Q&A / Myth Buster

Do I need a certain amount of money to see you?

Answer: No, a misconception of financial planning. We can basically help anyone from 20 to 90, as long as you are working or those in retirement. Some of our clients come to us to sort out other areas not money related such as debt management, reducing tax, cash flows, insurances, as well as how to start make money and building wealth.

 What are your fees and what value is this for my money?

Answer: Our fees will depend on the level of advice we give. We only take on a client if we can give them value well above our costs. Value for money is what clients need to consider and although our fees are around mid-range in the industry, our advice is at the highest level and therefore we give great value for money. We are upfront and open with our fees, which are transparent to our clients.

 Why should I pick you over another business that has been around longer?

Answer: Although the business has been running since 2008, Michael has 23 years’ experience in the industry. Michael (age 41) has a mountain of experience, is still relatively young, which means that he will be around advising his clients for the long term. This is preferred to an adviser in his 50/60s who may be retired when you need them the most for advice. The youth of the business comes through in the drive and passion of the adviser, making sure clients get the full attention they deserve. Michael works closely on all strategies so although clients have their own adviser, they also get a team behind them to help and advise.

What credentials do you have?

Answer: Any person seeking an adviser should make sure they have a financial planning license and have a minimal level of credentials. The adviser at KeyStone Advice Partners is a member of the Financial Planners Association (FPA) (Australia’s leading institution for advisers), Certified Financial Planners (the highest qualification) and Justice of the Peace. Michael has a Diploma in Financial Planning.

I’m worried about privacy, how secure is my personal information with you?

Answer: Under the privacy act we will not disclose any of your information to any other party without your consent. We retain all information in a secure location at our office.

Should I be worried about losing my money in some dodgy investment scheme?

Answer: We have never, nor will ever, consider quick rich schemes for our clients. They are out there all the time and people must be cautious when investing. Our investment philosophy is around investing into fundamentally sound good long term investments, with a consideration to its appropriateness to client’s goals, their risk tolerance and experience, product fees, and above all risks. All investments have a risk return trade-off and understanding the risks should be ahead of returns.We (as well as our licensee) perform extensive research on any investments we recommend and we review them on a regular basis.We don’t take any commission from products, making sure our investment advice is 100% client (and not fee) focused.

Can I claim a tax deduction on your fees?

Answer: Financial advisers normally charge an upfront fee for the advice offered and then an ongoing adviser service fee for managing and advising going forward. The upfront fees are not tax deductible as a capital cost. In most cases the ongoing fees is tax deductible if the advice relates to strategies which are income related or income generating.

Do you get paid on commissions?

Answer: No. We decided as a business we will not take any investment commissions, as it’s a conflict of interest. The industry is changing its laws to abolish investment commissions.

Do you have your own financial planning license?

Answer:  We are a local boutique advice firm, which is privately owned.

What investment and insurance products do you recommend?

Answer: Our licensee restricts the investments we can recommend and provide us with an Approved Product List. The licensee also performs extensive research on the investments on the list. They have teams of analyst constantly reviewing those investments as well as other ones they are considering to add to that list. We can recommend a wide range of investments and insurances including some household names like AXA, Colonial, BT, MLC, ING, Macquarie and AMP, to name a few. We are not restricted to one product like most bank are. Although we can provide some direction, we do not recommend direct assets such as direct shares, preferring to stick with managed funds, which are professionally managed investments.

If it doesn’t work out for me, can I leave at any time or am I locked in somehow?

Answer: Yes. You are never locked into any contract and with 30days notice we can be taken off all of your investments as the nominated adviser. We live by our good relationship with our clients and if clients are unhappy with our advice or service then they are free to leave, and so they should, without penalty.