Financial planning information sources

  • There are lots of free information sources, so take time to explore them.
  • You will usually pay for financial advice specific to your personal circumstances.
  • Consider your needs and what you are willing to pay to work out the best option for you.

There are numerous sources of information about financial planning and ways to access financial advice, depending on the type of advice required and whether it's a one-off or you are looking to develop an ongoing arrangement with an adviser.

financial planning information sources

Popular sources

There are many, often free, resources that usually include factual information about financial products. This can be through the financial section of newspapers, magazines, podcasts, industry associations, bookshops, libraries; or online resources, such as superannuation funds and investment managers' websites. These often contain frequently asked questions and factsheets about their products and services.

Some online sources are listed below that you can use to:

  • manage your day-to-day finances
  • conduct an online financial health check
  • find out about the rules and regulations
  • read about issues encountered by others
  • assist with budgeting, savings and superannuation.

Websites that may help you

Australian Financial Complaints Authority
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Australian Taxation Office
Financial Advice Association Australia
Money magazine
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australasia
The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees

From your superannuation fund

Many superannuation funds offer free general advice on superannuation to their members and can help provide information about:

  • maximising retirement income by using different pension strategies and products
  • making voluntary contributions to increase your superannuation
  • different types of insurance within superannuation and options that may be available to you
  • moving or consolidating your superannuation into one fund.

Did you know?

Most superannuation funds provide clear readily accessible online information, often in the form of comparison graphs and charts, on how their investment options are performing. This makes it relatively easy to switch between or mix and match investment choices, depending on your risk appetite, age and goals.

Many funds have a fee-for-service financial advice facility with financial advisers who can provide cost-effective advice to members on areas of financial planning apart from superannuation.

This structure enables any advisory fees to be deducted from your superannuation balance, which can be beneficial if you don't have the money at hand to pay for financial advice.

From a financial adviser

After checking out the various sources of financial planning information and thinking about your goals, needs and concerns, you may decide to seek the services of a financial adviser.

A financial adviser will educate you about the types of products, strategies, benefits, investments and risks to best achieve the returns you need to meet your financial goals. They should be candid about if you'll meet your financial goals and if you need to reassess your situation.

From a stockbroker

While stockbrokers primarily buy and sell shares (units of ownership in a company) for clients, they can make purchasing recommendations, which is a form of personal financial advice. They can also provide general advice, such as giving clients factual information on trading.

See General versus personal financial advice section of this guide for more information on the differences between personal and general advice.

Can I get financial advice from my accountant or solicitor?

In most circumstances, financial advisers are not qualified to provide tax or legal advice, just as most accountants or solicitors are not qualified to provide financial advice. Therefore (depending on the advice required), you may need to see a lawyer or accountant to ensure your financial plan is secure from a legal and/or tax perspective.

Note: Some accountants are qualified to provide financial advice. In this case, advisers who provide financial advice that includes tax-related advice need to have an Australian financial services (AFS) licence, or work for an AFS licensee, and also hold a licence as a tax (financial) adviser with the Tax Practitioners Board. This requirement also applies to accountants who set up self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) for their clients.

 Developing a financial plan
 Taking financial planning further