Who are financial professionals and what do they do?

Shirley Liu 27 January 2016

Who are financial professionals-450

The ultimate guide to the types of financial professionals.

In a challenging economy, knowing what types of financial professionals are out there and how they can help you is something vital.

Accountants

Accountants are professional people that perform audits or analyse financial statement. They can also assist with personal taxes, such as capital gains tax and tax-effective strategies for retirement.

These professionals work with an accounting firm, a large company with an accounting department or they can choose to work independently and open a practice. Below is a list of what your accountant will help you with:

 Business

  • Accountants can organise your business in the most tax efficient way.
  • They can help you comprehend the most effective way of withdrawing money from your company.
  • Accountants show business owners the best way to claim expenses and the impact they can have on your income and taxes.
  • Learn how to organise and pay all your personal and corporate tax liabilities.
  • Know when, how and where to direct your payment for your due taxes.

 Personal

  • Prepare and complete your personal self assessment tax return each year.
  • Advise on tax-effective strategies for your investments and superannuation.

Stock brokers

Brokers are individuals or firms that charge a fee or commission for buying and selling stocks. The role of a firm is to act as an agent for a customer and charge the customer a commission for its service.

Full service brokers cover an array of financial services including tailored advice on retirement and tax. Stockbrokers can also help you set up a share portfolio which can be a short or long term investment. Before using a broker, check that they are licensed. If a broker is operating without a license in Australia, it’s illegal.

Insurance agent

Insurance agents are individuals licensed by a state or states to sell life, health and/or property and casualty insurance products. These professionals are more specific than the average financial planner and can provide a range of advice for the best insurance products that meet your needs.

Mortgage brokers

Mortgage brokers are intermediaries who bring mortgage borrowers and mortgage lenders together. They do not use their own funds to originate mortgages. A mortgage broker can help you understand the range of financial options which best fits your personal situation. Using a mortgage broker is a good idea for first time home buyers who are on a limited budget.

Financial planner

Financial planners create programs for clients based on their current financial situations and future goals. Often, financial planners have wide and general knowledge of the industry but they specify as well. Financial planners can specify in retirement, estate planning, self-managed super funds (SMSFs), asset allocation and tax planning.

The financial planner should have a number of qualifications to certify them as a financial planner. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards certifies financial planners. It is the highest financial planning qualification worldwide. Financial planners can provide holistic (which takes into account your full financial situation, needs and goals) or scaled (where you only seek advice for a particular purpose) advice. Financial life is complex. In order to understand the intricacies of investment, taxation and ever-changing regulations, you may need professional help.

Rates last updated December 4th, 2016
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The bottom line

So now that you have the ultimate guide to knowing different financial professionals, you can decide if any of these can help you with your financial goals. Many people do prefer to do things for themselves but you shouldn't hesitate to seek professional advice.
Many people like to think they’re experts on the finance industry but there are so many intricacies that it would be less risky and easier to seek advice from a professional.

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