Get financial advice

As part of Money Week (2 – 8 September), the New Zealand Bankers’ Association is encouraging people to get financial advice on how best to manage their money.

“Getting advice about your finances and how best to meet your needs and aspirations is a good idea for everyone. It’s about making informed decisions to manage your debt, build your savings and make good investments.

“There’s a range of advice available, from free budgeting advice to professional investment advice, which can help you plan goals and get you where you want to go.

“A good start is to talk to your bank about whether your accounts are right for you. Banks are happy to talk about how their products and services best suit your individual circumstances,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Kirk Hope.

“It pays to be clear about the benefits and any associated risks of the financial products and services you’re using.”

The provision of financial advice is regulated by the Financial Advisers Act 2008. Under the law there are three types of advisers. Almost all retail banks are Qualifying Financial Entities (QFEs) and their advisers are qualified to talk to customers about basic products such as accounts and simple investment products. Registered Financial Advisers (RFAs) can also advise on those products. For advice on investments like KiwiSaver, managed funds and more complex products, you need to talk to an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA).

All QFEs (the organisation, not the advisers who work for them), and all RFAs and AFAs need to be registered. To check if your adviser is registered, go to the Companies Office Financial Service Providers.