| How to choose a financial advisor - and make the most of their help

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With tens of thousands of available financial advisors in the country, how do you know you're picking the right person for you - and once you've chosen someone, where do you start plotting a way forward together? Rory Brachner explains.

South Africa News, South Africa Headlines

One gauge of an advisor’s suitability is his or her professional qualifications. The top echelon of financial advisors in South Africa have a postgraduate qualification such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning, hold the internationally recognised Certified Financial Planner (CFP) accreditation and adhere to a professional code of conduct. A second important consideration is the advisor’s compensation model.

As explained, ideally you want an advisor that is focused on providing objective advice, rather than selling financial products. Financial planning, at its best, is a structured process, involving a series of steps. For an optimal outcome, each step needs to be given its full weight. Only a couple of these steps specifically involve products. The first step involves you and your advisor getting to know each other and setting goals. It may involve some awkward questions from both sides.

If you’re not doing your homework, even the best advisor in the world will not be able to deliver good outcomes for you. The relationship breaks down when the client puts all the responsibility for their future on their advisor.A financial plan must be flexible enough to adapt to both changes in your life, such as a career change or starting a family, and changes to the world around you, such as an economic recession.

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