It's your money not someone else's
INDUSTRY expert Alan Kohler says you don't need to be an expert to manage your money well, but you do need to know how to choose trustworthy advisers and services.
Now is as good a time as any to reassess, question and reassure yourself of your financial arrangements.
"It's your money, not someone else's," Kohler said. "Nobody else is going to look after it for you."
"You should absolutely assess your relationship with your current financial advisor," Kohler added. "You should understand what you are paying them for and what they are doing for you, just like any other service you buy."
In his new book, It's Your Money, as one of Australia's most trusted financial experts and a first-hand observer of the industry for more than 40 years, Kohler offers unique insights into and thorough analysis of the crisis in financial services.
"What I am trying to do with the book is ensure people don't get bamboozled by saying, 'oh well, that's what it costs'."
What he recommends is people question the value of the service being provided and if they don't think it is valuable, then say so. "If they won't negotiate their fee or talk to you about it, then go somewhere else," he adds.
Kohler's book explains how the stage was set for financial industry corruption, breaks down the Royal Commission's findings and unpacks what it means for you.
"I think the Royal Commission showed us that there are problems in the financial advice system," he said.
"Maybe some of them will be fixed up but fundamentally they won't be fixed up because Kenneth Hayne, the Royal Commissioner, has decided not to deal with the fundamental conflict of interests that lie at the heart of the financial advice industry which is advisors may, or may not be, employed by the wealth managers who look after the money. That is the say the financial advisors may be a doctor whose employed by the drug company; you just don't know."
He shares his investing philosophy and offers advice on all aspects of financial planning, including appraising financial plans, growing your superannuation, and finding ethical investments.
He gives you the knowledge and insight you need to invest sensibly to protect and grow your money.
"I'm not saying people should look after their own money," Kohler said. "Most people need to have a financial advisor.
"What this book will do is arm people with the knowledge that will put them in a stronger position in dealing with financial advisors.
"It talks about how to deal with financial advice, what questions to ask and how to provide one. It also provides information and knowledge that gives you enough knowledge that you know broadly speaking what the financial advisor is doing so that you are able to talk to them with a level of knowledge that protects you."
Published by Blank Inc Books, RRP$34.99.