Page last updated: 15 March 2021

Working with a financial adviser

All advisers must follow the new Code of professional conduct for Financial Advice Services.

The code says an adviser must:

  • treat clients fairly
  • act with integrity
  • have competence, knowledge, and skill,
  • give suitable advice, and ensure it’s understood properly. They must also protect client information.

The code also covers the competence, knowledge and skills that advisers must show. View the Financial Advice Code website, the official site for the code of professional conduct for financial advice services which is maintained by the Code Committee, New Zealand's independent standard setter for financial advice. 

Working with a financial adviser

When providing advice, you should expect the adviser to:

  • ask what your needs are
  • ask about your goals
  • talk through their recommendations, explaining why they think these are right for you
  • explain how they’re paid
  • explain how their complaints process works and tell you who their dispute resolution service provider is.

To get the best advice tailored to your needs, an adviser may request information from you about your:

  • personal situation, age, employment, family, and relationships
  • assets, such as your home, savings, KiwiSaver, car, shares, or other investments
  • debts, including mortgages, loans, and credit card debt
  • income from all sources, including pay, investments, and benefits
  • expenses (every week or month)
  • insurance policies and how much you're insured for
  • estate plans, such as a will or power of attorney
  • details of lawyers or accountants

You should expect financial advice to be explained to you in plain language, and advisers should be happy to answer your questions so you fully understand your options.

All advisers should outline the scope of service they’re providing, a record of your wishes, and explain how you will pay for the service.

What to expect from an adviser

Former Financial Markets Authority NZ Investor Capability Manager Gillian Boyes discusses what to expect from a financial adviser.