Many people now expect to live to a greater age than their parents or grandparents and to enjoy a far higher standard of living. In practice, this will only be possible if they have arranged their affairs to ensure that capital resources are maximized during their working years, then a strategy adopted in retirement which will sustain that capital and their income for as long as possible. This is the essence of professional financial planning.
Personal financial planning is the process to help you achieve your lifestyle needs, goals and objectives through the proper management of your finances. Professional, objective and quality financial planning advice is critical to help sort through the often complex maze of financial products and services. As a process, it is ongoing and to maximize the benefits of financial planning, you should think of your plan as a ‘moving target’ – not usually something you can ‘set and forget’. You can be sure the future will hold the unexpected or unplanned, either through changes to your personal circumstances, legislation or the investment environment. As far as possible, your plan should be able to adapt to change, and confident investors appreciate the importance of understanding the impact of their decisions, in creating a comfortable future for themselves and their families. Allowing you to see your financial decisions in the big picture gives direction and meaning to those decisions.
To help achieve the best results for you, we often work closely in conjunction with your Accountant and Solicitor. This can be particularly important if you already have an existing close relationship with these professionals and your financial plan/advice needs to be cohesively formulated with existing strategies. For example, we do not prepare your tax returns but we do help you plan the best overall tax strategy, and we take the initiative in bringing to your attention, ideas which will help your achieve your Financial Planning objectives.
While we can take a comprehensive view of your personal situation, ultimately our expertise focus is on Investing. Our flexible approach allows us to work with a range of investors in different circumstances – from wealth accumulators to the wealthy. We can offer efficient and effective portfolios for those still building their wealth and have developed a unique, sophisticated portfolio management services for high net-worth clients with direct share portfolios. This service is particularly valued by investors that expect Independence and a high level of specialist expertise and service.
The financial planning software package we use is one of the most preferred programs for financial planning in Australia providing leading-edge enterprise solutions to professionally and efficiently meet the needs of our clients.
Most of the work undertaken is on a Fee for Service basis. Every client’s fees are individually calculated. When calculating your applicable fee, we factor in the segments of advice being addressed, the services being provided, our complexities, and add a factor to account for the amount being invested. These factors are the main determinate in the amount of time we need to spend on your work and the level of expertise required. The benefit of our service and pricing model are:
• The flexibility of our servicing options allows us to tailor a service package unique to your circumstances
• Provision of advice and service that is of maximum benefit vs cost value to you
• We can effectively cater for your changing needs
• Peace of mind with regard to the integrity and objectivity of our advice
We offer a no obligation and free one hour initial meeting to prospective clients as an opportunity for you to learn more about our financial planning processes and services and for us to gauge if we feel our financial planning services are potentially beneficial for you.
In this meeting we will find out your reasons for seeking advice and obtain an overview of your personal and financial position. You will have the opportunity to ask questions of us.
Following this meeting, we will forward a proposal to you outlining the Advice process and as far as possible, indicative fees. Once you agree to the advice process as proposed and paid the initial instalment fee, we can get to work.
The Advice Process
Where there are many options or complexities to your situation, a staged approach to the advice process allows us to consider relevant matters at a higher level first (General Advice), before we start drilling down into the detail (Personal Advice).
The steps in this staged process would involve:
1. Collecting personal information about you so we can ensure the General Advice we provide is relevant and useful.
2. Consideration given to the information about you to help determine possible strategies. This may result in a number of potential scenarios. To help with this analysis, we would usually use our financial planning software to help ‘number crunch’ over many years.
3. Having meetings as necessary to consider the high-level strategy options that are relevant and useful to you. Providing the information as needed either orally or in a summarized written format.
The benefit of this process is it can help to:
• take a lot of factual information that is disconnected and start to put it into context with each other.
• gain a clearer understanding of the strategies you may like to consider further, and hence determine the scope of the Personal Advice.
• It can also help to better prioritize your personal needs and objectives which is an important component in receiving Personal Advice.
Note: It is important to understand that General advice is not Personal advice. You must be aware that at this stage, your personal objectives, financial situation or needs have not yet been considered. You would need to consider the appropriateness of the general advice in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs before acting on the advice. And you would need to further consider the implications of the disposal or acquisition of any financial product involved.
4. Preparing the Personal Advice. It is at this level, that we can ensure all aspects of your personal situation (as per the agreed scope of advice) are considered and the recommendations refined to be specific to you. In preparing personal advice, we would:
• Complete the detailed data collection as needed.
• Define and prioritize your personal needs and objectives
• Look into and further consider the detail.
5. Presenting the Personal Advice to you as a written document called a Statement of Advice. Depending on circumstances, we will either have another meeting to present the Statement of Advice (SoA) or post / email it to you. We will ensure you are comfortable with your plan and understand the advantages, disadvantages and projected outcomes.
Note: In some cases, the General Advice component may not be needed, and it is possible to move directly to providing Personal Advice and the relevant Statement of Advice.
