What is important to you, is paramount to us!
The media has been abuzz of late with discussion of revelations and discoveries from the current banking Royal Commission. The recent focus of the commission has been on the wealth management businesses associated with the big banks and needless to say, some of the matters exposed have been astonishing to us.
Advisors within the Wealth Management and Financial Planning Industry are governed by the fact that all advice provided must have clients’ best interests at the heart of every engagement. Where these principals tend to come undone is where there are conflicts of interest, often in the form of remuneration.
Our Best Interests Duty policy obligates us as advisors under the Accru Wealth Management Financial Services Licence to:
- Act in the client’s best interests;
- Give priority to the client’s interests;
- Provide appropriate advice; and
- Provide relevant warnings as needed.
We have focused on ingraining these obligations to all the work we do for our clients and pride ourselves on the fact that the values that our business stands upon align directly with these duties.
These obligations start as soon as a client makes contact with us and continues throughout our engagement with all existing clients. When dealing with our advisors and the Accru Wealth Management business you will see these obligations in play when we do the following five things.
1. We listen to you
Paramount to meeting your goals is actually listening to your objectives, your financial situation and your needs. It is surprising to us that some advisors actually forget to relate all of the advice they give back to the critical question of, what do you (the client) want to achieve?
Your objectives may be to review your Superannuation, make a gift to your children towards a house deposit, know whether you have enough money to travel each year during retirement or to buy a new house to meet your changing family circumstances. Whatever your objectives and needs are, we listen to what you’re saying and work with you to identify what you want to achieve from an engagement with Accru Wealth Management.
From the information that you provide us about your objectives, financial situation and needs, we define the scope of the advice that you are seeking and ensure that the scope of our advice will meet all of your objectives.
2. We ask you questions
To ensure our advice is built with your objectives, financial situation and needs at the centre of what we recommend, we ask you questions to further our understanding of your circumstances. We want to be confident that we have a complete and accurate picture of your situation.
Have you considered what would happen financially to your family if you weren’t able to work? What are your children’s financial objectives and do you want to be involved in helping them meet these goals? What is the reason your Will is structured in this way?
By asking you questions we improve our understanding of what you want to achieve and how we may be able to help. Asking questions can also help you to develop a better picture of what it is you want to achieve and think about factors affecting your financial situation that you may have not previously considered.
3. We assess ourselves
If the scope of advice sought by you is beyond our expertise we have an array of contacts who we will be able to refer you to in order to ensure that you are receiving the most appropriate advice by the best person who can meet your needs.
While we can assist you in a large multitude of financial matters, we don’t profess to know everything, nor does our financial services licence allow us to give advice in certain areas, for example we cannot draft legal documents.
All client’s circumstances are different and we want to provide tailored service and advice to meet your needs. Therefore, we will always seek to meet these needs and where we cannot do it ourselves, we are comfortable seeking the assistance of others or referring you to someone who can help you.
4. We make investigations
Where we give product advice to you, we will always conduct an investigation into the products that may meet your needs. Sometimes there is no need to change the products that you have and other times it is clear that we can recommend a product that is going to put you in a better position and work towards meeting your objectives.
An example of this in practice is when you come to us asking for advice about choice of Superannuation Fund. Your superannuation benefits may currently be with a retail Superannuation Fund and you have advised us that you want to have more control over your superannuation savings. We will therefore look to review your current Superannuation Fund and make an assessment of its suitability in meeting your needs by conducting a comparison to other types of superannuation accounts and products. We will also consider any implications of switching products, for example fees involved or benefits that may be lost.
We want to ensure that whatever our advice is, we have considered your objectives and our recommendations mean that your interests will be met.
It’s important to note too, that where comparisons of products are concerned, we will always compare apples with apples to ensure you can draw an insightful conclusion from the comparison in order to make an informed decision.
5. We don’t stop considering you once our initial advice is given
There is not one person whose financial circumstances stay stagnant throughout their lifetime nor their priorities stationary and objectives fixed.
Therefore our best interest obligations do not stop once we have given our initial advice, we continually discuss with clients what their financial situation and objectives are and keep these considerations at the centre of all discussions we have with you and advice we give.
The Australian Financial Planning Industry has an enormous responsibility in helping Australians reach their financial and lifestyle goals and objectives. Helping individuals and family groups secure their financial futures and meet their financial objectives is what all financial advisors should be focused on.
It is therefore critical that when you do engage a financial adviser, you ensure that they are working to meet your needs, not their own and not that of others. The financial advisors at Accru Wealth Management pride themselves on their ability to do this and continually ensure that you as the client are at the centre of the engagement and all the advice we give to you.
Our team of financial advisors have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you meet your financial objectives! Please contact one of our Wealth Specialists today for more information alternatively you can complete your details below and we’ll be in touch or give us a call on 03 9835 8200.
DISCLAIMER: GENERAL ADVICE ONLY
The information provided in this blog is general in nature. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s individual objectives, financial situation or needs.
Before acting on any information in this blog, you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs or seek professional advice from a financial advisor.