The best financial planners in Canberra

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Green Associates Staff

Canberra’s Green Associates has been building wealth and relationships through smart financial planning since 1989. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

If you’re planning ahead for a comfortable retirement, looking to build wealth or simply want to get on top of your day-to-day finances, a financial planner can help.

Financial planners provide professional guidance on how to earn, save and spend wisely. Whether you need a home loan refinanced or sound financial mentoring, a skilled financial planner will work with you to achieve your financial goals.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a financial planner, and where to find the best in Canberra.

What makes a great financial planner?

It’s normal to feel nervous about engaging a financial planner. After all, while the right advice could put you on the track to financial freedom, misinformed or generic recommendations may leave you worse off than when you started.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a financial planner:

  • Experience and qualifications. Financial planners need to meet professional standards, including having completed an approved Bachelor degree (or higher) and a professional year of supervised experience. For added peace of mind, ask whether your financial planner is certified by an organisation such as the Financial Planning Association of Australia before you commit.
  • Flexible approach. No two people’s financial situations are the same, and everyone wants something unique out of their future. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, the best financial planners understand your individual wants and needs, and can help you make them a reality.
  • Investment strategy. Financial planners may specialise in certain approaches to wealth creation or investing. Look for a financial planner whose strategies align with your values and goals. If you’d like to build an property portfolio but still want wiggle room in the budget for an overseas holiday once a year, it’s often easier to do with a financial planner who is an expert in growing wealth through property, for example.
  • Do they follow their own advice? If your financial adviser recommends one approach (i.e. investing in the sharemarket), but takes another when it comes to their own personal finances (i.e. investing in property), think twice. Your financial adviser should practice what they preach – or at the very least be able to clearly explain why they are following different recommendations.

The best financial planners in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Nest Advisory Group

Nest Advisory Group

In Australia, research shows that more people would rather die than run out of money in retirement. Nest Advisory Group helps clients implement short and long term plans to create, grow and protect their wealth. Its goal is to help clients invest and diversify their wealth across property, local and international shares, managed investments and a wide range of other assets.

It will help you answer two fundamental financial questions: How much money do you need to retire, and when can you do it?

Nest Advisory Group is different because it brings together a team of professionals that clients of all stages of life and business need to implement a comprehensive plan. This includes solicitors, an accountant and bookkeeper, an insurance broker and a real estate agent. Clients can track their goals, progress and portfolio performance, while also accessing ongoing advice and support.

Happy client Steve had this to say about his experience with Nest Advisory on RiotACT, “If you are looking for a financial planner that is knowledgeable, well experienced and talks to you in a way that you can understand and relate to, I recommend getting in touch with Nick Lucey, who is the principal at Nest Advisory. He has been my financial planner for the last 3 years. He is super knowledgeable and quick to respond to all my enquires and actually does regularly reviews, which are really helpful. I have used Nest for advice on home loans, insurance and superannuation. They do a lot of things online, which makes it easy to do business with.”.

Click here to make an appointment with Nest Advisory.

Level 4, 15 Moore Street
Canberra City ACT 2601
Green Associates

Green Associates

Green Associates is passionate about creating your financial roadmap now and in the future. A financial planning practice with offices in Canberra, Goulburn and Brisbane, its principals have over 40 years of combined experience and are certified financial planners.

Recognising that clients need different financial advice depending on their life stage, Green Associates’ financial planning services range from setting and reaching goals that matter to you now, through to maximising the years when you are likely to earn the most income and enjoying retirement.

Green Associates’ approach centres on helping clients understand how personal change, legislative change and economic change intertwine to affect their financial position, and providing advice on how to move forward.

Clients Graham and Penny shared their experience with Green Associates as a website testimonial, “Green Associates are a trusted advisor. I have confidence that despite market fluctuations they are doing their best to provide me with a good return.”

Unit 5/10 Geils Court
Deakin ACT 2600
RSM Financial Services Australia

RSM Financial Services Australia

Regardless of your stage of life, it’s important to secure your future through sound and practical wealth management planning, advice and solutions, tailored to your needs. RSM Financial Services Australia believes this important process involves understanding clients and being clear on what they want to achieve.