Where changes to financial products are involved, it is likely that we will need to implement the recommendations made. Implementation may include:
• our time for the work involved in managing the implementation of the recommendations agreed upon and most costs incurred by us
• our involvement with other third parties and professionals (when necessary) to help ensure the details of your strategies are coordinated
• our professionalism and expertise in ensuring all aspects of your strategy are implemented in the most appropriate means possible
• minor changes to our recommendations if your circumstances change suddenly and a review of the overall plan is required
• It does not cover costs/fees resulting from the actions required, for example: broker fees for share trades.
Changes in your personal situation, financial markets and legislation may occur over time. We have retained extensive flexibility in the services we can provide to help ensure your plan remains appropriate and your investments are being appropriately managed.
This flexibility enables us to provide the advice and service that is of maximum benefit vs cost value to you.
Arch Financial Planners treats each client as an individual and tailors solutions to meet their specific needs. When calculating your applicable fee, we define the areas of advice, services being provided and factor in your complexities.
Some of the areas that Financial planning can involve consideration of are:
• Identifying financial and lifestyle goals, intentions, values and attitudes
• Investment advice (including direct shares)
• Assessing your portfolio objectives, investment attitudes and tolerance for investment risk
• Portfolio Asset Allocation
• Self-Managed Superannuation Funds
• Structures and entities
• Strategies for tax effectiveness (in conjunction with your tax expert)
• Strategies for asset protection and Estate planning (in conjunction with your legal expert)
• Intergenerational wealth transfer
• Cashflow Analysis
• Investment Property Cashflow Analysis
• Aged Care
• Debt Management
• Retirement strategies
• Pension and benefit strategies
• Redundancy strategies
• Life Risk Insurance
• Income Protection
• Business succession strategies
The usual fees involved in the financial planning advice process are:
Instalment Fee – Minimum $660 (including GST)
This fee is to help cover the initial work involved in preparing the Advice (General Advice or Personal Advice) and is rebated against the Advice fee. In situations where more time is involved or there is more than one strategy meeting, we may have more than one instalment fee.
Preparation of Advice Fee – Usual Range is from $660 to $5,500 (including GST)
This fee covers our time for the work involved in preparing the Advice. Before work commences, a fee range will be calculated and noted on the “Completion of Advice Agreement” signed by you or will be advised in a Proposal Letter. The Instalment Fees will be rebated against the Advice fee. You will receive an invoice for the Advice Fee (less Instalment Fees paid) on completion of the Advice and is payable within 14 days.
Implementation / Investment Takeover Fee – usual range is from $550 to $5,500 (including GST)
This fee may cover:
• our time for the work involved in managing the implementation of the recommendations
agreed upon and most costs incurred by us
• our involvement with other third parties and professionals (when necessary) to help ensure the
details of your strategies are coordinated
• our professionalism and expertise in ensuring all aspects of your strategy are implemented in
the most appropriate means possible
• minor changes to our recommendations if your circumstances change suddenly and a review
of the overall plan is required
• It does not cover costs/fees resulting from the actions required, for example: broker fees for
You will receive an invoice for this Implementation/ Investment Takeover fee and is payable within 14 days.
Ongoing Financial Planning Services Fee – Usual range is from $880 pa to $15,500 pa (including GST)
This fee is an annual fee for the provision of the ongoing service. The Service year commences at the time you commence implementation.
The level of service we agree to provide on an ongoing basis will be dependent upon your individual needs. It is important that the level of service is appropriate to ensure both strategies and investments remain relevant.
Many clients find enormous value in the peace of mind of knowing their investments are being professionally managed. But we are also astutely aware that the overall costs of managing investments needs to be reasonable in relation to the amount of funds you have invested, the level of control it is expected that should be retained, and any additional risk management strategies being applied.
When considering overall costs, this could include (but not limited to):
• Our fees
• Platform fees
• Investment Management Fees
• Fund Manager Fees
• Costs associated with Self Managed Superannuation Funds
• Costs of maintaining direct holdings (eg property)
• Other costs eg real estate commissions
• Stamp Duty and legal costs
• Administration Costs
• Accounting Costs
• Share Trading Costs
Our involvement in the portfolio management process could range from the minimal service level which provides an annual portfolio review, to the highest level of Individually Managed Accounts (IMA), which are portfolios consisting of primarily listed securities. Investments in IMA’s are considered weekly.
Once an invoice for our ongoing financial planning service fee has been issued, there may be a number of ways you may choose to pay, for example:
• Pay it in full
• Arrange for it to be paid as a monthly direct credit from your cash management account. We often establish a cash management account as your financial hub.
• Arrange to have it withdrawn monthly from your investment.
Recommended Websites for understanding Financial Planning
Financial Planning association of Australia: www.fpa.com.au
ASIC Money Smart – www.moneysmart.gov.au