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The most frequently asked question

During your first appointment, we will establish why you are seeking financial advice, what your goals are and what you expect from us. To assist us, we ask that you bring in as many documents as you can, such as photo ID, tax returns, superannuation, loan and bank statements, copies of wills, insurance details, and/or a budget. This will help us assess your financial position.

Your first meeting can take up to two hours. We will address your goals and objectives, current financial position and personal situation. It is an opportunity for us to get to know you and for you to assess whether Saracens is the right fit for you. If you have brought your financial documents or copies of them, this will speed up the process. This investment of time ensures we understand you and what you are looking for.

Your initial appointment with Saracens is provided free of charge. If we are able to, we will provide you with a terms of engagement document, which will outline what we will do for you and the cost of the preparation of the statement of advice.

Ongoing annual costs differ from person to person, depending on the complexity of your situation and the amount of work involved. You will be provided with a written quote prior to appointing saracens as your financial adviser.

After you have read and agreed with the advice within the statement of advice, including any adjustments that are made, we will send you a client agreement which outlines the services we will be providing and our fees. You should take the time to read and consider your client agreement before signing and returning it to us. There is no rush to make a decision and typically clients take one to two weeks to consider our agreement and make a decision.

Yes. If you agree to use our services, we will provide you with a written statement of advice. We will always act on your authority and don’t implement recommendations without your consent. Our ongoing advice also requires your authority for us to act. You will always know and authorise what we are doing with your money.

Yes. We offer comprehensive advice and can certainly cover advice on SMSFs. As well as handling their ongoing management, Saracens helps clients to set-up or close down SMSFs, where appropriate.

We do not offer accounting services. We are happy to work with your existing accountant. We can also provide a referral to an accountant if you do not have one. Similarly, we are not solicitors and do not do legal work. We will happily work with your existing solicitor. We can also refer you to one if you don’t already have one.

This subject was broached recently by ASIC, which deemed that there are 5 main elements you need to consider when choosing the best financial adviser for you. They are:


A financial adviser can be qualified to give advice after meeting only minimum training requirements. To increase your chances of getting advice that is right for you, look for an adviser who also has a diploma, an advanced diploma or degree qualification in a relevant discipline such as finance, economics, accounting or financial planning. A degree is a higher level qualification than a diploma or an advanced diploma.


Ask the adviser about their typical clients. This will help you judge whether they are experienced in dealing with people who have similar issues and goals to you. For example, are the adviser’s other clients planning for retirement or are they young families wanting to save for their children’s education?

The amount of experience an adviser has is also relevant. For example, an adviser that has recently graduated may be highly qualified, however, they may not be as experienced as as a more senior adviser with fewer qualifications.

Financial products

Make sure the adviser can provide advice about the financial products you currently have. This is critical when it comes to super, as the adviser may not be able to give you advice about your current super fund if it’s not on their ‘approved product list’.

Be careful of advisers who only sell one investment product or solution as this may mean the advice doesn’t meet your specific needs and objectives.

Use ASIC’s financial advisers register to see what product areas an adviser can provide advice about.

See financial products and sales incentives for more information about things to look out for when considering a financial product recommended by an adviser.

When you speak with an adviser, make sure they focus on the services and strategies they can offer you, rather than the products they can sell you.

Like other professionals, it’s important for an adviser to keep up with industry or regulatory changes that might affect their clients. An adviser should participate in regular training activities such as courses or seminars run by universities, industry associations, professional bodies or registered training organisation.

Also check that the adviser is a member of an industry association and/or a professional body. Most associations require members to participate in ongoing training, have a code of conduct for members to follow and a mechanism for handling complaints.

See questions to ask a financial adviserfor talking points you can use to check an adviser’s qualifications and experience.

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