It’s not so much what we do, it’s the way we do it that sets us apart.
How are we different?
At Profile, the client comes first. We start with what you want – and we will also guide you on what we think you need. We are not trying to sell any financial product – our ‘product’ is advice that is in your best interests.
We don’t “believe”, we research, and when the facts change – so will our advice to you. We think that facts (even if unpleasant) are better than mistaken (even if comfortable) beliefs.
After 30 years in this business, we’ve learnt a lot about how to do things right! We have built, and we constantly review, consistent and robust processes that deliver a fast, efficient and high-quality service to our clients. Our team uses simple tools (such as checklists and barcodes) that make it easy to get things right first time, every time.
Profile is recognised as a Professional Practice by the Financial Planning Association of Australia, in recognition of our achievement of the highest professional and ethical standards. And our planners are among the best in the business. All are experienced, highly qualified, and members of the Financial Planning Association of Australia. But more importantly, they are passionate about this business and are driven by their clients’ success. Our planners are independently recognised as among the most trusted advisers in Australia as rated by their clients.
How we work and charge
The best way to find out if we can help, is to contact us for a confidential discussion of your needs. We can suggest a planner who we think has the best skills and experience match for you. From there, your planner works with you to understand your needs, goals and objectives and advise you on how best to achieve them.
This initial meeting is between yourself and a Profile planner. (If you are married or in a long-term relationship, it is most effective if both partners can attend.)
The aim is for you to find out more about Profile and your potential planner, and for us to form a good understanding of your situation and goals, to see if we think we could help.
If we don’t think we can deliver a benefit to you that’s greater than our likely fees, we will let you know. If you wish, we may be able to refer you to another firm or service that might be a better fit.
At this meeting we will provide you with our Financial Services Guide, an important legal document which outlines our services and how we are paid.
If both parties would like to progress, the next step is for you and your planner to agree on the scope of advice to be provided, and the cost of that advice.
Your planner will provide you with a detailed quote outlining the areas you will receive advice on, and the cost to provide that advice, called the Strategy and Plan fee.
The Strategy and Plan fee is a minimum of $2,500(ex GST), and the typical range is $3,000-$8,000(ex GST). For insurance-only advice, we charge a flat fee of $500(ex GST).
This fee is a guaranteed fixed fee, quoted based on our estimate of the time it is likely to take us to do a good job for you. The upper end of the range is typically for those with a very complex situation requiring advice in a broad range of areas.
If you are happy with the quote, the next step is for us to ‘discover’ at a much more detailed level what you want to achieve, and how you are currently situated. Depending on your needs and preferences, this can sometimes be achieved remotely, but we often find that meeting in person is most effective.
Discovering your financial goals:
Financial success can mean many different things to different people: getting out of debt, having enough invested so that work is a choice not a necessity, generating capital to set up or buy out a business, creating a substantial and secure legacy that will last through generations – the list goes on!
Whatever your goals, achieving lasting financial success rarely comes without effort. So it’s vital to define clear goals that are achievable, and meaningful to you – otherwise when temptation or adversity strikes, your goals will quickly be forgotten.
Discovering your financial situation:
To advise you in your best interests, we must develop a clear and detailed understanding of your current financial situation. This often requires quite a lot of time from you, but its importance should never be under-estimated. If the information we have about you is wrong, our advice probably will be too!
Often we can help, with your permission, by researching information directly with your current financial providers.
Developing and presenting your plan
Next, we research and write your advice. Your planner takes the lead, and is backed by a team of internal and external technical specialists to ensure you benefit from the best and most up-to-date strategies.
Our advice is provided to you in a very detailed document (called a Statement of Advice), and we will generally meet with you in person to discuss the recommendations. Any comments you have, or changes in your situation, will be discussed and if necessary we will make changes to the advice to ensure it meets your requirements.
Once your plan has been presented to you it is your property, and if you wish to implement the recommendations yourself, of course you are free to do so!
Alternatively, you can engage us to implement the advice. Implementation can be as simple as placing some investments for you, or as complex as re-engineering your financial structures. Our team handle all the requirements, including pre-completing forms for your signature, and liaising with fund managers, insurers, lawyers, brokers, bankers, government departments, accountants and so on, to ensure the implementation stays on track and the right things happen in the right order.
