Here are answers to some questions we’re often asked at 5 Financial:
Q. Who owns 5 Financial?
A. 5 Financial is owned only by people who work in our firm, so it is a 100% Australian owned business. No person or company outside our firm owns any share whatsoever. (You may be interested to know that in wealth management/financial planning, this makes us different to most of the industry that have ownership ties to large institutions such as banks.)
Q. How are advisers remunerated at 5 Financial?
A. Our advisers are paid salaries and do not earn any commissions.
Q. Do any product-providing financial institutions have a say in which financial products you recommend to your clients?
A. No. The financial products we recommend to clients are selected purely through in-house and independent research, with zero influence from any financial services product provider.
Q. How qualified are your advisers?
A. Education is very important to our practice, and each of our advisers has tertiary qualifications in business related degrees. Further, each adviser has attained additional qualifications relevant to their area of specialty. This includes our Wealth Management Advisers who have each attained (or are progressing towards) Certified Financial Planner qualification. Please refer to Our Team page to see each person’s qualifications noted.
Q. Do you offer an introductory meeting?
A. Yes, we offer an introductory meeting free of any cost or obligation. Generally this meeting goes for up to 2 hours. (And if at this point you think you’d be interested in proceeding with us, we are happy to spend more time with you to discuss your requirements in more detail.) Our experience is that on the whole, people gain tremendous value from the insights they gain from this meeting, whether or not they proceed with us.
Q. Do you visit us in our home or our office?
A. We prefer to conduct meetings at our office in Rhodes, Sydney. These meetings are highly productive as you are away from normal distractions and phone interruptions. For clients who are interstate, we often conduct meetings in other capital cities and we can arrange to meet with you there.
Q. How confidential is my information?
A. We treat the information you share with us with the utmost respect and confidentiality. It’s our policy to act in this way (and we also think it’s common courtesy anyway). Plus for us to be able to give you advice that delivers on your needs and expectations, we need you to feel 100% comfortable to have candid, personal discussions about your life and money. That’s why we strive to create a safe place where you can share this information and know it’s in good hands.
Q: The financial advice industry has had a bad rap of late. Why should I trust you?
We hear the same stories as you and so we understand why you might feel hesitant about where you place your trust. There are a number of ways we can respond to this. But we think the most telling is the fact that more than 90% of our new clients come to us as a direct recommendation from an existing client. We believe that for someone to encourage a friend or family member to reach out and contact us says a lot about the trust they place in us. And we never take this for granted. We are constantly on the lookout for ways we can continue to improve what we offer our clients. We may be a small practice, but we continue to aim for world class!
Another comment we’d make is that we have our own Australian Financial Services Licence, and we are owned by people who work in our practice. This means (unlike the majority of the financial advisory industry) we are not owned by a big financial institution, ensuring we are free to explore a wide range of options on behalf of our clients to identify what will suit them best. Our advisers are paid a salary, not a commission, and as a fee-based practice, we always let our clients know what the fees will be upfront so there are no surprises. Finally, it’s worth noting that we only take on new clients where we are confident we can help them achieve a financial gain that’s well in excess of the fees they pay – we strive for double the benefit or higher. And we quantify the value of our advice at each annual review meeting, so we are highly accountable for the value we offer.
Q: My friend deals with a particular adviser at 5 Financial. Can I work with the same adviser?
If possible, we will endeavor to place you with the adviser of your choice. We are however, very mindful of the importance of ensuring that each of our advisers has the capacity to comfortably support all of the clients they are allocated. This means that – depending on the ebb and flow of their caseload – sometimes it’s not possible for you to choose your adviser. We’re also conscious that different advisers have particular strengths and experience in certain areas, and we’ll let you know if we believe that another of our advisers will serve your needs best.
Having said that, please be assured that as a small practice, our wealth management advisers get together multiple times each week to discuss the strategies they are considering or recommending for clients. There is a common philosophy within the practice and all of our advisers apply this consistently. This means that regardless of who your adviser is, you will get the same access to high quality financial advice and expertise.
Q. How do you charge?
A. If, after the initial free meeting you would like to go ahead with us, we will be able to provide you with a quotation. The fees we charge will depend on the complexity of your situation and the scope of services you choose to use. [Our services include wealth management (financial planning), accounting and tax, finance and estate planning. You can pick and choose which apply, or we can help you identify what’s likely to be required to help you make the most of your financial situation.]
If you are a wealth management client who deals with us on an ongoing basis, we offer an 8% discount if you choose to pay your annual fee upfront (compared with the cost of monthly payments).
Q. What is your investment philosophy?
A. At 5 Financial we believe that the performance of an investment program depends mostly on a few key ideas:
1. Asset allocation is key. A portfolio’s mix of shares, bonds, property and other assets is the primary driver of its long-term returns and the variability of those returns.
2. Diversification moderates risk. Diversifying within and across asset classes reduces a portfolio’s exposure to the risks associated with a particular company, market segment or asset class.
3. Lower costs mean higher returns. The lower your costs, the greater your share of an investment’s return. Over time, lower-cost portfolios have tended to outperform their higher-cost counterparts. We utilise the power of index funds to deliver our clients a broadly diversified, low-cost portfolio.
Q. What can you say in just a few words to sum up your firm’s attitude towards investing and wealth accumulation?
A. We focus on a low-cost, tax-efficient, asset-allocation-based approach to building wealth.
netwealth Super or WRAP account
Q. Where can I find the bank account details for where I make a contribution to my netwealth Super or WRAP account ?
A. You can find these details on the last page of your netwealth welcome letter. Alternatively, you can log in to your netwealth Account and click on your account. Scroll down the summary page and you will find a tab called ‘How to contribute to your netwealth Account’. If you expand that, you will see the bank account details with the relevant reference number you should use.
Has your question been answered? If not, please drop us a note and we’d be very happy to supply more info. Alternatively, please feel free to call us on 02 9739 6555 and ask to chat with Matt Farrell, 5 Financial’s Principal. He will be happy to answer your questions or put you in touch with the relevant specialist adviser in the firm.