Will The Banking Royal Commission Mean The End Of Aligned Financial Advice From The Bank’s And Other Large Institutions?

It is probably a big mistake to assume that because a financial adviser is not licenced by one of the major banks that there is not a major conflict of interest with the products they recommend.

Consumers who receive financial advice have never had a better time to consider their options as the Royal Commission puts a very clear focus on bank and institutional financial advice licencing, and the potentially major conflicts of interests with their products.

There are many large financial advice institutions who have their own Australian Financial Services Licence and also have a major conflict of interest with the products they continue to recommend and profit from.

There are potentially only three questions that consumers need to initially ask their financial adviser:

  1. Are you licenced by one of the major banks, AMP or another major institution?
  2. Do you or your Licencee profit in any way through profit sharing from any of the products you may recommend?
  3. Are you permitted to call yourself an Independent Financial Adviser?

The problem for most financial advice consumers is that they don’t have a point of reference.  It is almost impossible for consumers to read through 100’s of pages of disclosure documents in order to find a few sentences that explain how the financial advice they are receiving is potentially materially conflicted.

People instinctively want to trust others but sadly this is not a sound strategy as it turns your financial future into a lottery: you might get lucky and find a great financial adviser or you might not.

A far sounder strategy is to seek a second or third opinion and from that process work out the questions you really need to ask and have answered.

If the Royal Commission hasn’t motivated you to take action and get a second opinion or third opinion then I’m not sure what will.  If you don’t take an interest in your own affairs, rest assured no one else will either.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  If this sounds like you then it’s probably time for you to stop doing what you have always done with your financial advice affairs and instead explore ways to do things proactively and very differently for better results.

At The Financial Advice Shop there is something very important that differentiates us from our so called competitors: not only are we an Independent provider of Financial Advice, we don’t want to be known for being big, we want to be known for being awesome so our clients are never just a number.

HOT TIP:  The need for honest, practical and Independent financial advice has never been greater, so if you are over 50 and have significant wealth, contact The Financial Advice Shop without delay to see if we can assist with a cost effective Financial Advice Health Check to ensure you better understand all of your future superannuation investment options.

ABOUT THE FINANCIAL ADVICE SHOP:  We are a leading, independent and experienced provider of strategic financial planning solutions for the over 50’s with a specific focus on cost effective investment options, and uncovering and explaining your current financial advice conflicts of interest.


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It’s A Question Everyone Should Be Able To Answer But Sadly Most People Can’t Until It’s Too Late?

It is very common to get a blank look when a new client is asked how much they feel they will need in retirement. The reality is that the later people start thinking about this question, the more disappointing the outcome is likely to be.

While it may seem like a complex question, there are plenty of tools available to assist with planning but make sure you use them wisely and conservatively. A variety of calculators are available from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) via the following link:


When thinking about income needs in retirement there are a number of ways to approach it. One approach is to look at your current net pay and then take out expenses that will not exist when you are retired, but make sure you plan to own your home outright at retirement.

Once you have settled on an income figure for your retirement, you then need to think about a retirement date, your life expectancy (with an appropriate margin of error included as you may live longer than you think) and how much the lump sum goal needs to be to achieve your retirement income goal. The suite of calculators above from ASIC will assist with this projection.

From there it is a reasonable straight forward exercise to determine how much you need to save per month, from now until retirement, based on a reasonable level of investment risk and earnings (net of fees and a margin of error). Investment fees should be given special consideration as high fees can be very detrimental to retirement goals and the calculators above will assist with this projection also.

Hot Tip: The sooner you take a proactive approach to your retirement affairs, the more likely you will be to make your retirement a success. Don’t make the mistake in believing your employer superannuation contributions of 9.5% will ensure you a comfortable retirement as it most likely will not.

We do not agree to help everyone but if you feel you need a second opinion on your superannuation and financial position, contact The Financial Advice Shop to see if we can add value.


#financialadvice #retirementplanning #superannuation #financialadvicecanberra #retirementplanningcanberra #financialplanningcanberra #financialplannercanberra #superannuationadvicecanberra #financialadvisercanberra

Why Trying To Time The Share Market Can Be A Really Dumb Idea!!

