These days there’s no shortage of people who’ll be very quick to offer you financial advice.

From friends and family to social media ‘influencers’, everyone thinks they have the secret to making money and protecting your wealth.

However, it’s extremely important to be careful about who you listen to because not all sources of information are reliable or trustworthy.

You may find may people have ulterior motives, including trying to sell you a product or service.

It is important to do your own research and seek advice from qualified and reputable sources.

Beware of ‘influencers’

In 2021, a survey by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) conducted a survey that found 33% of 18-21 year olds follow at least one financial ‘influencer’ on social media.

The survey also found that a further 64% of young people reported changing at least one of their financial behaviours as a result of following a financial influencer.

The problem with this is that many of these self-proclaimed experts either have limited finance experience or knowledge, or are outright scammers.

There have been countless examples of people being caught out making huge amounts of money by misleading or deceiving unsuspecting followers.

ASIC has rolled out new laws to try and stamp-out dodgy behaviour, but the sad truth is that scammers will always be out there and it’s important you know how to avoid being conned.

Don’t always trust family and friends

Family and friends will often offer you financial advice with the very best intentions, but acting on that advice can be risky.

Usually, your loved ones don’t have the knowledge or expertise to provide accurate and helpful advice.

Even if they have experience with personal finance, their situation and goals are likely to be different from yours, and the tips they give may not be applicable to your specific circumstances.

There will also be cases where even your family and friends have their own biases or conflicts of interest that are affecting their recommendations.

Always check credentials

When seeking financial advice, you should always conduct research into the people who are offering you their services.

Questions to ask include:

  • What qualifications does the person have?
  • What recourse do I have if something goes wrong?
  • Does the person have ulterior motives?
  • Is the person being given commissions you’re unaware of?
  • Are there any other conflicts of interest?
  • Does the person have a sound reputation?
  • Are the person’s online reviews legitimate or fake?

If you find it hard to get clear answers to the above questions, then it might be a sign to steer clear.

Who should you trust for financial advice?

It is more important than ever to find a qualified, professional adviser who is experienced, independent and reliable.

It’s a good idea to do some research and get recommendations from trusted people to find a reputable advisor who has experience helping people in your situation.

Independently owned and operated in South Australia, Heard Financial has a team of trusted advisers who pride themselves on their integrity.

When clients work with Heard Financial advisers, they know they’re truly getting tailored, personalised advice based on their personal circumstances and goals.

For a no obligation discussion about your financial planning needs, contact us today. 

This information may be regarded as general advice. That is, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information.

Accordingly, you should consider the appropriateness of any general advice we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Where the information relates to a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase that financial product.