Human advisers

An adviser who holds a Financial Services License (or is authorised under one) is able to recommend a product.

The benefits of an adviser are;

  • Experienced
  • Qualified. Education requirements have been dramatically improved.
  • Must act in your best interests. “Conflicted” product recommendations are no longer allowed.
  • Advisers are increasingly adding the benefits of technology to their service.
  • Must act in your best interests. “Conflicted” product recommendations are no longer allowed.

The drawbacks of an adviser are;

  • Expense. The recommendation can cost around $3,000. There are probably further costs like implementation costs, on-going costs and investment manager costs. An active manager typically charges between 1% and 1.5% of the amount invested. First year costs could easily add up to $6,000.
  • Time. It can take weeks from first consultation until your recommendation is ready.

Find an adviser

The best place to find an adviser is at Adviser Ratings

Robo advisers

A robo adviser must also hold a Financial Services License. Typically you will be asked some online questions to establish your risk profile. The “Robo” will then place your investment in a relatively low cost “passive fund” like an ETF.

A $50,000 investment, returning 7% p.a. for 35 years will grow to $325,691 with an “active manager” fee of 1.5%. Using a Robo adviser with a fee of 0.5% the balance will be $455,240. A 40% improvement.

The benefits of a robo adviser are;

  • Costs. The costs of using a robo adviser are typically much lower.
  • Time. Your money is usually invested and working for you much quicker than with a human adviser.
  • Many robo advisers accept relatively small initial investments.

The drawbacks of a robo adviser are;

  • Robo advisers usually focus on investment. A human adviser can give “holistic” advice, covering all aspects of financial planning.
  • An robo adviser generally has a more restricted range of products.

Find a robo adviser

Here is a non-exhaustive list of robo advisers;


Online tools, information and products make DIY an inexpensive, viable option.

The benefits of DIY are;

  • You decide on the product.
  • You decide on the investment strategy .
  • You decide on where you get your advice.
  • There will probably be cost savings.

The drawbacks of DIY are;

  • You may not have sufficient knowledge or experience.
  • You may not understand the product description well enough .
  • You may misinterpret the online tools or information.

There are a number of online sites offering insurance policies. Here are some of them.

Find insurance

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