RSM Financial Services Australia specialises in the full spectrum of wealth management. Key areas include wealth accumulation, debt management, personal risk, self-managed superannuation and retirement planning (before and after).

The firm’s professional consultants, all qualified Certified Financial Planners® through the Financial Planning Association of Australia, are expert at assessing the many factors that come into play when realising your personal wealth objectives, whether an important financial decision or working towards a lifestyle goal. They’re also expert at explaining options in easy-to-understand language so you can make informed decisions on how to live for today and tomorrow. With RSM’s backing—and ethical and educational approach—you’ll have control over your financial situation and ability to make the most of the future.

Chris Oates, Lindsay Walker, Young Han, Ross Trimboli and Andrew Fernance

RSM Financial Services Australia’s team in Canberra – Financial Planners Chris Oates, Lindsay Walker, Young Han, Ross Trimboli and Andrew Fernance. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Chris Oates, a Certified Financial Planner operating in Canberra, says partnerships are key. “We believe in the power of long-lasting relationships and working closely with clients on comprehensive solutions,” says Chris. “This truly empowers them to make sound financial choices in a world where wealth management can be complex and challenging.”

Having confidence in your financial advisor’s depth of expertise and experience is critical. RSM Financial Services Australia has built local, national and international knowledge over 95 years in business, cementing its reputation as one of the country’s leading professional services firms. The Canberra office also services the South Coast, Goulburn and Cooma regions.

As Tony K, a satisfied client, says on Google, “If you want professional advice on all matters tax, money and wealth/financial management, you have come to the right place.”

RSM Financial Services Australia Pty Ltd ABN 22 009 176 354 AFS Licence No 238282

Equinox Building 4, Level 2, 70 Kent Street
Deakin ACT 2600

See Clear Wealth Financial Planning

See Clear Wealth Financial Planning is a holistic financial planning firm, specialising in personal insurances, superannuation and government defined benefit schemes. With a combined 30 years of experience in finance, the team at See Clear Wealth helps clients make the right choices for life’s important financial decisions. That includes sorting finances, making more money, saving for something special, buying a property, growing a family, starting a small business, planning for retirement and enjoying life after retirement.

On Facebook, Merrin Starr wrote, “Very knowledgeable and professional financial advisors who respond quickly to enquires and offer sound advice. Would recommend to anyone seeking assistance in this area.”

If you’re looking for more on financial advice, check out our articles on the best defined benefits super financial planners and the best tax accountants in Canberra for some useful information on the top services in town. Or if you’re after advice for your business, read through our articles on the best business advisors and best business lawyers our city has to offer.

Your experience with financial planners in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the financial planners listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a financial planner do?
Financial planners help you organise your finances and develop strategies to help you achieve your financial objectives over the short, medium and long-term.

Most financial planners have the expertise and capability to advise on a variety of areas, including, but not limited to, to superannuation, retirement planning, investments, insurances, cashflow management, social security, estate planning, debt management and aged care.
How do financial planners get paid?
Financial planners can charge for providing advice in a number of ways, most commonly, asset-based fees, commissions, and fee for service.

Over the past few years and as a result of the Banking Royal Commission, the method of payment for advice has sharply shifted from asset-based fees and commissions to fee for service.
How much does financial advice cost?
Fees for financial advice can vary in cost dependant on what stage you are at in the advice cycle. Generally you will have three sets of fees – initial appointment fee, the plan preparation fee, and the implementation fee.

Initial appointment fees may start as low as $100 and range anywhere up to $500 depending on the time you spend with your adviser and their hourly rate.

Plan preparation fees are the most variable fees payable as they are most often based on the complexity and scope of the advice being provided. Plans that are limited in scope may start at $800, with extremely complex, multi-entity plans ranging up to $20,000.

Implementation fees are dependent on what pieces of the advice need to be implemented. There is no hard and fast set rule with implementation fees, however, these are sometimes built into the plan preparation costs.
Does my financial planner need to be licenced?
Yes, a person who provides financial services must be covered by an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence. There is a Financial Adviser Register managed by ASIC on the Money Smart website. This allows consumers to check that a financial planner is authorised to provide financial advice and find information about an adviser before getting financial advice from them.
When do I need to see a financial planner?
Possibly sooner than you think. Most will leave this decision too late but financial planners can help you through every stage of life, not just retirement. This could include when you are starting a family, you need help with investing or would like to pay off debt faster. Planners can also help you with goal setting, be they personal or financial, but all tied to what you want to achieve.
Can an accountant give me financial advice?
Generally, a person who provides financial services must be covered by an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence. Since 1 July 2016, accountants need to be covered by an AFS licence. This licence may be a full licence like that of a Financial Planner, or a limited licence which will restrict which financial products that can advise on.

