Read the financial services guide (FSG) of any financial advisers you are seriously considering. You can find the guide on their website or ask them for a copy.The guide will tell you:
Ask the adviser for an estimate of the cost of the advice. Even a rough estimate will give you an idea of what you'll be paying.
Case study: Mike and Anne choose the wrong adviser
Mike and Anne want to get some financial advice before they start investing.
At the first meeting, the adviser gives them a Financial Services Guide (FSG), which outlines the areas in which he is qualified and authorised to provide financial advice. Mike and Anne are encouraged to take the FSG away and read it in their own time; however, they never review it because they think the adviser seemed to understand what they wanted.
The adviser meets with Mike and Anne 3 weeks later and recommends they roll over their super into a new fund and change to a life insurance policy through the new super fund.
Mike and Anne are disappointed that the adviser doesn't speak to them about starting a share portfolio or suggesting other ways to invest their surplus cash.
The adviser reminds Mike and Anne that the FSG he gave them outlines his qualifications, and that his authorisations are limited to providing advice on super products and insurance. The adviser also explains that he's not able to provide advice on investing in shares. Mike and Anne walk away disappointed that their main objectives are not covered in the advice.
Mike and Anne could have identified the limitations of the adviser's qualifications and authority to provide advice by: