• November 15, 2017

    A Retro Friday Reflection

    A Retro Friday Reflection
    Ten years ago our training manager, Adrian McMaster, was the humorist for Alan Kohler’s Eureka Report, which has since become part of the Murdoch Press. In recent years you will have heard us ‘banging on’ about how average returns are actually wonderful. But our thoughts are not new: here is what Adrian was saying about […]
  • October 24, 2017

    What I am doing on the investment side of things…

    What I am doing on the investment side of things…
    I am lucky. I enjoy my work. A particularly pleasant part of my work week is sitting down with clients and discussing what they should be doing on the investment side of things. (If we have not done this for while please ring and make an appointment.) In a meeting last week my client asked if I was […]
  • October 1, 2017

    Get rid of that non-deductible debt!

    Get rid of that non-deductible debt!
    Non-deductible debt is expensive debt. Non-deductible debt should always be paid off as a priority over any other investment. If your client earns more than $180,000 a year they face an effective marginal tax rate of 47%, made up of 45% and plus a 2% Medicare Levy (2.5% from 1 July 2019). This means your […]
  • September 21, 2017

    Bernard Salt got it wrong

    Bernard Salt got it wrong
    Women access financial planning less than men. Women also earn less than men, accumulate less than men and retire with less than men. Women live longer than men.  One third of female age pensioners live below the poverty line. It’s expected to get much worse. Single women who do not own a home suffer the […]
  • September 7, 2017

    School fees: the big issue

    School fees: the big issue
    Clients need strategies. Clients need ideas. Clients need an adviser who can put a texta to a white board and explore thoughts and possibilities that interest clients and grab their attention, and worries. Thought explorations are by their nature imprecise and imperfect. You sometimes get more than halfway in before you suddenly realize it’s not […]
  • August 30, 2017

    So you thought you were insured

    So you thought you were insured
    Interviews with potential Dover advisers are interesting exercises. Many do not understand how their AFSL’s compensation and insurance arrangements work. They think “they are covered for everything above $15,000”, or whatever. The questions “Who is covered?” “What is covered?” and “When it is covered?” do not get much thought. But more worrying is the common […]
  • August 25, 2017

    Who is your competitor?

    Who is your competitor?
    Most financial planners would answer that other financial planners are their main competitor. That might be the wrong answer. In business, your competitor is anyone who is doing work that you could do. If you have a client with more than $200,000 in super (combined if they are a couple), then there is a good […]
  • August 22, 2017

    AI and the future of financial planning

    AI and the future of financial planning
    An AFSL licensing robo-advice will have huge compliance problems, and will probably be un-insurable. The Corporations Act contemplates ASIC licensing persons, i.e. AFSLs and their authorised representatives. The Corporations Act does not contemplate ASIC licensing algorithms or technology. The Corporations Act imposes extensive subjective advice requirements on personal advice, including the best interests duty, the […]
  • August 21, 2017

    Ten Great Income Protection Strategies

    Ten Great Income Protection Strategies
    Financial planning sees what it wants to see. Most advisers focus on the low possibility of a temporary income loss caused by illness or accident, and what can be done about it. Few advisers focus on the high probability of a permanent income loss caused by technological change and redundant or inadequate skill levels, and […]
  • August 16, 2017

    A Billowing Bubble

    A Billowing Bubble
    The Reserve Bank and friends have tried hard to slow housing prices down. They have charged SMSF borrowers punitive interest rates, restricted foreign buyers to new properties, eased some first home buyer stamp duties, limited interest only loans, lifted loan eligibility criteria and cut back some tax depreciation benefits. But it has not worked. Australia […]
  • July 24, 2017

    AFSL for sale

    AFSL for sale
    If you think it’s tough to run a financial planning practice, think about what it’s like to run an AFSL. At least it’s easy to sell a financial planning practice. It’s not easy to sell an AFSL. Who would buy an AFSL? LIF starts on 1 January 2018, so the buyer’s commission income falls straight […]
  • July 11, 2017

    Banned Product Lists

    Banned Product Lists
    An AFSL’s banned product list says a lot about that AFSL. There are at least 29 recognised insurers/re-insurers in Australia. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) lists them as follows: AIA Australia Limited Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited AMP Life Limited Challenger Life Company Limited ClearView Life Assurance Limited  Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited (The) Combined […]
  • June 27, 2017

    Dover is appropriate, and it’s in your best interests

    Dover is appropriate, and it’s in your best interests
    Dover Financial Advisers allows you to run your practice the way you want to run your practice. Our advice is free of institutional bias and influence, stressing strategies rather than products, and designed to create and nurture long term client relationships. It’s always what is best for your client, and therefore what is best for […]
  • June 5, 2017

    Give the kid a break

    Give the kid a break
    It’s official. It’s final. In July 2017 Australia will best the Netherlands as the all time world champion economy. 25 years on the trot without one recession. An economic miracle no one predicted. A trove of treasurers have, with differing degrees of skill and a lot of mining luck, notched up the all time economic […]
  • May 29, 2017

    Dover’s ACES website service is great and it’s free

    Dover’s ACES website service is great and it’s free
    You can read an excellent summary of the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) reforms here: New Life Insurance Framework will test advisers. I had to smile. Just the other day someone told me the best way to deal with the 33.3% cut to commissions on 1 January 2018 is to churn every client before December 2017 […]
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