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Financial Planning advice

…get what you pay for –

Financial planning advice is not only about what return you might be able to earn on funds you wish to invest. It goes much deeper than that and as surveys show, clients of financial planners working to a comprehensive strategy are often financially better-off than their peers, but are also more at ease with their position.

Whilst only 2 in every 10 Australians who have funds invested seek the advice of a Financial Planner, those very wise investors have been shown to be better off than their un- (or should that be ill-) advised friends: in fact the findings from a survey that was published during last year showed that those investors who worked with a financial planner were –

  • Readily able to discuss the strategy they were working to;
  • Understanding of the volatility of the markets into which their funds were invested;
  • Realised a higher level of wealth by the time of their retirement;
  • More likely to be adequately insured – and to know why they held their policies (and in the amounts for which they are written).

Financial planning advice readily available

Congratulations! You are most likely amongst the 2 in every 10 Australians receiving advice if you are reading this article – and if you aren’t: you should seek our services at your earliest convenience. Call our office – on 07-34213456 – or go to our website and Contact Us for an obligation-free appointment with one of our experienced advisers. The first meeting will be at no financial cost to you.

Those of you who have been clients of the firm for some time will be aware that we are a ‘fee for service’ business: but how do you know that you are getting Value for the fee you are paying us? Let’s try a couple of measures:

  • comparison with what others are paying;
  • the ‘sleep at night’ test; and
  • understanding.

Financial planning advice: What others are paying –

Traditionally in the financial planning industry, advisers have charged their clients a minimum of 1% of their invested portfolio – and set a minimum portfolio size they have been prepared to work with. For a portfolio of less than $500,000 a higher percentage would have been charged, so as to equate to around that level (of $5,000 p.a. of fees). For portfolios in excess of that value, the 1% or higher would have been charged – and up until a few years ago, the level of service to be provided in return for that fee may not have actually been defined!

By comparison, our firm more usually charges a fee for advice/ service; specifies the amount of the fee; describes the level of service to be provided; charges on a ‘flat dollar’ basis (as compared with a % basis) with the effect that as additional investments are placed and/ or the market improves the portfolio value, we still receive the same income for delivering the same level of service! Our Fee Policy clearly sets out the basis of our charges to clients.

Wealth management: The ‘sleep at night’ test –

We like to believe (based on what clients voluntarily tell us or confirm in surveys) that our clients accept the truth of our motto – ‘we listen, we understand, and we have solutions’ – with the consequence that you trust us to exercise professional judgement to ensure that your investment strategy is well-founded; and that the investment products you hold in your portfolio are there for reasons specific to your circumstances. With all of this in mind you can rest easy (i.e., sleep at night) knowing that the professional team at our office is looking after your expressed interests as best can be achieved in prevailing market circumstances.

Financial planning advice: Understanding –

Because we spend time with you, our clients (those of you at least who subscribe to the service packages), you are familiar with the investment strategy setting out the road map to the achievement of your goals – and you have research material (and access to ongoing information) about your investments available on-line and accompanying your advice documentation: you know and understand how and why your money is invested as it is.

Because of the way we interact with our clients, we also have an understanding of your circumstances and needs – and with a substantial professional accounting background, we understand your personal and business financial structures more readily than many of our peers.

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