What's Your Opinion?


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32 Responses to The best financial planners in Canberra
Owen Harris Owen Harris 8:45 am 30 Sep 21

Reg Sheridan

Michael Mcdermott Michael Mcdermott 2:23 pm 28 Sep 21

You missed one of the best, Bravium multiple award winner.
https://www.bravium.com.au/

Megan Munro Megan Munro 11:58 am 28 Sep 21

Scott Malcom from Money Mechanics Canberra is the best.

    Megan Munro Megan Munro 9:46 pm 29 Sep 21

    Simon Mitchell we got something like that done about 12 years ago. However a lot of life circumstances changed. But some of the advice given helped my partner and get to where we are now. Scott has also helped my parents after my grandmother died and my mother inherited money.

Michelle Jones Michelle Jones 11:36 am 28 Sep 21

Phil Rise from Rise Financial

Harry Williams Harry Williams 9:36 am 28 Sep 21

Callaghans Accounting havd great financial planners

Eoin Wotkinz Eoin Wotkinz 2:20 am 28 Sep 21

Wholistic Financial Solutions. Easy call. I go to the Mitchell office and it’s worth the drive from the Deep South.

Award winning, have a diverse range of services from property right through to simple tax. Fairly priced and have served me well. I’m certainly not a high profile client but they have many. They’re well connected with a reach extending across the eastern sea board. I did my research and these guys nail it. Wouldn’t use anyone else

Vickie O'Malley Vickie O'Malley 11:48 pm 27 Sep 21

Green Associates

Justin Watson Justin Watson 11:34 pm 27 Sep 21

The best ones are those with a fixed fee and not commissions.

Adele Craven Adele Craven 11:04 pm 27 Sep 21

Fiducian were very good

    Kati Mann Kati Mann 9:29 am 28 Sep 21

    Adele Craven I went twice and never went back. They were terrible in their response time. I didn't even get my financial plan from the second meeting.

    Peter Schrieber Peter Schrieber 8:51 am 29 Sep 21

    I went to Fiducian after a recommendation from a friend and I was very happy with their service.

Brooke Hepburn-Rogers Brooke Hepburn-Rogers 10:47 pm 27 Sep 21

Suzanne McIntosh at Shield Wealth

Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 10:25 pm 27 Sep 21

Malcolm and James at “The Money Study, there located in Hackett, and there knowledge is awesome.

Steve Lowe Steve Lowe 4:59 pm 23 Mar 20

If you are looking for a financial planner that is knowledgeable, well experienced and talks to you in a way that you can understand and relate to, I recommend getting in touch with Nick Lucey, who is the principal at Nest Advisory. He has been my financial planner for the last 3 years. He is super knowledgeable and quick to respond to all my enquires and actually does regularly reviews, which are really helpful. I have used Nest for advice on home loans, insurance and superannuation. They do a lot of things online, which makes it easy to do business with. Give them a call.

djonoe djonoe 8:39 am 18 Oct 18

I agree with the above and have worked with Money-Mechanics.com.au who have the right qualifications and experience. You can also refer to adviser ratings website to assess the individual as verifying the individual is often worth doing in addition to the company

npv2015 npv2015 10:01 am 23 Sep 15

Hello Ryoma,

I realize this is a delayed response to the initial thread, however I am a financial adviser myself and would be happy to consult on the wide array of things that are available to one financially.

I offer a free first time appointment to go over questions that you may have and expand on those areas that you may not have thought of.

Id like to think that my offering is different to the standard advisers in so much as that I am not bound to sell you a product, I have knowledge on all the material an adviser should know, yet I believe I go beyond that in so much that I have extensive investment technical knowledge having been in the investment side of the industry in the research and trading part.

Even if the appointment is to simply affirm that you are on the right path from a structure, investment point of view etc, I am happy to provide that service.

