Brisbane

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.

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.

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.

5 Tips For Choosing A Super Fund

There are a few things you need to know when choosing a super fund. It is important to do some research and ask around before you commit to your chosen fund.

3 Golden Rules for Investing

Successful investing means not only accepting risks that generate expected returns, but reducing risks that do not.

Insurance Through Super

We have listed some basic Pro's and Con's about insurance through super, which might help in your decision making process.

3 Things to look for when choosing a Financial Planner

It can be difficult choosing a Financial Planner.  There are so many factors that we need to take into consideration when choosing to work with someone who is right for our needs.

When To Seek Financial Advice

Seeking financial advice can be valuable at any stage of life, here we have picked out a few key periods where speaking to a Financial Planner can help you navigate through and manage your financial goals.

How to Choose a Financial Planner

 

It can be confusing when making the right decisions about your financial situation and where to get the right financial guidance.  Read this article to help you make the right choice when choosing a Financial Planner.

Read More

5 Tips For Planning Your Retirement

 

When heading into retirement your life is going to look different to what it did previously.  It isn't unusual to worry about heading into the unknown of life after work.  We have written a brief guide to help you get organised and start planning for your retirement.

1.  SET GOALS

Consider the lifestyle you envisage in your retirement.  Do you want to travel?  Do you want to financially help your children and grandchildren?  Do you want to move house? Pay off a debt by a certain year?  

When considering your goals, it is important to take into account your short, medium and long term goals and be realistic in what you can achieve.

Financial Planner

2. CONSIDER YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR CENTRELINK

As a nation, our life expectancy is growing, so we need to consider how we are going to fund ourselves after our working lives.  It is essential that you consider if you are eligible for the aged pension or other government assistance and that you learn more about the benefits available to you.

There will be changes to the aged pension eligibility and assets test threshold that will take effect in January 2017.  To read more information on this, click here.

Aged Pension

3. WORK OUT HOW MUCH YOU NEED TO RETIRE

When considering retirement, most people want to maintain the same, or similar standard of living than when they were working, however, not having enough money is one of the biggest concerns for Australians when it comes to their retirement.

One of the best places to start is by making a list of what you've got and what your expenses are, which will give you an indication of your current position and what route you need to take into retirement. The three main expenses to consider are;

  1. Essentials (Food, transport, basic bills)
  2. Lifestyle (Travel, entertainment)
  3. Safety Net (Medical costs, emergencies)
Retirement Financial Planning

4. REVIEW YOUR ESTATE PLANNING

When heading into retirement you will want to consider not only your own future, but also your family's future financial needs. 

Your Will plays a significant role in your estate planning.  This is a great time to update your Will to correctly reflect your wishes.  By getting your will in order it will make it much easier on your loved ones to organise your estate when the time comes.

Estate Planning

Estate planning can be quite complex, so it is wise to seek the guidance of a Certified Financial Planner.

5. VISIT A FINANCIAL PLANNER

Visit a Financial Planner

It is incredibly important to seek financial guidance to give yourself the most opportunity heading into retirement.  Research has shown that the people who receive financial advice (when compared to those who don't);

  1. Feel more confident about meeting their retirement goals.
  2. Have a better standard of living in retirement.
  3. Make more personal super contributions.
  4. Are less likely to rely on the aged pension for an income.
  5. Are significantly more confident in their ability to manage higher levels of investment risk.

(A summary of the findings from the Australian Retirement Vision Survey, Rice Warner, August 2015)

A Financial Planner can help you work out when is the best time for you to retire and put plans into place to help you achieve your retirement goals and make your retirement income last longer.