Investing and financial advice is often about making sensible and informed decisions, and for most people it should not be about major speculation.

In recent months I have been amazed at the number of new client discussions I have had where their investments have been in cash. In some cases they have been invested in cash since the Global Financial Crisis when they sold out in a panic, and in other cases it has been for the last year or two because they were concerned share markets were about to correct.  In all cases they have missed out on a substantial return on their investments because they have taken an extreme position without advice.

I am certainly not saying that 2018 is not without significant share market risks but there is a lot of value to be gained through seeking assistance before you make decisions.  Once you have made an extreme investment decision and got it wrong, it is much harder to then decide what to do next.

It is very normal to be concerned or excited about investments from time to time and at those times there is always a question about how to manage the situation. Think carefully before you commit to a high risk binary solution: all in or all out.  It is often far better to modestly adjust the cash levels in your investments over time in consultation with your adviser, to sensibly manage the situation and to give you more options down the track.

If you are foolish enough to be in a set and forget investment and have accepted the default position on your level of risk, you may have made a poor choice. Your investment portfolio manager is certainly not going to consider your individual needs or concerns as they invest on behalf of thousands of other investors with a ten or twenty year investment horizon.  If you want a tailored outcome you need to be proactive and initiate sensible changes to your portfolio that are right for you.

At the end of the day, share markets are more a measure of fear and greed. When investors are fearful share markets tend to fall and when investors are greedy share markets tend to rise.  Unfortunately for many investors they tend to follow the herd and make decisions at the extremes in the investment cycle, and the outcome is not always ideal.

Hot Tip: Everyone’s financial situation is different so now might be a good time for you and your Financial Adviser to review and understand the risks you are taking with your investments.  In periods of share market volatility and uncertainty, nervousness can result in wealth passing from weak hands to strong hands so make sure you have a plan for how you will respond to a share market correction as it will come eventually.

We do not agree to help everyone but if you feel you need a second opinion on your superannuation and financial position, contact The Financial Advice Shop to see if we can add value.


#financialadvice #retirementplanning #superannuation #financialadvicecanberra #retirementplanningcanberra #financialplanningcanberra #financialplannercanberra #superannuationadvicecanberra #financialadvisercanberra

The May 2016 Federal Budget Will End Superannuation As We Know It

On 3 May 2016 the Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison, handed down his first Budget and changes to superannuation were a core theme.

While there is plenty of focus on things that are perceived as negative changes, let’s not forget there are also some important changes that are potentially quite good news.

It is important to note that the Budget measures will not become Law unless Legislation to support the measures is passed in Parliament. Until that time, the Budget measures are simply a proposal.

A detailed summary of the 2016 Federal Budget has been prepared by The Financial Planning Association of Australia and is available via the following link:

2016 Federal Budget Summary

HOT TIP: In relation to superannuation reforms, most of the 2016 Federal Budget measures are planned for a 1 July 2017 commencement so there is plenty of time to plan.


#superannuation #May2016federalbudget #superannuationadvice #retirement #womenssuper #retirementplanning #financialadvice #retirementadvice #earlyretirement

Superannuation Is Irresistible If You Combine Makeup, Features and Confidence!!

Superannuation for most people is an investment that is not really of interest to them until they are approaching retirement. Unfortunately, by then it is far too late!

The reasons for a lack of interest in superannuation are varied. It can be seen to be dull and boring, the Government keeps fiddling with the rules, it’s an investment that you cannot accessed as a lump sum until they reach preservation age and retire, and for some it is even seen as an extremely risky investment.  With this lack of interest comes a lack of focus to maximise final retirement benefits.

To be a successful investor you should take the time to study your superannuation fund choices, consider your contribution options, examine how to strip out excessive fees and commissions, and then make sure you invest cost effectively and confidently to achieve competitive long term returns with a level of risk you are comfortable with. Then, as you watch your investments grow over many years, it can be a beautiful thing so see it steadily become an important and significant retirement asset.

As current and future Australian Governments grapple with the issue of providing Commonwealth support in retirement, there is little doubt that future retirees will receive less in Age Pension entitlements than current retirees. The reason for this is simple: as the Australian population ages there is a shrinking percentage of working people who are paying taxes to support the retired population.

When it comes to superannuation, many women are at a significant disadvantage. Women often put family before career, have breaks in employment and are not always employed in roles that reflect their true capabilities.  Over a working life, the negative effects of a fragmented working career on superannuation balances for women can be very significant.

There are two clear options for everyone with superannuation: do something or do nothing. Anyone who chooses to do nothing is foolish and should brace themselves for the ultimate consequences of a poor standard of living in retirement.

For those who have the energy and motivation to do something positive and would like to be successful, it is time to take action! You have many choices at your fingertips and with careful research, sound financial advice and an appropriate action plan including regular additional superannuation contributions, you have a real chance of being successful.  Importantly, the sooner you start planning, the more likely you will be successful with your retirement planning.

What should you do next? It’s really simple: if you are serious about planning for a secure financial future, we are serious about assisting you to be successful so contact us today to see how we can help you understand things more clearly.


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Why Haven’t Your Superannuation Costs Reduced By Up To 60% Over The Past 5 Years??

There is no doubt that the cost of investing in superannuation has been steadily falling in recent years but unfortunately in many cases the fee savings are not being passed on to investors. The fee savings are instead being absorbed by the institutions who are closely involved with the investment products they recommend and used to bolster their profits at the expense of investors.

In a perfect world, a fair dinkum financial adviser or financial planner would tap their existing clients on the shoulder and let them know when a more suitable and cheaper investment alternative becomes available. In reality, this rarely happens for a number of reasons but primarily because organisations are addicted to profiting from their investment product and the FOFA Legislation allows the practice to flourish.

At the Financial Advice Shop, we have a very simple and transparent business model that focuses on reducing superannuation and allocated pension costs associated with investments in old, obsolete or conflicted “badged” versions of funds like Asgard and other mainstream funds. We have many examples where we have been able to substantially reduce investor’s Asgard superannuation and allocated pension total investment costs: by up to 60% on occasion.

If you or someone you know are a superannuation or allocated pension investor whose fees are too high, it is time for you to look at some of the newer alternatives and consider more creative ways to invest.

What should you do next? It’s really simple: if you have a reasonable superannuation or allocated pension balance and would like to cost effectively invest with sound financial advice for a more secure financial future, contact us today to see how we can help you understand things more clearly.


#asgard #asgardfees #superannuation #superannuationfees #allocatedpensionfees #FOFA #financialadvicecanberra #financialadvisercanberra #financialplannercanberra #financialadvisorcanberra

In A Red Hot Property Market Superannuation And Financial Advice May Help You Manage Capital Gains Tax?

In a red hot property market, many investors that are selling their investment property are finding they would benefit from a strategy to assist with optimising their capital gains tax situation.  For some, superannuation contributions might be a good option to consider if they have not left their run too late.

If you are planning to sell an investment property and there are capital gains involved, a good time to start planning is early in the financial year that the property is planned to be sold.  When it comes to capital gains, early planning is the key to a successful outcome so the sooner you start planning the better.

By all means have the conversation with your accountant as well but don’t rely on your accountant starting the conversation with you.  A good accountant will engage you on this issue in a timely manner but a mediocre one may not.  For a great outcome your financial adviser, your accountant and you should all be discussing this issue at the right time.

Visit our website to read our earlier blog about how superannuation could be used to reduce the overall tax liability from a property sale for someone who is self employed.  For those who are employees, salary sacrifice can be used in a similar way but earlier and more detailed planning is required.  It is important to note that in the case study, Brenda could have made additional superannuation contributions for further advantage!

We are currently helping a number of our new and existing clients to deal with this issue as they rotate out of property, but for those who are employees now is the perfect time to plan and with the right advice potentially maximise the opportunity for the coming financial year.

If you know someone else who should know about this issue, put them in touch with us as a matter of urgency.

HOT TIP: If you need help on this issue, act quickly to get financial advice and understand your options before it is too late.