The “best” advice is rarely free. And “free” advice is rarely the best. To quote Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, “Houston, we have a problem”.
The best advice is tailored to your situation. And that’s generally going to involve a financial adviser and a cost. It’s one-on-one stuff. Advisers don’t work for free, but are most likely to be able to help you with your individual issues.
Free advice has a price too – your time. But, assuming this is how you want to spend your time (which can be hugely rewarding), then here’s where you’ll find the best advice.
Reading. Until your brain hurts.
Join a library. Get a book in your hand.
Books tackle subjects in depth. If you want to know more about shares, superannuation, property investment, insurance … anything … your local library will have dozens of books.
Then there’s the internet. It’s not free, but it’s pretty cheap.
The net is a minefield, in that it is unending and largely unedited. There’s some great information available, but it can be hard to sort through what does, and what doesn’t, have a sales pitch involved. The websites for ASIC, the ATO, the Financial Planning Association and various investor-based websites has some great general advice.
Sign up for some bloggers. The better ones don’t sell in the writing.
Free seminars? Be VERY wary here. Most advertised seminars are usually infomercials for high-priced and higher-commissioned products. The worst is the property industry.
Do-it-yourselfers should read until they have information overload. If reading finance isn’t your thing, pay someone to help you improve your situation.
Bruce Brammall is the author of Debt Man Walking (www.debtman.com.au) and principal adviser with Castellan Financial Consulting.