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All financial advisers should give you broad advice, but how do you find the right financial adviser for your specific financial needs? Here are our top picks.

Financial Advisers are a valuable resource for investors.

They can often give advice about your entire financial situation. But the thing is, while financial advisers will often give broad advice, they typically specialise in one specific area.

For instance, a financial adviser could specialise in any of the following:

  • Budgeting – helping you manage your money
  • Insurance – including personal and business insurance
  • KiwiSaver – Finding the right provider, switching to a more suitable scheme and risk profile

Because of this many investors ask: “Who is the right financial adviser for me?”

This is why we’ve created this list to share the financial advisers we feel give fantastic service, and then explain what makes each of them unique and what their specialties are.

In this article, you’ll learn who the top picks are and what they can offer you in terms of specialist advice.

And even though we are financial advisers here at Opes Partners, we’ve chosen not to include our advisers on this list. That way you know we’re not being biased. Even though we think our team is fantastic and should be considered, this list will help you find the right financial adviser that’s best for your situation.

Do you have a question or comment about our top financial advisers? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section at the end of the page.

Budgeting and general financial advisers

#1 Hannah McQueen – EnableMe

Hannah’s business, EnableMe, specialises in budgeting, mortgages and insurance.

In 15 years her growing company now includes 10 offices around New Zealand.

Our favourite part about EnableMe is that they are arguably the best at budgeting.

In fact, Hannah used her Masters In Taxation Law (I know) to patent a formula for paying off your mortgage faster.

It works a bit different to other advisers on this list. Hannah and her team help you manage your money coming in and going out of your bank account.

Once you’ve got your money habits sorted, the team helps you grow your wealth.

Hannah is super smart. She skipped year 13 to start university at 17 – a Bachelor of Commerce first, then on to a Masters of Taxation Law. Then, at 27, she started EnableMe.

On top of being a business owner she is also a chartered accountant, and appears on TV and radio frequently.

She’s also written 3 books.

  • The Perfect Balance: How to Get Ahead Financially and Still Have a Life (2012)
  • Kill Your Mortgage and Sort Your Retirement: The Go-To Guide for Getting Ahead (2015)
  • Pocket Money to Property: How to create financially independent kids (2017)

EnableMe offers programmes and specialist services. The 5 different programmes are built around a particular theme:

  • Future ready
  • Find your focus
  • Mortgage killer
  • Get ambitious
  • Maximise momentum

While specialist services are split between property investing and specialised investing (managed funds).

Cost: EnableMe programmes range from $3K - $12K in the first year, and $1.5K to 2K for every extra year.

Enable Me

#2 Lisa Dudson – acumen

It’s possible you’ve seen or heard the name Lisa Dudson. For the last 20 years she’s been a regular voice in the media and she’s had a handful of bestselling books:

  • The Complete Guide to Residential Property Investment in New Zealand (this one spent 26 week on the bestseller list)
  • Money & You
  • Winning the money war
  • The New Zealand Money Guide
  • The New Zealand Property Guide

She’s also the owner of her business: Acumen.

It’s important to note that Lisa is not legally a financial adviser. She let her registration on the Financial Services Register lapse because her services don’t fit into the new FAP licensing regime.

In practice, this means she can only give you general financial advice and can’t tell you which registered securities to buy and which to sell. That’s financial advice, and legally only a registered financial adviser can give this advice.

Lisa offers two services.

She works as a financial sounding board giving people general financial advice and then refers on to specialist financial advisors and other professionals where needed from an extensive network that she has developed over many years. Secondly, she has a property investment service where she helps her clients purchase new build properties.

Property investment is her main gig. And since every investor who uses Acumen works directly with Lisa, she only takes on a small number of clients at any one time.

Lisa’s property programme is a good fit for busy people, who would rather hand over the job to a professional.

Cost: Property Investment Programme is $2995 + GST (a rebate may apply). $375+ gst hr for the consultation service.


Mortgages and insurance

#3 Cameron Marcroft – loan market

Cameron Marcroft is a mortgage broker, and leads the central team of the Loan Market franchise.

For want of a better term, Loan Market is a “loan broker”. This means if you need advice or help getting a: mortgage, investment, refinancing, or a personal loans – this is the place to go.

Loan Market is a nationwide company, and has 130-something advisers based all around New Zealand.

Cameron Marcroft runs the Auckland Central branch for Loan Market. His team of 7 work out of his Remuera offices in Auckland.

He is a very well-decorated broker. In 2022, the NZ Adviser Awards named Cameron as the mortgage broker who helped Kiwis borrow the most money from the banks in the prior year.

His name is well respected on the Property Investors Chat Group on Facebook, with users praising Cameron and his team for their service. All his Google reviews mention he is punctual and a good communicator.

Cost: $0. Mortgage brokers get paid by the bank, so the cost to you is nothing (happy days).

Loan Market

#4 Darcy Ungaro – ungaro and co

Darcy Ungaro is the director of, and works as a financial adviser for, his business Ungaro and Co.

This small Auckland firm of 3 focuses specifically on mortgages, insurance and KiwiSaver. But, having said that, Darcy says they also like to take a broad approach to financial strategy.

He says: “Every conversation is different.”

Our favourite part about Darcy is he is a fellow podcaster, and host of the “NZ Everyday Investor” – #11 on the Chartables Podcast List of the top business podcasts in New Zealand.

NZ Everyday Investor covers the whole spectrum of investment and aims to break down walls of inaccessibility, making it easier for the everyday Kiwi to develop wealth.

