I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.
I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.
Arranged to have a chat with a financial advisor from our bank, since we're looking at investments and are very happy to be given advice. Financial advisors usually have a 'first meeting is free' policy, and this one was no exception.
I've never seen a financial advisor before, so I brought along balance sheets and profit-and-loss statements, although these didn't really end up getting used after we finished going through verbal summaries of positions.
I didn't expect much for a free consultation, and what advice I did receive wasn't a surprise. If you're looking at investing for growth over the long term, then there are these things called shares and property that have been traditionally good investments. Property is a bit overpriced right now, and shares may or may not be. You can invest in managed funds if you want someone else to do the management for you, and gee, we've got some great managed funds here at XYZ bank. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
Didn't learn anything particularly new, and I'm not sure if I should be encouraged or dissapointed by this. I think overall I was dissapointed.
Any advisor/advice will need to jump a fairly simple hurdle. I need to feel that that the advice that I gain is going to be worthwhile based upon the time and money spent. If the advice means that I'll gain an extra $500/yr from investments, but costs me $1000/yr in fees and time, then it's not very useful advice.
Recommending managed funds that invest in Australian shares and will a decent history of returns isn't what I consider valuable advice, since I can make those determinations myself.
I'll try another financial advisor or two, just to make sure they'll all saying the same thing. However I won't be holding my breath to expect any great revelations.