professional wealth management advisers

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Advice: don’t go without - but how do you measure value?

Whilst only 2 in every 10 Australians who have invested funds seek the advice of a Financial Planner, those very wise investors have been shown to be better off than their un-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).
Congratulations! If you are amongst the 2 in every 10 Australians receiving advice – and if you aren’t: you should seek our services at your earliest convenience. 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 Continuum Financial Planners 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 pay for your wealth management advice? Let’s try a couple of measures: comparison with what others are paying; the ‘sleep at night’ test; understanding.

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 service; specifies the amount of the fee; describes the level of service to be provided; charges on a ‘flat dollar’ basis regardless of the funds under management with the effect that we receive the agreed fee for delivering service regardless of market gyrations.

The ‘sleep at night’ test –

Based on what they voluntarily tell us (or confirm in surveys), Continuum Financial Planners’ clients appreciate the truth in our motto – ‘we listen, we understand, and we have solutions’ – with the consequence that you too can trust us to exercise professional judgement to ensure that your investment strategy is well-founded; and that the investment products we recommend you hold in your portfolio will serve the specifics of 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 interests as best can be achieved in prevailing market circumstances.

Understanding –

Because we spend time with our clients who subscribe to one of the available service packages, they are familiar with the investment strategy setting out the road map to the achievement of specified goals; and they have research material (and access to ongoing information) about their investments available on-line and accompanying our advice documentation. You will 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 their circumstances and needs – and with a substantial professional accounting background, Continuum Financial Planners advisers readily understand any personal and business financial structures.

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