What should you look for in a financial planner?

What should you look for in a financial planner?

When it comes to saving for your retirement, finding the right person to help you with your plans can make all the difference. It’s a big responsibility – after all, your future lifestyle depends on it. So how do you choose a financial planner who will help you achieve the best results? Here’s what to look for.


In New Zealand, all financial planners must meet certain standards. At a minimum, you want to make sure that you deal with an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA). An AFA has met all the requirements of competence, character and professional conduct set down by the Financial Markets Authority. On top of that, you also want to work with someone who has a long history of helping people successfully save for their retirement and knows how to deal with all kinds of economic environments, and all avenues of wealth creation. Make sure that you check your financial planner’s credentials and experience.


Because retirement planning involves your money and your future, you need to be sure that you’re working with a financial planner that genuinely has your best interests at heart. You should expect that all information is communicated to you clearly and concisely, the advice you receive is appropriate for your circumstances, and that the products and solutions offered to you are the most suitable ones for your needs. Those products should perform to your expectations, and you should have excellent ongoing support from your adviser.


One of the main things you want from your financial adviser is a close working relationship. Your finances are an integral part of your life and are directly affected by things like your career, your children, and other major life events. To tailor a retirement solution that works best for you, your financial planner needs to know about all those things, as well as your desires, ambitions and hopes for the future. They can’t help you plan successfully if they never take the time to know what success looks like to you.


Retirement planning isn’t a set-and-forget activity. It’s a long-term exercise, and during that time your circumstances change, your goals evolve, and the world around you changes too. A good financial planner keeps in regular contact to let you know how you’re tracking and to help you make adjustments when they’re needed. And they should always be there when you have questions or problems that need attention.

Finding the right retirement planner should be the start of a long and successful partnership that gives you the confidence and peace of mind that your future is in the very best hands.