top of page

What Is a Financial Advisor & Do I Need One?

A financial advisor (also sometimes called a financial planner) in Australia is a qualified professional who assists clients in reaching their financial goals. Sometimes, clients don’t always know what those goals are, so a good financial advisor will help them determine and articulate the answer. 

The role of a financial advisor is not to dictate everything you can’t do. The best wealth advice takes a broader view across budgeting, investment management, retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and risk management. In doing so, they can provide a holistic plan to achieve your goals and ultimately grow your wealth. 

ActOn Wealth is committed to providing our clients with customised financial advice servicing their best interests. We firmly believe in putting the personal into planning and helping to enrich your life experiences.


We hope this information helps you better understand the concept of financial planning and whether this service is what you need to grow your wealth and achieve your goals. 

Jump ahead to the following: 

  • Do I need a financial advisor? 

  • How to choose a financial planner 

  • Questions to ask a financial advisor 

  • Benefits of a certified financial planner 

  • ActOn Wealth professional services 

  • What sets ActOn Wealth apart from the competition 

  • Financial advice costs 

  • Frequently Asked Questions 

Do I Need a Financial Advisor? 

If you’re financially literate and confident and have the time and resources to research and analyse financial products and the market, then you probably don’t need to seek financial advice. 

However, if you find numbers overwhelming, if it is difficult to distil information and get to the core of what really matters, you have no idea where to start, or some past decisions have left you in hot water, you could greatly benefit from personal financial advice. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a luxury reserved only for wealthy Australians. On the contrary - if you’re doing it tough or want to improve your financial situation, you have every right to seek - and expect - sound financial advice. And you’ll be surprised how fair and affordable it can be, but more on that later. 

Let ActOn Wealth’s financial planners help you achieve your goals - call 1300 022 866

How to Choose a Financial Planner 

When choosing a personal financial advisor, we recommend you consider the following: 

  • If they are independent or aligned with an institution/product. 

  • Their breadth and level of expertise. Ideally, you want a firm that provides comprehensive services and has affiliations or close partnerships with experts in other ancillary service areas, such as taxation and law. 

  • Credentials and qualifications. 

  • Transparent fees. It’s important that the firm’s fee structure be upfront, clear and reasonable. You should never spend more money than they can help you make. 

  • Professionalism. How does the firm behave? Will the one person look after you right the way through your journey, or will you be passed down to juniors once you come on board? Is everyone courteous, punctual and committed to you? 

What Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor 

Before appointing a financial planner, we recommend asking the following key questions designed to ensure you find the perfect match. 

  • What are your qualifications and credentials?

  • How long have you been in the financial planning industry?

  • What is your area of expertise?

  • How do you charge for your services, and what is your fee structure?

  • How do you assess and manage investment risk?

  • What types of financial products or investment strategies do you recommend and why?

  • How do you tailor your services to meet my individual needs and goals?

  • Can you provide references from current or past clients?

  • How often will we meet to review and update my financial plan?

  • How do you stay informed about changes in the financial industry and market trends?

  • Do you have any potential conflicts of interest that I should be aware of?

We welcome the opportunity to answer all these questions and more - call us today for a no-obligation, no-cost initial conversation. 

Benefits of a Certified Financial Planner 

There are many advantages to appointing the right wealth management advisor. Certainly, partnering with ActOn Wealth delivers myriad benefits. 

Financial experts 

You reap the rewards of our knowledge, research and analysis. 

Our team of fully qualified financial planners is headed by founders Shannon Cramer and Alex Bernshtey, who combine academic pedigree with real-life experience running multiple businesses.  From the Australian financial and property markets to superannuation, shares, risk management and estate planning, every member of the team has in-depth and real-time knowledge. 

We’re supported by a dedicated group of paraplanners who pour over the latest regulatory changes and market updates to ensure our advice is scrutinised and quality-controlled before you hear about it.  

A financial plan is paramount 

You set the goals; we create the best roadmap to achieve them. 

Effective financial advice requires strategy and tactics. It’s not enough to have a destination - you need a clear map of how and when to get there. We work closely with you to determine a solid, reasonable and achievable plan.  We don’t introduce harsh austerity measures - this is all about creating a sustainable pathway.  

Holistic financial advice 

Unearthing and understanding all your wealth creation opportunities and obstacles. 

There is no single silver bullet to growing your wealth and achieving your goals. For instance, addressing your budget and cashflow helps you streamline expenses and manage your spending habits, but it doesn’t plan your estate, drive your investment portfolio or manage your risk.  

Bespoke financial advice 

The person is as important as the plan. 

