15 – Services you need to provide

As we discuss above, advisers who rely solely on commissions from life insurances will experience a fall of around 20% of their total income in the years following 1 July 2016. When you work the maths back the other way, this means that adviser needs to find 25% more life insurance clients if he or she wants simply to maintain their current revenues.

And work 25% harder in the process.

Everyone wants to work smarter, not harder. That is why we strongly encourage ‘lifies’ (life insurance specialists) to expand their offering beyond simple life insurances.

When you do more for your clients, you will be paid more by your clients.

Have a good read of Dover’s Guide to Fee for Service Financial Planning. In it, we identify nine essential competencies that clients are looking for from their financial adviser. These are:

  1. estate planning and business succession planning;
  2. general business advice;
  3. basic taxation planning, including choice of structure;
  4. finance, and negotiations with financiers, including the management of non- deductible debt;
  5. super planning and particularly self-managed funds;
  6. record keeping, bookkeeping, accounting and basic tax compliance;
  7. risk insurances;
  8. property, including property acquisitions and tax planning strategies; and
  9. shares and other securities including managed funds. 

Risk insurances are just one of these competencies. For self-employed clients, there are eight other areas where you can easily add value to your client. If the client is not self-employed, you can still look at estate planning, superannuation planning, debt and its management, property and/or share investment, etc.

Remember, Dover’s back office lets you increase your offering to clients without you needing to take on extra staff. MLA Lawyers provides low-cost estate planning, which you can on-sell to your clients. Simple Paraplanning can take care of any and all extra administration required. Dover SMSF Advisers helps you help clients with this fast-growing area of retirement planning. Dover is also a registered tax agent, meaning you can even offer your clients basic tax compliance services (tax returns, BASs, etc).

Remember: you need only to facilitate this work: you do not need to complete the work for your client. But you are also able to be paid for this facilitation.

The aim should be to become your client’s primary financial adviser. You should be the first person they turn to for all financial matters. Not the accountant, not the lawyer, and certainly not the hairdresser.

This is not hard, and it is the best way to prosper in a fee-for-service environment.

The Dover Group