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Do I really need a financial advisor?

arruga

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I want to manage my super fund myself and invest in different instruments (shares, index funds, potentially others)
I'm quite self-driven and a rather "do-it-on-my-own" type........I don't want to be talking (and paying) to a bunch of guys, where most of the info can be found with a bit of reasearch...
Still, it's ineviatble to run into quite a few intricacies...especially that I'm new to Australia, its laws, fees, credit schemes, etc...accountant, tax advisor, financial advisor, broker...who would you say is absolutely indispensable ?
And most importantly.....where should I start shopping around for those ? google ? paper ? asx listings ? advisors within the super, within the bank, where ? I don't want someone by my side all the time....just to anser a few specific doubts as they come every now and then....
such a huge overload of info on-line !
cheers
 
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Re: Do I really need an advisor ?

I want to manage my super fund myself and invest in different instruments (shares, index funds, potentially others)
I'm quite self-driven and a rather "do-it-on-my-own" type........I don't want to be talking (and paying) to a bunch of guys, where most of the info can be found with a bit of reasearch...
Still, it's ineviatble to run into quite a few intricacies...especially that I'm new to Australia, its laws, fees, credit schemes, etc...accountant, tax advisor, financial advisor, broker...who would you say is absolutely indispensable ?
And most importantly.....where should I start shopping around for those ? google ? paper ? asx listings ? advisors within the super, within the bank, where ? I don't want someone by my side all the time....just to anser a few specific doubts as they come every now and then....
such a huge overload of info on-line !
cheers

Take baby steps. It takes time. You will make mistakes. We all do.
 

So_Cynical

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I want to manage my super fund myself and invest in different instruments (shares, index funds, potentially others)
I'm quite self-driven and a rather "do-it-on-my-own" type.... I'm new to Australia, its laws, fees, credit schemes, etc...accountant, tax advisor, financial advisor, broker...who would you say is absolutely indispensable ?

A broker is the only "help" you actually do need...cant buy shares without one....the rest are optional.
 
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An accountant is money well spent, as his/her mission is to keep you legal -- ensure you make all the necessary filings, calculate correct amounts of tax, etc. Some accountants will also give financial advice, but many do not.

It may seem a blurry distinction, but consider this example: "hey, you should be putting some money into pork bellies" -- financial advice. "ok, you're investing in used chewing gum, well we'll need a depreciation schedule so we can claim a tax deduction each year" -- accounting advice.

A good accountant will make sure you get all the right paperwork filed correctly and on time. They will keep track of all the regulatory and legislative changes and let you know which ones affect you. But they will not tell you what asset classes to invest in.

I reckon the best way to find an accountant is by personal recommendation. A small suburban practice is the way to go. Senior partner and a couple of helpers, hopefully unglamorously located above the fruit shop in a nearby street front. It'll be someone you'll have a decades-long relationship with.
 
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Financial Adviser:

I was going to say yes - use one for awhile until you feel comfortable in doing it yourself but I changed my mind while typing it out. Seriously, if you want to take the time to learn how to do it yourself then that is what I would recommend. Yes you will make some mistakes along the way, we all have and still do BUT the key thing here is you will be in 100% control of your money, and you will be 100% informed on what you money is doing. There is no way I would let a Financial Adviser touch me (or my money), I just see them as people who pull out some managed fund then siphon of 1% of your earning while doing NOTHING...

(No offence Financial Advisers, but I have had my fair share of bad ones...)

Accountants:

You want a really good accountant here, don't skimp on this - far more important than a financial adviser. Make sure your account is a good communicator and actually gets back to you promptly. You should be interviewing your accountant before using them - if they are not good enough take your business elsewhere.

(No offence Accountants, but I have had my fair share of bad ones...)
 
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Accountants:

You want a really good accountant here, don't skimp on this - far more important than a financial adviser. Make sure your account is a good communicator and actually gets back to you promptly. You should be interviewing your accountant before using them - if they are not good enough take your business elsewhere.

(No offence Accountants, but I have had my fair share of bad ones...)

+1

I recently changed accountants, I went from one who was so unreliable, he knew his stuff and the things got done, eventually but I got sick of waiting and waiting until he was ready. I was always having to chase things up. My new guy is fantastic, emails answered promptly, returns phone calls, accounts done quickly.
 

Julia

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+1 to both Matty and McLovin. I had an accountant who initially presented really well and, by her answers to my questions, knew her stuff. I had taken the work to be done to the initial interview and asked for a quote.

Here is where I made the fundamental mistake: trusted her and did not ask for quote in writing.