It stands to reason that every personal financial plan should be precisely that - personal. No two people in the world are identical - we each have incomes, investments, expenses, debts, assets, family situations, desires and goals that differ. A good financial plan has to very carefully consider and respond to all these elements and more. 

Ongoing advice  

Change is unavoidable in life and in finance. 

How did life look for you five years ago? Perhaps you were single, and now you’re married with kids. Maybe you were stressed out and in huge debt, and now you have your head above water.  

Life changes, we change. What we want doesn’t always stay the same, and nor should it. ActOn Wealth wants to be your financial planner now and into the future. We don’t always have to be running on full steam, but we want to be there in the background to help you proactively and respond to any enquiries or changes that could affect your plan. 

Financial peace of mind 

We remove the worry. 

It’s great to have someone you can turn to in life whose opinion you trust and value, right? When it comes to finance, we’re that someone. We’re your co-pilot who can offer expertise and knowledge. Do you want to run an idea past us and get a second opinion? We’re all ears, and we probably have some additional ideas of our own as well. In short, we’ve got you. 

The right professional financial advisor is your wealth-making partner - call us on 1300 022 866

Professional Financial Services 

We’re proud to deliver a full suite of finance services. Not all of these might be relevant to you, but it’s good to know you can call on a financial expert across all these areas. We also have an excellent network of professionals in complementary services such as financial tax advisers and lawyers. 

  • Cashflow and budget management 

  • Investment advice 

  • Insurance advice 

  • Retirement, planning and superannuation financial advice 

  • Self-Managed Superannuation Fund

  • Property advice 

  • Ethical investment advice 

  • Lending 

  • Estate planning 

What Sets ActOn Wealth Apart

Why do clients return to and recommend ActOn Wealth? We’re proud of the following features we think help set us apart: 

Exceptional customer service 

Our dedicated Customer Success Manager delivers a red-carpet experience, ensuring all enquiries are answered, all meetings fulfilled and followed up, and contact is maintained even when plans are in place and activity is dormant. We never want to be the agency that only makes contact and does work when the clock is ticking. 

Independent AFSL 

As an independent Australian Financial Services License holder, we maintain 100% autonomy and independence. This means when we give you advice, it’s the best counsel for you, not for an institution or product waiting in the background. Knowing our processes are essentially a benchmark for our industry’s education and ethical standards is deeply rewarding. 

Is it in the client’s best interests? 

That’s the question we constantly stop to ask ourselves. We use it to check in and ensure we’re always anchored to and aligned with your goals. If the answer is only maybe or no, it’s not the right answer, and we need to change tact. 

Fully qualified mortgage brokers 

We’ve created a one-stop-financial-planning-shop; bringing together mortgage broking, estate planning and property planning specialist in-house teams to ensure clients receive specific, tailored advice - we’re not outsourcing to third parties whose opinions and work we cannot 100% guarantee. 

Moreover, we  make it as easy as possible for you to achieve all their financial needs with the one team, rather than having to double (or even triple) up on meetings, people, information and advice. 

Financial Advisor Cost 

Our cost structure reflects the personalised nature of our financial strategies. For this reason, fees vary. However, we provide very clear cost summaries so clients are aware of all details before moving forward. 

It is important to note that fees can be tax deductible if advice leads to or is directly associated with a specific investment that produces assessable income. However, clients need to speak to their tax accountant for specific advice.

How much does a financial advisor cost?


Usually between 3–6% (based on a percentage of how much you invest)

Hourly Fee

Between $200–400 an hour (on average)

Flat Fee

Between $2,000 and $4,000, depending on which services are provided

Retainer Fee

Usually between 0.2–2% of assets under management (AUM)

 Want to read more? We recommend this great blog about planning your financial future

Contact a Financial Planner in Melbourne 

We hope this has helped answer your questions about what a financial advisor does. Whether you need a personal financial advisor in Melbourne or Australia-wide, our team is here to support you. 

Contact us today and find out how much you stand to gain from our financial expertise. 

Financial Planning FAQs  

Where to find a financial advisor? 

You’re here at ActOn Wealth now. Why not read our customer reviews and see what Australians think of our services and performance? 

What is a fiduciary financial advisor? 

A fiduciary financial planner is a legally and ethically bound professional who must always act in their client’s best interests. Fiduciary duty means prioritising the client’s interests above the advisor’s. 

What is an independent financial advisor? 

An independent financial planner does not have a bias towards a business, institution or product. The advice they give is impartial, independent, and should be in the client’s best interests. 

What is the difference between a financial planner vs advisor? 

These terms are used interchangeably and are essentially the same thing. 

34 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page