expertise to keep abreast of developments. This is why you need a personal financial advisor now, more than at any time in the past. Having the right financial planner can probably have a greater long-term impact on your quality of life, than any other profession.
USING THIS WEBSITE
The Financial Planners photo
Financial Adviser Experience
Services and Areas of Specialisation
Financial Planners Remuneration
Minimum Levels of premium or investment accepted
Once you have conducted your search on the home page of this site, and clicked through to a particular financial advisors personal details, you will obtain a wealth of information on that advisor. Listed below are some pointers to help you use this information to make the right choice.
From this you can ascertain who the
financial adviser works for. Is it a large institution such as Liberty or ABSA Brokers, or is it the advisor's own business? Each have pros and cons. Further down the page you can also establish the legal structure of the employer, together with the number of staff in the firm. back to top
The Financial Advisers Photo
A picture paints a thousand words. Do you want to deal with a male or female? Someone young or old? Somebody very formal or less formal? But remember - don't always judge a book by its cover! back to top
In terms of the new Financial Advisory and Intermediary (FAIS) Act, every financial advisor in South Africa needs to be licensed with the Financial Services Board (FSB). You can rest assured that NO unlicensed financial adviser will appear on this site back to top
The advantages of having a financial adviser "close to home" are obvious, but if you don't find somebody suitable in your area, don't rule out searching further afield. We have specifically not broken the dial code area in the main search into suburbs, as we do not believe that choosing the broker down the road is necessarily the best way to find the most suitable adviser. In our age of e-mail and digital documents many clients have financial planners that are located in totally different provinces whether you live in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban or Pretoria. back to top
How your financial adviser is qualified is very important. The CFP (Certified Financial Planner) qualification is widely regarded as one of the top industry qualifications internationally. However there are numerous other financial courses and diplomas which are also good. It is important too, to read the Qualification section in conjunction with the Experience section, as qualifications without the necessary experience is often meaningless. back to top
Financial Planners Experience
This section is probably the largest and most diversified on the website. It is very useful in determining whether a financial adviser is suitable for your personal needs. Do they have specialist experience in the financial services you require? (This information can also be confirmed in the Services section below) Do they perhaps have previous experience in your own industry? back to top
Services and Areas of Specialisation
Only financial advisors who match the financial services that you request on the search page will appear in the search results. However, it is a good idea to see what other services the financial adviser offers. Many areas of financial planning overlap and in some instances it is better to employ a "general practitioner" that has a good overview of many areas and can offer integrated, holistic advice. However, if the service you require is of a complex and specialised nature (for example tax or estate planning), it may be better to approach a financial planner that only works in one or two areas, as they will no doubt have more in-depth knowledge. back to top
If you require further information on an existing investment or insurance policy with a specific company, it is obviously advantageous to deal with a financial adviser that has a contract to represent that company. Otherwise you may want to deal with a broker that represents several companies, so that they can "shop the market" and offer you an objective choice. However, bear in mind that as mentioned above in "Services", those financial planners that only represent a few companies often have more in-depth knowledge of those particular company's products and procedures. back to top
Adviser's are remunerated by either commission, fees or a combination thereof. Traditionally the vast majority of financial advisers have received commissions from the company whose product they sell (which is effectively paid by the client), but internationally more and more financial advisers are opting for fee only financial planning where clients pay per hour or per task, regardless of products sold. This has distinct advantages in that the investment or insurance broker can remain totally objective and doesn't have to sell you products to cover their costs. There are however some advantages of the commission route - one being that you can view the financial planners quality and level of financial planning before incurring any costs. Whatever route you choose - make sure that there is clarity on the exact method of remuneration before proceeding. back to top
Professional Indemnity Insurance covers a financial advisor's client for claims against the financial adviser resulting from bad judgment or negligence on the advisor's part. The cover is limited to the value of the advisor's insurance policy. This cover is especially important where the financial planner works alone or for a small firm, and may not have sufficient assets to meet a claim.
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Minimum Levels of Premium or Investment Accepted
Something that is often overlooked when seeking an advisor is what amounts they are willing to deal with for new clients. Establishing that your planned savings or investments fall within the investment or insurance brokers scope can save a lot of wasted time. It also gives an indication of the type of clients they are already dealing with. If, for example, you are wanting to invest R 1 million, the financial advisor that accepts all lump sum investments from R 5000 upwards may not be for you.
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Locating a suitable financial planner on this website is not, in itself, the end of the journey. No amount of information can replace a face-to-face meeting, and it is important that at this meeting you feel comfortable and confident with your chosen financial planner. You should be looking to establishing a long-term relationship with your financial advisor and it is important to establish upfront things such as: