Frequently asked questions
What are your qualifications and experience?
How do I get paid?
What will it cost me?
Do you work with customers on an ongoing basis?
What other expenses might their be?
There's generally fees associated with required products that are paid to whatever product provider is appropriate and this has no connection to me.
How do I know you're acting in my best interest?
I've been very conscious in the set-up of my business and my service options to give my customers as much confidence as possible that I'm acting in their best interest.
Do you have any conflicts of interest?
If you go to the dentist, you get charged more if they recommend you need a filling and do the work and similarly I have this conflict that I only get paid if I provide advice.
Do you have any biases?
I have a bias towards options that are available to the public directly.
How old are you?
I'm 28. Birth certificate available on request ;)
Where do you live?
I live on the Central Coast of NSW.
How do you communicate with your customers?
Phone, Zoom, email, text, slack, WhatsApp, Signal and often a program called samepage.
How do I know my data is safe?
I don't collect data I don't need. For data required to be collected and stored, I use Box for my cloud storage, Boxcryptor when additional security is required over their enterprise grade storage and Microsoft BitLocker for my physical drive I use Cognito Forms for my data collection, samepage for communcation/collaboration, Salesforce as my database and often Google Docs/Sheets or Microsoft Word/Excel. I've specifically chosen all of the tools I use with security and encryption in mind and avoid sending anything sensitive over emails whereever possible.
How do you collect my information?
I will provide you with a form powered by Cognito Forms where you will answer a number of questions and upload any relevant documents. Any additional information will be collected in our communications.
Do you implement my strategy for me?
How are you different to other financial advisers?
I'm young. I don't rely on ongoing investment management and I'm independent.
What's your investment philosophy?
Look at situation holistically. Consider after-tax returns. Diversification. Low cost. Consider the end goal and exit strategy. Ownership as direct as possible. Property makes sense in a lot of situations, especially when balancing the lifestyle and tax benefits.
Do you invest my money and where is it held?
I generally don't invest your money rather tell you how to invest it. As such, you're money will be held directly with the external product provider, whoever the appropriate option is.
Do you provide mortgage broking services?
No. Whilst I've completed the required certificate I'm very deliverately not a mortgage broker as this would create a conflict for me to provide advice favoring debt or property due to the additional work it would create and commissions received (even if I did rebate it).
Why are you a financial adviser?
Because I was never very good a tennis or cricket.
Who works in your business?
Just me at the moment :)
Do you have an investment minimum?
No. Sometimes however the amount might not make sense and I will be upfront if I don't think you'll get good value e.g. a $1,500 fee for advice on $2,000 to be invested might not make sense right now.
I have a lot of money to invest, will you work with me and will it cost me extra?
If I believe I have the experience, of course, and not necesarilly. The financial advice industry is very good at confusing large sums of money with complexity and higher fees, often unjustifiably IMO.
I'm not a millennial, will you work with me?
Do you work with interstate and overseas customers?
Do you advise on property purchases?
I run the numbers on possible property purchases of my customers and appropriate structuring however do not advise to buy specific properties. If you're not confident in purchasing a home or investment property, I can help you find a suitable buyers agent and discuss the pros and cons (generally cost) of doing so.
Do you do tax returns?
No. That's the specialty of a tax agent. I'm registered with the Tax Practioners Board (TPB) as a Tax (Financial) Adviser however this recognition rightfully doesn't given me the ability to submit tax returns for my customers.
Do you implement life insurance etc.?
I can and have access to all insurers however only do so if these products are appropriate and it makes financial sense for me to do so for $1,500 (and get the premium discount) vs not paying $1,500 and not getting the ongoing discount.
How do I make a complaint?
To me directly. To Ben Liddicoat who I share the AFSL with. To Professional of Indepent Financial Advisers (PIFA) where I'm a founding member. To Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) where I'm a Tax (Financial) Adviser, Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and my favourite, can complain on Google/Facebook reviews where deserved.
What services do you provide and not provide?
My core business is financial advice around the areas of: cash flow, investing, superannuation, debt, property, personal insurances, tax and estate planning.
How do I know your advice is my best option?
There's often a number of "best" options which I will propose, discuss the pros and cons to helps us decide what the "best" option is for you with all available information.
What is your business history and structure?
Millennial Independent Advice officially commenced in January 2019.
Do you advise on direct shares?
I can but generally don't as there are almost always better options. In the case you already own direct shares e.g. IAG, AMP, Telstra, employer shares etc., I will advise on the pros and cons of keeping after considering the transaction costs and alternatives.
Can you advise on margin loans?
No. I specifically didn't tick the box when applying for the AFSL I share with another adviser as can't envision many scenarios where such a risky product makes sense vs alternatives.