An adviser doesn’t need to restrict his or her advice to one course of action. An adviser can recommend options for the client to consider, and make the ultimate decision regarding how they wish to proceed.

In fact, ASIC’s Report 279: Shadow shopping study of retirement advice states that one of the characteristics of “Good quality advice” is that it “presents options (where relevant)”.

There are many aspects relating to financial advice which are decisions that don’t require a great deal of expertise, which clients may be in a better position to decide than an adviser.

For example, is an adviser the best person to make a decision regarding whether a client should choose a 30, 60, or 90 day waiting period for an insurance product? A client is likely to be in a better position to decide how to balance affordability for level of cover.

Sonnie Bailey

In his spare time, Sonnie likes telling people that he’s a former Olympic power walker, a lion tamer, or that he is an orthodontist. He is none of those things. In reality, Sonnie is a financial planner based in Christchurch. Through his business, Fairhaven Wealth (, he provides independent, advice-only, fixed-fee financial planning services. Sonnie is a “recovering lawyer”: he has specialised in trusts and personal client work. He has also worked as a financial services lawyer for many years.

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