Certified Financial Planner professional, Matt Hern has three times been awarded as one of Australia's Top 50 Financial Planners by The Australian Financial Review Smart Investor. He is passionate about guiding you on the right financial choices to achieve what you really want. Matt Hern is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited AFSL 234665. All information is general advice only.

2 responses to “Product Aligned Advice is (Mostly) Irrelevant”

  1. Gihan Perera

    Hi Matt,

    I disagree with you – but in a good way (I hope!)

    If the SMH wants to expose the shonky practices of advisers who pretend to work for the client but actually favour their parent companies, then I’m all for it. The more publicity that gets, the better.

    The SMH article defines an “independent” adviser as somebody who’s not owned by a product company. But is that enough? Surely true independence means they have no restrictions (explicit or implicit) in any of the advice they give.

    And THIS is the problem. Even if they’re not tied to a product vendor, if they’re commission-based advisers, their independence is compromised.

    Does anybody honestly believe that most commission-based advisers make truly independent recommendations based on their clients’ real needs? Clearly they don’t. If they did, they would be advising more people to, say, invest in residential real estate, pump excess cash into their small business, or buy a reliable second-hand car for their teenage daughters. But there’s no commission in that for them!

    I think you’re too polite to say it about your colleagues, so I’ll say it for you: Hire a fee-for-service adviser (like you) who actually takes the time and trouble to understand their clients’ needs and can make truly independent advice.

    Forget about whether there’s a secret relationship to a product vendor. That makes them LESS independent, but the lack of that alone isn’t enough to make them independent.

    I say this as a very happy client of yours who for years has rejected financial advisers for this very reason. The advice YOU have given, on the other hand, has been relevant, considered and has already saved me more money than the fee I pay you.


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