Currently I take care of portfolios that consist of individuals, family trusts, private ancillary trusts, SMSFs, standard private super, retail accounts and many more different structures and entities. Without sounding to generic, its a very holistic approach to encompass all components of ones financial life.

Please feel free to call 0413 612 205, my name is Adrian Summers.

Kind Regards,

Vix Vix 1:41 am 03 Oct 14

davo101 said :

dungfungus said :

Care to tell us all what the the “investment expenses” are?
These are not the same as “investment management costs”.

Don’t know what they are for Hostplus but here are AustralianSuper’s. So that’s $78 + 0.21% pa. (or 0.6% if you want some active management). I don’t know if that’s cheap but I know that it’s cheaper than a SMSF.

Actually it’s almost impossible to compare SMSF to anything because of the huge variety between funds…

Vix Vix 1:34 am 03 Oct 14

“feels like chasing a unicorn”… I know this great financial planner – he is a bit on the short side, wears green and talks with a lilt… let me know if you want his details!

dungfungus dungfungus 1:19 pm 02 Oct 14

Ryoma said :

@dungfungus – thank you for your first suggestion. I have looked into it, but it’s not worth my while – yet.
I’d also suggest you are careful with what you say on a public website; there may be many here who are ill-suited to such a thing.

@milkman – thank you. I am already doing much of what you suggest. What I am after is advice beyond the “plain vanilla” stuff 🙂

@justsomeaussie – thank you for a real answer, much appreciated. I am glad to hear you found someone helpful. I will call Cameron, and see what I think 🙂

@switch – spot on. I think what hit the Gold Coast over the past decade is now happening on a national scale. Even if the white shoes are not in evidence, the trail of slime is…and sadly, many decent, hard-working people will get hurt as a result.

What I say on a public website is up to the moderators. They don’t post everything and I can’t really see what you are on about – you asked for free advice and you got it – how you use it is up to you.
Many years ago I was a Licensed Investment Adviser and a Justice of The Peace concurrently.
The ethics of being part the investment industry meant I wasn’t comfortable with being a JP so I relinquished my investment adviser license.
The ongoing reports of the antics of wealth advisers who were (some still are) working for major banks tells me nothing has changed.

Ryoma Ryoma 11:38 am 02 Oct 14

@dungfungus – thank you for your first suggestion. I have looked into it, but it’s not worth my while – yet.
I’d also suggest you are careful with what you say on a public website; there may be many here who are ill-suited to such a thing.

@milkman – thank you. I am already doing much of what you suggest. What I am after is advice beyond the “plain vanilla” stuff 🙂

@justsomeaussie – thank you for a real answer, much appreciated. I am glad to hear you found someone helpful. I will call Cameron, and see what I think 🙂

@switch – spot on. I think what hit the Gold Coast over the past decade is now happening on a national scale. Even if the white shoes are not in evidence, the trail of slime is…and sadly, many decent, hard-working people will get hurt as a result.

dungfungus dungfungus 2:42 pm 15 Sep 14

switch said :

dungfungus said :

With all the adverse publicity about shonky “wealth” advisers, who would want to take the risk in vesting your retirement fund in the care of anyone except oneself?

Why do “shonky advisers” and “living on the Gold Coast” go together so often?

So they can enjoy the the next scam being the economic benefits of the new Gold Coast light rail.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:42 pm 15 Sep 14

davo101 said :

dungfungus said :

Care to tell us all what the the “investment expenses” are?
These are not the same as “investment management costs”.

Don’t know what they are for Hostplus but here are AustralianSuper’s. So that’s $78 + 0.21% pa. (or 0.6% if you want some active management). I don’t know if that’s cheap but I know that it’s cheaper than a SMSF.

What about the “other”fees being charged by funds?
Contribution fees, asset fees, trustee fees, administration fees, expense recovery fees, trustee operation cost fees, adviser service fees, management fees, issuer fees, member fees etc.
There are one-off fees for particular services such as establishing an account, making withdrawals, or splitting super with your spouse, and investment fees paid to the underlying fund managers who look after your savings.
None of these with a SMSF.
The Industry Super Fund $1.50 per week admin fee was introduced in 2011 for a fixed term of 3 years.
That means it is up for review this year.

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