Saturday, November 6, 2010

"The Australian Small Business"

I just came accross a great post, on Australian Small Business I know the people who have set up this resource and are aiming to build it into an "open source" business resource to try and really drive Small Austrlian Small Businesses forwards, hopefully with quality information and not too much spam?

Anyway keep an eye on it..

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Should You Expect from Your Financial Adviser?

Every year millions of investors have high expectations when they select their latest and greatest financial advisers. Where do the expectations come from? Research shows financial planners, financial advisers, sales representatives, and money managers create excessive expectations when they use sales tactics to convince investors they are:

Competent investment experts
Ethical professionals who put investor interests first
Capable of producing exceptional investment returns
Excellent communicators who keep investors fully informed

Why do advisers create high expectations?
They increase their odds of winning when they create high expectations. They reduce their odds of winning if they do not create high expectations. Win, they make a lot of money Lose, they make nothing
Paladin research shows investors should establish relationships with financial advisers that are based on four “realistic” expectations.

Competent Advice

Investors have the right to expect competent advice from advisers that will help them achieve their financial goals. For example, they need a specific amount of money for a financially secure retirement. Advisers should provide specialized knowledge and services that help them realize their hopes and dreams

Ethical Advice

Investors should expect advice that is free of conflicts of interest and puts their financial interests first. When advisers have to choose between doing what is best for investors and what makes them the most money, they should choose to do what is best for investors.
How do investors know their advisers are providing ethical advice? Most of the time, they do not know. Investors’ best protection is doing their homework when they select advisers and limit their selections to advisers who have clean compliance records, are Registered Investment Advisers and are compensated with fees like other professionals, and are acknowledged fiduciaries. Most investors use the services of experienced professionals to conduct background checks for them to validate the accuracy of adviser claims and data.

Investors should also expect meetings with advisers on a regularly scheduled basis and the professionals should be readily available when investors want to talk to them. Too many investors experience adviser disappearing acts during down markets. Advisers should meet with investors on a quarterly basis to review investment returns and meet annually to update their financial plans.

We make a real effort in our financial planning business to act in our client's best interests make sure you keep us in mind

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Sorry for the delay in getting some content up on here, we have been very busy strengthening our range of accounting services, for those of you who don't know as well as my financial planning business we are also small business accountants

our more ethical approach to advice is starting to pay off for us especially with clients who have self managed super funds or are interested in self managed super, more and more clients are realising the best option for them is to take control of their super and with it their future. If you are intersted make sure you drop us a line!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

TV Life insurance

It seems every day there are more TV ads advertising life insurance, and every month a new life insurance company! Now Australians as a whole are under insured so I guess there is nothing wrong with encouraging us to think a bit harder about insurance.

The main problem I have with this is Life insurance is just one type of insurance, certainly an important one where kids, houses and mortgages are involved but in some cases there are other insurances that are as important if not more important than life insurance. Almost exclusively all of the TV ads are pushing life insurance only and many of the companies involved don't even offer any of the other personal insurances.

The problem I have is where is the duty of care to consumers? As advisers we are expected to put our clients interests ahead of our own and yet the same expectation does not apply to large corporates? Now maybe I am naive but I think there are very few advisers out there that would recommend life insurance only without at least discussing if not recommending other personal insurances such as TPD, Trauma or Income protection!

Last night i even saw an ad basically recommending everyone should have a life insurance policy in the value of 10 X their income, yes this is a good benchmark and for many people a policy of 10 X their income may be appropriate but again where is the duty of care, what about people with very large debts, no debts or even no income? At times my wife has not brought in an income but we have a mortgage and two young kids, if she was to die I would be severely disadvantaged.

Everyone is different and deserves proper financial advice and in an era where the standard of financial advice and ethics as a whole are improving it is interesting to see that this is one clear area where the quality of "advice" (if you can call a TV ad advice!) seems to be declining.

Do yourself a favour and get some financial advice

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cheap Tax Returns

Today we were checking though client files and we found that one of our clients had 2overdue tax returns (we check this sort of thing all the time) and we called the client and he is 100% sure the returns were lodged by HR Block. Now obviously the client could very easily be wrong (we are talking about 3 years ago).

Unfortunately this is the second time in as many months we have come across this sort of error. The last one was ITP and on calling the ITP office who supposedly lodged the missing returns we were told the office in question had been sold and re-located so there was no way they would have kept any files from past clients!

These organisations are large and often do their work for pretty low prices but unfortunately these things do happen, i would recommend you always get your tax returns done by a reputable Accountant rather than shopping around for the cheapest price. As an added bonus you will probably get a better refund and the Accountant will lodge your return!

While many fully qualified Accountants spend a lot of their time dealing with more complex business and strategic issues as an Accountant they are required to do 30-40hrs of CPD per year and also have regular quality control audits so you can be sure they have the skills and knowledge to prepare your tax return.

Quality Tax Returns Melbourne

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life in a post Rudd world...

Wow what a day, i don't think that anyone has ever been as interested in politics as today.(at least in my lifetime) It's also the first time i have received breaking news via Facebook!

The big question for businesses both large and small is where do we stand with the many Tax changes announced by the Rudd Government? Presumably Julia must make some changes if for no other reason than to put her stamp on Australian Politics.

If Julia really wants to differentiate herself from Kevin07 i think she needs to act in a clear and decisive way to give the business community certainty about the tax and legislative environment we are operating in.

And as always remember if you are left wondering what is going on and what this means for you and your business don't hesitate to get in touch!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

End of year time for us Accountants and Financial Planners can be a real handful at times. No matter how many times we tell clients they always leave planning to the last minute.

When you are sitting down in front of a client with hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxable income that they need to get rid of with a few days before June 30th it is really easy to see why so many advisers take the easy way out and place their clients funds into Agri investments! In the office we are not taking that option and instead looking at more complex multi product strategies with a range of capital protected products that are based on equities.