Looking for financial advice?

At Colonial First State, we’re passionate about professional financial advice and the important role it plays towards building your financial future.

It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are at, how much money you have or how much advice you need – it could be beneficial for you to obtain guidance and help from a financial adviser.

The relationship with your financial adviser is likely to be one of the most important and rewarding factors in securing your financial future. That’s why it’s important to know where to start.

So start talking to a financial adviser today about how they can help you achieve your future financial goals.

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  3. Advice FAQs
  • With more than 380 advisers in over 175 'self-employed' firms across Australia, Financial Wisdom has over 25 years experience in delivering quality financial planning solutions to clients and expanding the opportunities available to them.

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    Count is one of Australia's largest networks of accountant-based financial advisers. Our purpose is to help Australians afford their dreams. So whether you're starting out or approaching retirement, we can help you gain greater control over your financial future.

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    Commonwealth Financial Planning has been providing financial advice to Australians for more than two decades. Our national presence means that wherever you are, you'll be able to access quality financial advice.

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    At BW Financial Advice which is related to Bankwest, the goal of our Personal Financial Advisers is to help clients develop the confidence they need to make sound financial decisions. We think everyone deserves a happy future.

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    With more than 10,000 members and affiliates and more than 7,500 practising financial planners, the FPA ensures its financial planners deliver quality advice to their clients. You can choose from FPA planners who meet continuing professional development standards, more than 5,500 CFP® accredited practitioners, or FPA professional businesses which have met strict criteria to be able to provide you with advice you can trust.

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    • What is the benefit of using a financial adviser?

      Just as you might go to an accountant for their expert tax advice or a specialist doctor for expert medical advice, obtaining the advice of a professional financial adviser and utilising their specific area of expertise can help you reach your financial goals.

      Financial advice can involve looking across your entire financial situation to identify strategic solutions to help achieve your short, medium and long-term financial goals so you can enjoy the lifestyle you want. It can also involve receiving advice on one specific matter. It’s up to you.

      Using the expertise of a professional financial adviser means that you will have access to the knowledge needed to get the most from your money. Financial advisers keep up with the changes to tax and super regulations and stay on top of financial market movements, which can be difficult for you to do if you don't have the time or financial knowledge. For financial advisers it’s something they have been trained to do and are doing every day. So, if you think your money deserves a specialised level of knowledge, consider the benefits of getting in touch with a financial adviser today.

      To source an adviser, contact any of Commonwealth Bank’s advice businesses or use The Financial Planning Association of Australia’s ‘Find a Financial Planner’ tool.

    • How do you know if you need an adviser?

      If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions below you could benefit from a financial adviser:

      1. Do you want to know how to get more out of your hard earned money?
      2. Do you have lifestyle goals that you need to make your money work towards?
      3. Do you want to know how to look after your family if something happens to you?
      4. Do you know you should get an adviser but keep on putting it off?
      5. Do you know how to reach the retirement goals you want?
      6. Do you want to make sure your super is taking advantage of all strategic and legislative opportunities?
      7. Do you want to make sure that you have an aged care strategy planned for you or your family member now to reduce the emotional hardship later?
    • What can a financial adviser help you with?

      You can benefit from a professional financial adviser whatever your age or financial situation. When tailoring a plan to suit your individual financial circumstances and short, medium and long term goals, a financial adviser considers the whole spectrum of financial opportunities, including (but not limited to) the following areas:

      Financial advisers understand what investment opportunities, managed funds and/or shares, are appropriate for your individual circumstances by identifying a ‘risk profile’ for you. This profile considers your personal goals such as saving for a house, your child’s education or retirement as well as the timeframe you wish to invest for and how much risk you’re willing to take. A financial adviser may recommend a few options or a larger range of investments for you – what is known as an ‘investment portfolio’. This represents the solution to your investment needs. A financial adviser’s recommendation will also consider tax-effective solutions for your situation.

      Insuring yourself and your income can be more important than insuring your car, home and contents. You dream of reaching your financial goals and being able to retire, maintaining your lifestyle. But what would happen if you injured yourself and lost the ability to earn an income, or pay the bills, or something even worse? A financial adviser can identify what level of insurance suits you so  you have the peace of mind that your family and your lifestyle are looked after under any circumstance.

      For most people, super can be one of their biggest long-term investments. Obtaining advice about super from a financial adviser can lead to a better outcome for you. A financial adviser who knows your individual circumstances and retirement goals can recommend a range of tax-effective strategies that you can use to get the most from your super savings. Financial advisers are also able to help you with a range of super-related areas including:

      • finding a super fund that suits your needs
      • consolidating your super funds into one to potentially save fees
      • putting in place super strategies to boost your super balance
      • structuring your super so your beneficiaries are taken care of
      • providing guidance on Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs).

