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What is independent advice, and why is it so important when it comes to your financial planning?

3 Minute Read

There are just over 16,000 Financial Advisers in Australia. Of this number, only a relatively small number – just over 100, or 1% of all advisers – are declared independent.

But what does independent mean, and why does it matter?


Objective recommendations. Unbiased and transparent advice.

Independent financial advisers are not tied to any specific financial products or services. The vast majority of advisers (being those who are not independent) are affiliated with large banks or institutions, have in-house products, or receive commissions.

Independent advisers are not able to receive any financial benefit for any recommendation they make. As a result, independent advice is truly unbiased, impartial, and tailored to the specific needs of each client. The only priority is to achieve the best outcomes for each client.


No commissions

Independent advice is based on your best interests, and not influenced by incentives or commissions of any kind. Independent advisers receive no commissions for any products or solutions we recommend to our clients, including on personal commission.

Often, when assessing the cost of financial advice, clients don’t factor in commission, which hidden or not, does become a cost that the client pays. Therefore, it is important to understand any commissions payable to your advisers, and factor this into your overall financial advice cost.

Ultimately, removing commissions from the equation ensures that recommendations provided to you by Independent Advisers best align with your goals and needs.


No affiliations or in-house products

Along the same lines, Independent Advisers receive no benefit for, and have no obligation to, recommend any particular product. Independent Advisers are free to pick and chose strategies and investments that best support our clients’ needs, and are in their best interest.

This is in contrast to many other firms who have their own internal products to sell, or who need to recommend only products on a limited list of approved products. There a literally thousands of products out there so the ability to pick and choose means your adviser is not limited in terms of what can be recommended to your specific situation.


No transactional fees

Independent Advisers also receive no transactional fees. Some advisers operate on a model whereby a percentage of each transaction is charged each time a client buys or sells an investment. Independent Advisers do not ‘clip the ticket’ in this (or any way), ensuring there is no conscious or unconscious bias that impacts recommendations made to clients.


Independently owned is not independent. Self licenced is what you’re looking for if you want a truly independent solution.

One thing to just bare in mind, if you are looking for independent advice, is that independently owned does not mean independent advice. There are plenty of financial advice firms that are independently owned, yet still operate under the licence (and therefore requirements) of larger firms that have their own products. Independently owned firms may also still receive commissions and transactional fees.


Peace of mind

Seeking independent financial advice can provide peace of mind. Ultimately, it is one way of knowing that your adviser is working in your best interests, and focusing solely on your financial success, without any biases or external pressures.


Oxlade Financial is one of the few declared-Independent financial planning firms in Australia

At Oxlade, our independence is part of who we are. We exist to provide truly client-centric thinking, and our view is that the only way to ensure this is to be a truly independent organisation. Our clients know we are looking after their finances with the same amount of skill, care and focus as we would if we were looking after our own money. That’s our unique power and responsibility as independent financial advisers.


If you are looking for independent advice, or want to better understand how independent advice can help you live the life you’ve worked hard for, please contact our team today. One of our Advisers would be happy to have a cost/obligation-free discussion with you to see if we are the right fit for you.



Any information in this article is general in nature and does not consider any of your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. It is as intended, to be of a general nature only and NOT a recommendation to you. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek personal advice from a registered financial adviser.

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