News - November 23rd, 2017

Financial advice should be more accessible to more Australians

by Rod Bristow

The Association of Goals Based Advice national conference was recently held in Sydney, and I was alarmed by the comments of one panellist in relation to compliance obligations impacting client relations.

One of the panelists essentially told the conference that time spent on paperwork and regulatory requirements for clients with smaller portfolios was wasted.

“It takes the same amount of time to do an FDS for a million-dollar portfolio as it does to do a $100,000 portfolio,” the panellist was quoted as saying.

“The government doesn’t want us to deal with poor people,” he continued. “The government wants you to deal with the wealthy.”

In a final elitist blow to middle and low income Australians, the panelist concluded, “Enzo Ferrari doesn’t think it’s a basic human right to drive one of his cars and I don’t think it’s a basic human right to get financial planning advice.”

It is exactly these sorts of comments and attitudes that have turned everyday Australians away from seeking professional advice that could not only help them manage rising household costs, but could help them become one of the “wealthy”.

With the cost of living rising and slow wage growth across most sectors, there’s never been more need for those who have limited financial assets to manage what they have better.

While we are currently enjoying low interest rates and increased consumer confidence, we should be helping new homeowners prepare for what lies ahead. This will likely include rising interest rates, higher insurance costs and little to no wage growth.

While interest rates are low, we should be helping people pay down credit card debt and personal loans to get themselves out of the debt cycle.

We should be helping hard working Australians make the most of their superannuation by finding the best investment mix, so that they can be comfortable in retirement.

As financial advisers, we should be helping our clients to get more out of life - empowering them to take control of their spending and investments; giving them the peace of mind that when things go wrong, they’re protected; and allowing them the freedom to dream about a life they want to live.

While it’s great to have wealthy clients on your books, it’s often the people that have less money that need more help.

Infocus is committed to connecting all Australians with insightful and qualified financial advisers. Our growing network of advisers cater to a wide variety of clients, from those who just want to get their household budget back on track, to those with multi-million dollar investment portfolios.

The one thing all of our clients have in common is that they receive convenient access to quality advice, no matter what their circumstances are.

Because financial advice may not be a basic human right, but it certainly shouldn’t be out of reach for those who need it most.

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