How much does financial advice cost?

  • The initial meeting is usually free and involves the adviser getting to know you.
  • Setting up a new financial plan will cost you at least $4000 but could cost up to $12,000.
  • Some fees are paid upfront, while other fees are paid on an ongoing basis.
  • Financial advisers should no longer charge commissions. If they do, walk away.

Fees vary between advisers but expect to pay several thousand dollars to have your financial plan set up, and the same again each year if you want ongoing advice.

how much does financial advice cost

Financial advisers are highly trained professionals just like lawyers and accountants. You should expect to pay them the same as you would pay these types of professionals.

But adviser fees structures may differ slightly and can be based on a flat-dollar basis (that is, fee for service) or on a percentage of your investments, or a combination of both. Some fees are also paid upfront while other fees are paid on an ongoing basis.

The initial meeting with an adviser is generally free and usually involves an adviser getting to know more about you, your financial aspirations, and what they can help you with. The adviser should also go through any expected fees and costs. These must be provided in the annual fee disclosure statement (FDS).

The costs will largely depend on the complexity of the advice provided. The adviser will provide you with a financial services guide (FSG) on your initial meeting containing further details on the adviser's services.

What it costs

To set up a full financial plan a financial adviser will likely charge you somewhere in the range of $4000 to $12,000 depending on how complex the plan and what is your situation. While this seems a lot, it's about what you'll pay an architect to design your house renovations.

It's important that you get value for the fees you will pay, so you need to work actively with your adviser, to make sure what they're providing you is what you want and that it will set you on the path to improved long-term wealth.

Financial advisers are now prevented from charging commissions on most new investments, including superannuation, but they may receive commissions that are capped on life insurance products.

If you want to receive ongoing advice each year, expect to pay fees equivalent to about 0.2% to 0.5% per annum of the portfolio they help you establish. This should apply only to the portfolio they are advising you on, not your whole personal wealth. You need to agree with your adviser what they will do for you in return for this ongoing annual fee.

Scaled advice that only deals with a single or small number of issues will cost less than a comprehensive financial plan that considers all aspects of your personal and financial situation. Advice dealing with complex issues will also cost more than simpler areas of advice.


As mentioned earlier, you should always obtain, read and understand the adviser's FSG, as it will detail all their fees and cost structures, as well as any links they may have with products and providers.

The following table shows the main fees you are likely to encounter and what you should be receiving in return.

Type of fee What does it cover? How is it paid?
Statement of advice (SOA) fee This fee covers the preparation of the SOA, which formally documents the adviser's understanding of your personal circumstances, goals and objectives; and outlines their recommendations based on this information.

Check with your adviser whether this fee is charged, even if you decide not to go ahead with their recommendations. You should confirm this before committing to having an SOA prepared for you.

Paid directly or deducted from your investments if you decide to accept the adviser's recommendations.
Plan implementation fee Covers the administrative work to implement the advice if you proceed with the adviser's recommendations.

If an SOA fee has been charged, it might be deducted from the plan implementation fee.

Complex recommendations may attract higher fees as they usually require more work to implement the advice.

Paid directly or deducted from your investments.
Advice review implementation fee If you receive ongoing advice and agree to make changes to your investments after a review of your financial plan, you may be charged additional implementation fees. Paid directly or deducted from your investments.
Platform administration fees Covers expenses related to administering and managing accounts on the platform, and other applicable administrative costs. Usually deducted directly from your investments.
Investment management fees A fee charged by an investment manager for managing an investment fund. It may or may not cover other costs, such as administration fees. Usually deducted from investment returns before they are credited to your account (i.e. investment returns quoted are usually net of these fees).
Life insurance commissions Covers the administrative work in getting the insurance cover accepted by the insurer. Usually deducted from the policy premiums paid to the insurer each year. Capped at 60% of the upfront premium in the first year of the policy and 20% ongoing for each subsequent year.

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