The work was not done prior to Lodgement date. She refused to contact the ATO and ask for an extension. I had to do that myself. Then she demanded to be paid in full before the audit was done. The account was almost exactly TWICE what she had quoted. Excuse was that there had been more work than she had anticipated.

Too late to start over with a different accountant: already testing the patience of the tax office.

Then she let slip that if I paid quickly, the audit would be available within a couple of days because "I have an arrangement with the auditor - virtually he just rubber stamps the work".

Wow, what great protection for me!

I paid with huge resentment and later made a formal complaint to the CPA who did do a proper investigation and censured her. She is no longer in business.

So, if you can get personal recommendation from someone that's best. And get a quote in writing.
 

So_Cynical

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Not quite: If you're running your own Superfund, you will need an Auditor.

Ah yes...somehow i over looked the first sentence..:rolleyes:

"I want to manage my super fund myself and invest in different instruments"
 
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I am not so sure an accountant is 'absolutely indispensable' (the Op's quote) if he is a do it yourself kinda guy with a bit of financial acumen. It is quite possible to do it without one.

I am quite sure it is possible to do it without a financial adviser
 
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Horses for courses imo. I used to do my own tax returns when I was an employee and could file a simple etax return. It's tax time for me atm and I'll pay around $5500 in total for the year for personal, company and smsf returns and smsf audit. I have used the same accountant for almost 15 years, and cannot overstate his worth. I guess it often comes down to the depth of knowledge required - an employee who buys and sells a few shares each year is going to be an entirely different prospect to a small business owner with a smsf, or a retiree with several investment properties etc. A good accountant can save you a fortune simply by ensuring you set up your tax structures correctly to begin with.
 
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A good accountant can save you a fortune simply by ensuring you set up your tax structures correctly to begin with.

strictly speaking that is only true if you would have set it up incorrectly without the accountants involvement, which isn't neccessarily always the case.
 
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A good accountant can save you a fortune simply by ensuring you set up your tax structures correctly to begin with.

strictly speaking that is only true if you would have set it up incorrectly without the accountants involvement, which isn't neccessarily always the case.

Which is why I said it can,not that it always would. If a person has the necessary knowledge, time, ability and desire to stay abreast of the myriad of tax issues then no, they wouldn't need an accountant - although I daresay that most not in the profession themselves wouldn't fall into that category. Sometimes you just don't know what you don't know - someone who does can save you $$$$s.
 
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It sounds to me like you've answered your own question. As you state, you are a do-it-yourself type of guy so it is likely that if you did see a financial advisor, stockbroker, financial planner etc you will likely not be prepared to pay their fees if it is something you feel you can do yourself. You will however need a good accountant, particulaly as you are unfamiliar with Austrailan tax laws. They should makes sure you get yourself set up correctly from the start.

As a financial advisor I can understand many people's reluctance to seek help. Unfortunately there are few limitations in Australia when it comes to advertising yourself as a financial advisor. It's all to easy to obtain an Authorised Representative status and hang out the shingle on the front door. There are very few good independent ones.

Investing is all about two things. One, getting started. Two, avoiding the disasters. This includes being caught up in schemes which don't look like schemes make sure your investments are held on your account only (eg. your own ASX HIN)and not part of any pooled investments.

Goodluck.
 
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Hi,

I work as a paraplanner for two Financial Advisers and i'd suggest that if you can afford it you obtain both an Accountant and a Financial Adviser. If they already have a relationship thats even better as it makes the process and liasing between the two even more efficient.

Financial Advisers seem to get hammered quite a bit on here (and for good reason in some cases) but it really depends on what your after from an Adviser. If you want someone that purely provides investment advice, when to buy, when to sell, what to buy/sell etc etc then I think your looking for an Investment Adviser, not a Financial Adviser.

Financial Advisers can help you reach retirement goals or general goals or simply improve your financial position by using various strategies, note the word strategies, not investments. Salary Sacrificing, Government Co-Contributions, Transition to Retirement, ensuring you don't breach caps, maximising centrelink, structuring investments to minimise tax (yes FA's can do this too). There are whole realm of things FA's can do to improve your position without relating it to investments. Thats how we frame up our business and i'm still surprised that FA's to this day following the GFC can base their business on investment advice. Strategic work seems a lot more rewarding both for us and the clients.

Anyway back to your situation, if you want investment advice a broker or someone similar sounds like a good professional to get involved with. However if you have concerns about your retirement or overall position, a good strategic Financial Adviser who (fingers crossed) has a relationship with a good account, can really give you some peace of mind about your financial well-being.

Thats just my take on things, i'm sure others view it differently.
 
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