Why Choose an Independent Financial Planner?

With Westpac announcing this month that it will be slashing 900 jobs in a drastic movement away from financial advice, it appears that the effects of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry will be felt for some time to come. In the wake of the Royal Commission, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) have initiated an overhaul of the financial planning focused on raising the education standards and implementing a strict new code of ethics for financial planners in Australia. “The registering of the Code of Ethics represents a significant milestone in providing a framework to lift the ethical and professional standards of financial advisers,” said FASEA chief executive Stephen Glenfield.

The implementation of FASEA’s new code of ethics stands to benefit thousands of Australians seeking and receiving financial advice. However, there has been a small group of planners working to a higher standard for years, the standard of independence.

In Australia there are approximately 25,000 non-independent advisers compared to the much more humble figure of just 128 independent advisers and you can see that independence is a rare but important attribute for investors to consider.

But what does it take for a firm to be classified as independent and why is it an important consideration when seeking financial advice?

‘Independent’ is a controlled term under the Corporations Law and according to the Corporations Act section 923A, to be able to claim ‘independence’ as a financial adviser one must meet a rigorous set of standards including not having received any commissions or gifts from, or have any association whatsoever with a financial product or product provider. The term ‘financial product’ includes things like insurance and superannuation and ‘product provider’ refers to banks and other financial institutions.

In meeting the standards set by Corporations Law, a financial planner can confidently say that they have only the client’s best interests to adhere to. This is good news for any client looking to receive unbiased advice, as any incentive, whether it be commissions from product providers or asset fees, can easily become a conflict of interest for a planner.

Essentially, independence translates to trustworthiness, an invaluable asset when dealing with your money and future.

If you’re seeking 100% independent advice, contact us for a free initial consultation.

Succession Planning For Your Business

Succession Planning For Your Business

Having a business succession plan plays an important role in ensuring both the business and its owners are protected in the event of the departure of an owner. 

How To Avoid A Financial Nightmare During Divorce

How To Avoid A Financial Nightmare During Divorce

We understand it is a particularly stressful stage in life so I have put together a number of general tips I share with new and existing clients, in the event that they do choose to go separate ways.

What To Do When Your Partner Suddenly Dies

What To Do When Your Partner Suddenly Dies

Coming to terms with the grief of suddenly losing your spouse is difficult to deal with.  It is also a time when inconveniently there are a number of things that need to be done to keep your financial house in order.  Along with funeral arrangements, the following practical considerations need to be made in the event of your spouses passing.

Bitcoin Buzz

Bitcoin Buzz

Everyone has an opinion on Bitcoin.  Whether it be positive or negative, leading into 2018 there is definitely a lot of buzz around Bitcoin.  

Opinion piece by Rocco Costa - Certified Financial Planner

Keeping Track Of Your Superannuation



"Over the years you have been working, you may have had multiple employers, changed your address or your name.  This make's it very easy to lose track of your superannuation"

Over the years you have been working, you may have had multiple employers, changed your address or your name.  This make's it very easy to lose track of your superannuation. Having multiple super accounts means multiple fees, so it is important to be aware of what super accounts you have.  You should also be aware of how much your employer is contributing and what insurance your super funds provide you with.

The easiest way to keep track of your super is through a MyGov account.  On here you can;

  • See the details and balances of all of your super accounts.  There may be some on there you even forgot about.
  • Rollover super funds from these forgotten accounts into the super account of your choice.
  • See super held by the ATO.  If the government, your super fund or your employer can't find an account to transfer your super to, the ATO will hold it on your behalf.
  • Consolidate super accounts by transferring your super into your account of choice.

(Source: ATO)


If you wan't to talk to a Financial Planner about optimising your superannuation...

Splitting Super Contributions

Splitting your super contributions is when you nominate to transfer a portion of your Superannuation to your spouse.  

Shop Around For Financial Advice

Staying with or choosing a Financial Planner who doesn't understand your goals or meet your needs, could end up being a long-term financial burden.

Why choose an Independent Financial Planner?

For discerning families that want to ensure there are no conflicts or biases in the advice they receive, an Independent Financial Planner is the obvious choice.

Retirement Planning - Staying The Course Through Difficult Times

ince we as investors cannot control the fluctuating nature of the stock market, the best we can do is understand it better so we can invest more wisely.

Understanding Financial Risk - Part 3

This blog is the final article in a three-part series explaining Financial Risk.  In this article, we will discuss the importance and relevance of diversification and other investments that may affect your financial situation. If you have any questions, or wish to discuss financial risk further, contact one of our friendly Independent Financial Planners today.

Understanding Financial Risk - Part 2

This blog is the second in a three-part series explaining Financial Risk.  In this article, we will discuss asset classes that may affect your financial situation.

Understanding Financial Risk - Part 1

This blog is the first in a three-part series explaining Financial Risk.  In our first article, we will discuss what risk is and how the risk/reward relationship is relevant to your financial situation.

7 Things To Consider When Writing Your Will

It is important to have a will to save your friends and family a lot of extra stress in the event that you pass away. We have compiled a list of things to consider when writing your will.

5 Questions To Ask Your Financial Planner

When seeking financial advice, it is important to ask these five questions.

Estate planning may be 'radically different' beyond July

Estate planning may be 'radically different' beyond July

SMSF trustees have to consider fundamental estate planning consequences ahead of the 1 July changes, with many professionals and trustees not entirely aware of the knock-on effects of these sweeping reforms

Newer SMSFs Opting For Independent Advisers

Newer SMSFs Opting For Independent Advisers

Independent financial advisers are the preferred source for professional advice among the new generation of SMSF trustees, according to a research report.

The Benefits And Challenges of a Self Managed Super Fund

Self-managed super funds are just that, self-managed.  This allows for an extra level of control over the funds that you wouldn't be afforded with a regular super fund.

9 Questions Answered About Superannuation In Australia

Superannuation has existed in Australia since the early 1900's. As our population ages, the rules around your Superannuation change.  It is often difficult to keep track of the basics of Super, so we have created this quick guide to answer some of your questions.