      An important part of planning for your retirement involves working out how much money you need for the retirement you want. By what age would you like to be fully retired? Would you like to transition into retirement by reducing the hours you work? What are the most tax-effective ways to make contributions to your super?

      By obtaining the help of a financial adviser early, you can take advantage of the strategies available to help you afford the retirement you want.

      For more information and resources on investing and retirement planning, visit our Investor Knowledge Centre

    • 1. Do I really need financial advice now?

      The sooner you get financial advice the better. Many people don’t get financial advice because they think they don’t have enough money, have left it too late or that obtaining financial advice is too expensive. It is important not to delay at least having a chat with a financial adviser.

    • 2. How much does a financial adviser cost?

      The cost of the advice of a financial adviser generally depends on how complex your financial plan needs to be and how much money you have to invest. Whatever the charges, the financial adviser will explain them clearly when they take you through their Financial Services Guide (FSG).

      Many people see a financial adviser because they don’t have the time, knowledge or self-motivation to do it all themselves. And keeping up with constant changes to tax and superannuation regulations, as well as interpreting financial market movements, can be complex. It’s something financial advisers are specialists in and deal with every day.

    • 3. What will a financial adviser need to know about me initially?

      Personalised financial advice will be tailored to your particular circumstances, expectations and goals. Different financial advisers have different areas of expertise, so before you choose your financial adviser, it’s important to ask yourself what kind of financial advice you need. It can involve a long term investment strategy, a plan for retirement or even just financial advice on insurance or a one-off investment.

      Obtaining financial advice is about being guided to reach your financial goals and your risk appetite. Prepare by considering your financial and lifestyle goals and your priorities.

    • 4. How do I find a financial adviser?

      You can source a financial adviser by contacting one of Commonwealth Bank’s advice businesses that best suits your needs. You can also find a financial adviser by using The Financial Planning Association of Australia’s Find a Financial Planner tool .

    • 5. How to choose a financial adviser?

      The relationship you have with your financial adviser could be one of the most important factors in securing your financial future. Like any good relationship, communication is important.

      Having already thought about your financial needs it is important to ask the right questions of a potential financial adviser to make sure they suit your individual requirements and to build a good rapport. Here are a few questions you could explore:

      1. Ask about the financial adviser’s own background, qualifications and career
        It’s good to understand a financial adviser’s history. Australia has a regulated financial planning industry, so you should expect high standards from your financial adviser.
      2. How do they keep informed about market or regulatory developments?
        Financial advisers should constantly up-skill with seminars on important changes; ask about the last course your potential financial adviser attended, so you can get a sense of how up-to-date they are. Then ask how they intend to keep you informed of changes to the markets and your investments.
      3. What are their areas of specialisation and what kinds of clients do they mostly see?
        Before you ask this question, make sure you are armed with an idea of what your own financial goals are. If their answer to this question isn’t in line with the kind of financial advice you need, it may not be a good fit.
      4. How will I know what services they will provide and the costs involved?
        It’s important not to be surprised by hidden charges. All financial advisers should be very clear about the costs of using their services. You can also refer to their Financial Services Guide (FSG) which will have all this information available to you. Financial advisers are required by law to supply this document to you.
      5. Who owns the business they work for and any associated businesses?
        If it is an independent financial adviser, rather than a financial adviser who is part of a large financial organisation, get a history of the company they work for. A company with a long history of advising can offer a feeling of trust but make sure they are licensed by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).


    • 6. What happens in the first meeting with a financial adviser?

      In your first meeting, your financial adviser will explore your financial situation, your financial needs and your goals. They will then build a tailored solution that meets your needs. Make sure you bring any paperwork that will help your new financial adviser understand your current financial commitments including:

      • copies of tax returns, bank, investment and superannuation statements
      • copies of your insurance policies
      • copies of your most recent payslips.

      Your financial adviser will explain what the next steps are and will outline the fees you can expect to pay.

      Your financial adviser will then develop a strategy to suit your situation and present it to you in a written Statement of Advice (SoA) at your next meeting. If you are comfortable with the strategy and costs involved, your financial adviser will then implement it for you once you have approved it.

      Once your strategy is implemented, your financial adviser will review it with you on a regular basis and adapt it as your circumstances change.


Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited ABN 65 003 900 169 AFSL 231139, Financial Wisdom Limited ABN 70 006 646 108 AFSL 231138 and Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625 AFSL 227232 are wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiaries of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. BW Financial Advice Limited ABN 97 097 084 878 AFSL 230727.