What is a financial advisor? – What to look for


“What does a financial advisor do and why would I need one?” Have you asked this question yourself?

Weighing up the value of a financial advisor can be difficult. To help, we’ve created a series of articles that break down what a financial advisor actually does and the benefits they can bring, the key questions you should ask, and Tribeca’s unique way of delivering financial advice.

Let’s start with what to look for in a financial advisor.

How can a financial advisor help you?

All financial and investment advisors will have slightly different takes on their role and how they feel they can add the most value. Here’s what we believe.

As a financial advisor, we’re here to help you build the life you want by creating a financial roadmap that will make it happen. We do this collaboratively, setting goals together aligned with what’s most important to you – your values; your lifestyle; your priorities. And we’ll give you all the support and advice you need to help you achieve that good life.

For some people they prefer to go about this alone, either because they’re confident in their ability to manage their money or don’t see the value in paying for financial advice. And that’s fine.

But for many a trusted financial advisor can provide certainty and peace of mind around all aspects of their finances. And a good financial advisor will deliver back value in excess of the fees paid (more on that later).

Maybe you’ve come into some money and are not sure what to do next. Maybe you’re going through a difficult time and need some help shoring up your finances. Or maybe you’re simply looking long-term to starting a family and eventually retiring, and want to have a clear plan in place.

A financial advisor can provide a way forward and be there as a support to help you through the good times – and when times are challenging.

Creating a plan for your financial future

Financial freedom and security is more than just having enough money to pay down your mortgage each month. It’s about living the life you want to live.

A financial advisor can help you set your goals – both financial and lifestyle – and then create a manageable plan for you to achieve it. That means factoring in everything that impacts your life (home, debt, family, work, insurances, super, tax planning, experiences, etc), so that you can balance all these aspects while never losing sight of your short and long-term goals.

Importantly, a financial advisor can also adjust that plan if your circumstances and financial situation changes. Having that knowledge and support can be priceless.

Proven and professional experience

Following the Financial Services Royal Commission in 2017 there’s been tremendous change in the financial services industry. It’s resulted in financial advisors having to comply with rigorous education and quality standards, which in turn provides greater expertise and accountability – as it should be.

At Tribeca for example, we have financial advisors who are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISORS® meaning they are fully qualified to support you in achieving your goals and objectives across all areas of your finances.

The Adviser Ratings website is a great place to look for the qualifications and expertise of financial advisors.

Holistic financial advice

A financial advisor should be able to help you across all areas of your financial world, from cashflow and budgeting through to asset allocation, investment advice and retirement planning. And every decision should be based on how it aligns with your lifestyle goals.

That’s why at Tribeca we take a holistic approach to financial advice. As our focus is on people rather than products, we start by looking at important life aspects based around:

  • Your financial wellbeing where we explore how healthy your relationship with money is and ways we can improve it to a level that enhances your sense of security and freedom to make choices (more on this later).
  • Your short, mid and long-term goals (what we call 10-3-Now) where we look at creating an achievable framework for living your Good Life based around the 5 Ls: Life, Love, Learn, Laugh and Legacy. More on this later too.
By taking this holistic view, we can then drill down to the specific areas of financial advice that relate to your needs and circumstances and apply these more effectively. These areas span:
  • Cashflow coaching
  • Superannuation advice
  • Estate planning
  • Personal risk insurance
  • Investment advice
  • Financial planning
  • Debt management
  • Financial advice

Choices. That’s what effective and meaningful financial advice should offer you. The confidence and peace of mind knowing you can face and respond to any challenge or opportunity that comes your way. It’s why our advice is holistic and human-centered; our far-reaching and empathy led expertise supporting you in making choices throughout every stage of your life. It’s advice that builds trust. And builds the life you want to live.

Want to learn more about Tribeca’s holistic approach to financial advice? 

Growing and protecting your investments

If you already have investments or are looking to start, recent times have shown how challenging it can be managing an investment portfolio. An experienced financial and investment advisor can provide enormous value during these difficult times; supporting you to ensure you don’t lose sight and focus of your long-term goals. And a good financial advisor won’t just rely on their own understanding. They will access a network of people and resources to help monitor market fluctuations on a daily basis and make informed decisions about when to invest more, when to hold, or when to sell.

It’s really about providing investment advice that can help you make better decisions. In a global 2020 industry report, it was found that if someone with an investment balance of $250,000 decided to sell to cash in March 2020, they would have locked in losses of more than $50,000 by the end of May.

Whereas a client who was advised to stay invested during the volatility would have recovered almost $20,000 during that same time. Diversifying your investment portfolio is another important role a financial advisor can help you with. Spreading your investments over asset classes such as property, bonds, shares and commodities ensures you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Although diversification doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed complete protection from financial losses, it’s a strategy that financial advisors can help you with to minimise your risks.

Keeping you on track and accountable

The real worth of a certified financial planner and advisor comes from helping you to set up your financial and lifestyle goals and then keeping you on track.

A plan will only work if you can stick to it. An effective financial advisor can give you a hand when you need it, as well as give you some tough love if you need to change your behaviour. This is particularly important if you’re in a relationship, where one partner may have a different opinion or behaviour to the other. An independent voice can be invaluable in offering solutions that work for both.

Now that you know what to look for in a financial advisor and the value they can bring, how do you find the right financial advisor for you? Our next article reveals the eight key questions you should ask. 

Other articles in this series

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