FAQ

FAQ

1. What is Financial Planning?

Question:
What is Financial Planning?

Answer:

Financial Planning is the process of developing strategies to help you manage your financial situation so you can protect and build wealth, enjoy life and achieve financial security.

Some people may think that financial planners only give advice on investments. This is not true. The role of a qualified professional financial planner is to look at all aspects of your lifestyle, goals and requirements and develop a financial strategy suitable for you.

2. Are you fee for service?

Question:
Are you fee for service?

Answer:

Yes, we do charge a fee for service and this varies depending on the level of service you require.

All fees are discussed with you prior to providing any advice. You may choose to pay our fees directly or have our professional costs paid to us by the product provider or from the products we’ve recommended to you. This will be discussed with you and disclosed in the Statement of Advice.

3. Are you regulated by government?

Question:
Are you regulated by government?

Answer:

Yes. All financial planners should be authorised under an Australian Financial Services License which is governed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

We are also members of the Financial Planning Association of Australia and are governed by their Code of Professional Practice.

4. What if Im not happy with the advice?

Question:
What if Im not happy with the advice?

Answer:

If at any time should you have any questions or concerns about our advice or our service we encourage you to contact us directly and we will try to resolve the issue immediately.

If we cannot respond to your feedback or effectively resolve your issues within three (3) business days or if you don’t feel comfortable talking to us about your issues you should contact Advocate Advisory directly on 03 9874 8025.

If Advocate Advisory don’t provide you with a satisfactory response, you have the right to refer your concerns to the Financial Ombudsmen Service Limited (FOS). FOS can be contacted at GPO Box 3, Melbourne Vic 3001 or by phone on 1300 78 08 08.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) also has a free call Information line on 1300 300 630 which you may use to make a complaint and obtain more information about your rights.

5. Am I locked into a long term contract?

Question:
Am I locked into a long term contract?

Answer:

No, we do not lock our clients into any service contracts.

Although some investment products are for fixed terms, such as term deposits and life long annuities.

6. Is advice always in writing?

Question:
Is advice always in writing?

Answer:

If we provide you with personal financial planning advice, we will confirm our recommendations in writing so that you can make an informed decision about the appropriateness and suitability of our advice.

Our recommendations can be documented in a Statement of Advice (SoA). A Record of Advice (RoA) may be used to record our advice to you where we have provided you with subsequent advice and your personal circumstances have not changed.

7. Are there codes of conduct?

Question:
Are there codes of conduct?

Answer:

Yes, we adhere to the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Code of Professional Practice.

The FPA Code of Professional Practice includes three enforceable components: Code of Ethics; Practice Standards; and Rules of Professional Conduct; together with Guidance issued by the FPA in relation to the whole or any part of the Code.

To read more about the FPA code, click here.

The other code is The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) Code of Professional Conduct.

The TPB Code of Professional Practice sets out principles under five separate categories: Honesty and integrity; Independence; Confidentiality; Competence and Other responsibilities.

To read more about the TPB code, click here.

8. Do you accept commission?

Question:
Do you accept commission?

Answer:

The only commissions that are payable are in respect of insurance products.

In regard to these insurance products, if the product issuer pays us an initial commission, then we will rebate that amount back to you in full, and our charge to you will be in the form of a fee that will be advised to you beforehand.

In respect of any new investment or new superannuation arrangements, with changes that came into effect on 1st July 2013, there is no commissions paid to us or accepted by us.

This will be discussed with you and fully disclosed in the Statement of Advice.

9. What does advice cost?

Question:
What does advice cost?

Answer:

Our first meeting is free – This allows each party to decide at no cost, whether to proceed to the next step.

All fees and charges will be fully discussed and agreed with you before we proceed with any recommendations.

10. Do I need a minimum amount to invest?

Question:
Do I need a minimum amount to invest?

Answer:
No, there is no minimum amount to invest.