Darcy has 19 years experience as a financial adviser and his business is about 13 years old. Despite immigrating to New Zealand in 1986, his accent has never faltered.

COST: Works on commission. Fees for financial planning start from $320 an hour + GST

Ungaro & Co

#5 John Bolton – squirrel

John Bolton, or JB as he is known on his website, founded Squirrel in 2008 and is currently the executive director.

It’s highly likely you’ve heard of Squirrel. It’s the largest single-office mortgage brokerage in the country and has 32 mortgage advisers.

This does mean that if you choose to work with Squirrel, you’re not going to be working directly with JB; you’ll be working with one of the team.

Squirrel is a bit different from most, because mortgage brokers don’t get a commission, which means there is no added incentive for them to get you a mortgage.

They also have a dedicated Chinese and Indian speaking team, which means that if you prefer to discuss your options in this language JB’s team is a good option for you.

The company specialises in mortgages, and writes roughly $2 billion of them each year. They are one of the largest branded mortgage brokers in New Zealand.

JB is a former General Manager at ANZ, and has 10 years of senior banking experience in the financial markets, treasury and financial strategy.


#6 Eugene Bartsaikin – twine financial advisers

Eugene is the managing director of Twine Financial Advisers in Auckland, which he founded in 2017.

Eugene says his point of difference is that the business is a property strategists, specifically around property and financing property.

Eugene and his team detail the “ins and outs” with investors, to get their game plan in place before making any purchase.

After this process is finished Eugene then refers his clients to other professionals.

Eugene and his wife run the business, which is a small team of 7. They do this in-between looking after their toddler.

He and his team specialise in mortgages for property investors, property developers and first homes buyers.

Eugene’s name is well-known in the industry, and has been in the top 20 mortgage brokers list for the last two years as well as the Young Guns list, which acknowledges people 35 years and under in the business.

Here at Opes, we know Eugene well. Why? Because we’ve seen the financial advice he’s given to our investors … and it’s good. It’s thorough and some of the most clearly written I’ve seen in the industry.


Funds, shares and other investments

#7 Angela Chu – The Private Office

Angela is a financial adviser at The Private Office (TPO). She works with high net-worth investors, trusts and companies. 

Angela provides holistic financial advice. This means you get strategies to manage, protect, maintain and grow your wealth. 

TPO can customise your investments more than most other firms. That sets them apart. 

This means the investments you get are bespoke to your financial objectives. 

You can get more granular with your investments, or you could choose something more basic. 

They also believe in an “evidence-based” approach. They don’t try to time the market, or guess which stocks go up and down. 

So your portfolio is personalised, while removing emotional decision-making. 

To get started, potential clients have a discovery meeting. There is no cost for this. 

This meeting will allow you and Angela to see if she’s the right fit. 

If you’re interested in an investment TPO doesn’t offer, she can put you in touch with the right advisers. 

Angela is sharp. She started university at just 15, where she studied mathematics. 

She then worked for one of the big four banks and became a financial adviser. 

Angela lives in Auckland, but is originally from Christchurch. So, she often commutes between the two cities. 

Angela says she wants to meet as many people as possible. She says if you’re sitting there thinking: “Am I, or am I not, the right person…?” Come and have a chat anyway. 

Cost: Angela’s service is highly customised, so fees vary

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#8 Pippa Hogg – BNZ

Pippa is a financial adviser for the BNZ private banking team based in Wellington, dealing in investing for high net worth clients.

To qualify for the private banking team clients must have an existing portfolio of $1 million (or looking to build to $1 million).

To be clear, BNZ does have investment products suited to people who have less than a million, but you won’t be dealing with Pippa.

Pippa says her role is different to an investment adviser because this is a more “hands off” space – otherwise known as a DIMS (Discretionary Investment Management Services) product.

Basically, this is where an investor gives the banker the authority to make decisions about buying and selling assets.

Pippa says all clients are run through a comprehensive risk profile, which will determine what risk strategy they should be in, and then the fund managers make the decision for them. So, it’s a very passive way to invest.

It’s important to note that Pippa is paid a salary, which means she can give impartial and independent advice.

The sorts of investments are diverse – some of it is property, but generally is government, corporate bonds, both internationally and here in New Zealand, she says.

This sort of investment portfolio is different to property, because it’s got liquidity.

What we like about Pippa is we know her work well because she’s worked with our managing director, Andrew Nicol.

Previously, she owned an EnableMe franchise in Wellington.


#9 Martin Hawes – Christchurch

The final name on our list is Martin Hawes, who has actually cancelled his financial advice licence (so he no longer offers personal financial advice).

But he’s still a titan in the industry and so this list would not be complete without him.

These days Martin’s main work is being the director of Lifetime Income, speaking engagements, and writing articles and books.

To date Martin has written a whopping 23 books on investing. To the best of our knowledge he’s written more than anyone else has on the subject.

The best known of these are:

  • 20 Good Summers – Work less, live more and make the most of your money
  • Family Trusts – A New Zealand Guide
  • The New Zealand Retirement Guide
  • Property Investment – A Strategy for Wealth

Martin has previously been known as New Zealand’s most trusted financial adviser.

So, even though you can’t work with Martin, you should read his books if you are looking for advice.

Good luck.

Write your questions or thoughts in the comments section below.

Opes Partners
Laine 3 001

Laine Moger

Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communication (Honours) from Massey University.

Laine Moger, a seasoned Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communications (Honours) from Massey University and a Diploma of Journalism from the London School of Journalism. She has been an integral part of the Opes team for two years, crafting content for our website, newsletter, and external columns, as well as contributing to Informed Investor and NZ Property Investor.

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