For primarily investment recommendations: we charge a proportion of the value of investments implemented on a sliding scale, from 1.1% for up to $1m, to 0.11% for amounts above $4m.
For primarily insurance recommendations: Insurers typically pay us a commission based on a proportion of the first year’s premium, which is disclosed to you.
For complex implementations: we will quote you a fixed fee based on a time estimate.
Once your plan is implemented, it is vital to review it regularly to ensure it still meets your needs. Markets change, legislation changes, and you and your goals and situation change too! We recommend a minimum of once per year for a review to ensure your strategy stays on track. We also provide regular newsletters, events and portfolio updates to ensure you are informed about broader changes that might affect your plans.
How can we help you?
Building a nest-egg for retirement is – or should be! – a high priority for every Australian. Super is a very tax-effective way to save for retirement, yet the rules keep changing and it’s vital your strategy stays up-to-date. We can advise in all areas of superannuation – including industry and retail funds, Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs), Defined Benefit Funds, RSAs and so on. We can advise on the best contributions strategy for you, finding lost super, choosing the best fund or funds and consolidating your super, as well as super splitting, dealing with redundancy, transition to retirement, recontribution strategies and so on.
Are you are coming up to, or already in, retirement? It’s very important to ensure your investments are structured to protect your capital, while also maximising its longevity.
We can also advise you on eligibility for government benefits such as health and concession cards, and pensions. We can help you navigate Centrelink and the DVA. Another important area to consider is aged care, where the right planning and structuring can make a great difference to your happiness and comfort as well as your finances.
It’s important part of every plan to quantify your insurable financial risks and make an active decision on how to handle them – even if that decision is to do nothing! We consider your personal income protection, life, disability and trauma needs, research your existing cover, and make recommendations if we think changes are advisable.
For business owners and operators, we can advise on the business risks were you to die, become disabled or suffer a traumatic event and advise on potential solutions such as business expenses cover and keyperson insurance. Another area we work extensively in is buy/sell insurance, which can provide funding for a buyout if an insurable event were to trigger a change in ownership of the firm.
The first stage in any investment strategy is to clearly define your goals and the timeframes in which you hope to achieve them. Based on this, we will calculate a target return for your various timeframes, and recommend strategies that we think have a high probability of achieving those goals, with the minimum possible risk. If we think your goals are not achievable (based on your calculated risk capacity), or are going to make you uncomfortable (based on your risk preference), we will discuss this with you and refine your plan until we have a strategy that ticks all the boxes! We also offer a range of options to implement your investment strategy. In our view, there are many different ways to achieve a goal, and at different times of the market cycle, and for different investors with different personal preferences, different approaches will make sense. We offer a range of investment implementation approaches to our clients; click here to find out more
Many of our clients have fairly complex financial structures, and we are accustomed to working closely with lawyers and accountants implementing strategies which may involve family / discretionary / hybrid trusts, companies, and Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) as well as various personal holding structures (self-owned, joint tenants, tenants in common). With long experience in this area we can provide a ‘second opinion’ in need, and can also help clients wishing to reduce the complexity in their personal affairs.
We have a straightforward approach to estate plans: everyone needs one! A great deal of unhappiness and confusion can be saved, with proper advance planning to ensure your wishes will be carried out. Everyone should have a will, an enduring guardianship and an enduring power of attorney, appropriate beneficiary nominations in super, and often, binding financial agreements in the event of partnership breakdown. For business owners, partnership/shareholder/unitholders agreements are also vital.
We can project manage the process for you, working with your current accountant and lawyer (or we can recommend good professionals in this area if you wish).
We can help clients who are looking for more structure and better ‘impact’ for their philanthropic giving. Many structures are available, such as workplace giving, Private Ancillary Funds, named sub-funds and so on, which can maximise the tax-effectiveness and real impact of your efforts. Our extensive network in this area also means we can put you in touch with people who can help, no matter what your charitable interests might be.
So much comes under this heading! When we try to quantify the things that we do for our clients, much of the value that we add comes from our experience and our deep knowledge of you, your family and (if you have one) your business.
Chances are that even if we don’t deal in an area directly ourselves, we will know someone who does.
We have helped clients through messy divorces, debt restructuring, business partnership disputes, insurance claims, financial problems with children and their partners, family disputes over wills – the list goes on. Everything from helping to heal family rifts to helping you decide whether you can afford that new car. It is our mission to advise you at all times in your best interests.
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