Recent surveys suggest that about 80% of the Australian adult population does not seek financial advice.
Why is that?
Talking to people on a daily basis, I hear the common perception that advisers are there to sell products and don’t really engage with you about what it is you want in your life. To you, it’s not just about money.
Of course, those who have had a long-standing relationship with a trusted adviser do not fall into that group of opinion. These people have first-hand experience at what it is that is so valuable in such a relationship.
Life events such as marriage, career change, the birth of children, business start-ups, divorce (marriage and business partnerships), serious and permanent incapacity, serious illness in the family, death of a family member (or you), bankruptcy, budgeting living expenses, overseas travel, re-marriage into blended families, looking after ageing parents’ accommodation, stopping or reducing work hours and eventual retirement.
All the above events can be addressed by a trusted financial adviser who has life and business experience.
A lot of the additional things that a trusted and experienced adviser tends to do in his or her day-to-day work is not understood by the general public (Bureaucrats and Politicians alike) such as:
- Planning your finances and income/expenses;
- Goal-Setting with periodic time limits (extremely important);
- Making sure your family’s financial future is secure if a serious health event occurs to you and/or your partner/spouse;
- Minimising the tax take on your lifetime of earnings;
- Covering all future financial risks where possible – based on your investment and financial preferences;
- Sometimes uncovering the brutal truth and reality about your financial circumstances and aspirations (telling you what you don’t want to hear);
- Grief counselling;
- Basic relationship counselling;
- Business adviser;
- Number cruncher; and,
- Mediator, etc.
Basically, there are three ways that you pay for the advice and management of your finances:
- Money Management (Superannuation and Non-Superannuation) is where you can choose to have professional fund managers make your investment decisions on a daily basis. Costs will generally vary between 0.2% p.a. ($20 per $10,000 invested) and 2% p.a. ($200 per $10,000 invested) of (and will depend on) the amount you have invested;
- Administration where you can choose to have your investments professionally administered by way of various Platform Portfolio Services, Master Trusts and / or Wrap Accounts. Costs will generally vary between 0.25% p.a. and 1.6% p.a. of the amount you have invested; and,
- Investment and financial/tax strategies where you can choose to employ professional, trusted advisers to provide ongoing guidance and advice on issues such as superannuation, cash flow, Income Replacement Protection, budgeting and taxation strategies that best suit your financial circumstances. Costs will generally vary between 0.55% p.a. and 1.5% p.a. of the amount you have invested. You can generally negotiate a maximum flat dollar fee – subject to the level of service and advice required. Initial information discovery and implementation work is charged as a separate flat dollar fee.
There are dozens of options from which to choose, but it comes down to how comfortable you are with the adviser and if you think you can work with him/her to better your financial position. Trust but verify!
Some people choose to pay for the initial information discovery and implementation work only and then on an as needs basis – much like the family doctor.
Value for money
A trusted financial adviser is a lot like your doctor in that they are likely to know more about you and your family than virtually all others. I have personally experienced this.
I have worked on many cases over the years where combined tax savings and increased after-tax earnings total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars after good advice was acted upon.
The investment you make in the knowledge and life experience of a trusted financial adviser will be well worth it. I guarantee it!
By: Andrew Cochrane
Director of Wealth Management, Cube Wealth.
Adv.Dip.FS (FP) FChFP AFP