Receiving Financial Advice
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The right kind of financial advice can really make a big difference. Financial advice can give you confidence that your future plans are achievable. If you’re not on track to achieve your goals, it can help you put the right strategies in place, or come up with more realistic goals.
Financial advice can help you:
- Set and achieve your financial goals
- Make the most of your money
- Get any government assistance you’re entitled to
- Feel more in control of your finances and your life
- Avoid expensive mistakes
- Protect your assets
Issues surrounding financial advice
With the commencement of the Banking & Financial Services Royal Commission, you can expect to see much of this topic in the press.
Recent changes in the legal landscape have created a higher level of consumer protection and enhanced your ability to recover investment-related losses arising from negligent financial advice.
Common scenarios which give rise to financial adviser negligence include:
- Recommending unreasonably risky investments – particularly if you have a preference for low-risk conservative investments and are placed into high-risk investments, you may have a claim against your adviser for failing to act in your best interests;
- Recommending an inadequately diversified investment portfolio – this can occur when you are placed into investments that concentrate too much of your wealth with one organization, industry or sector. This failure to spread the risk of your portfolio is a regular feature of claims in negligence;
- Failure to ascertain your personal circumstances and priorities – a financial adviser must know about your income, assets, liabilities and risk appetite before he or she can provide you with informed advice. Failure to do so creates an inference of negligence;
- Misleading and deceptive statements – an adviser who misleads you orally or in writing about the characteristics of an investment product may be guilty of negligence. Investments being described as “risk-free” or “guaranteed” are typical misleading statements; and
- Failing to provide you with a Statement of Advice, Financial Services Guide or Product Disclosure Statement – providing these documents to you is a statutory requirement. Failure to meet this statutory requirement creates an inference of negligence.
You have six years from the time you suffered a financial loss to commence your claim if you suspect that you have lost funds as a result of your financial adviser failing to act in your best interests.