PEOPLE SHOULDN’T BE PUT OFF SEEKING FINANCIAL ADVICE
This is the view of local independent financial adviser, Daniel McGregor, who owns and runs Wealth Train, a financial advice business based in Orange. I sat down with Daniel recently to discuss the recent rumblings in his industry.
The ongoing Royal Commission into banking and financial services has highlighted some of the appalling financial advice practices engaged in by unethical, incompetent and downright dodgy financial advisers in Australia.
However, as Mr McGregor points out, the Royal Commission is deliberately focusing on all the bad aspects of the industry. “Every industry has rotten apples and bad eggs, and the financial advice industry is no different. The sad thing is that the industry was built back to front, based on product sales rather than great advice, and it will take time to weed out those who deliberately don’t act in their client’s best interest.”
Mr McGregor certainly believes the Royal Commission is a good thing and that in a few years Australians will be able to look back at this point in time as the moment that financial advice moved from a sales culture to a profession, one which Australians can trust for the advice they need.
“The reality is that only 14% of people currently seek financial advice. It’s true that some of them have received poor advice, but the majority are far better off for having sought advice. My goal is to do as much as I can to help the majority of people have access to a trusted and affordable source of advice in our region. Quality advice can change lives and the sooner people get advice the better,” said Mr McGregor.
There is certainly a lack of trust in financial advice at present and the Royal Commission has only heightened that lack of trust amongst some in the community. However, the prevailing belief amongst many in the community appears to be that they need a lot of money to benefit from advice.
Mr McGregor said, "It's not about having huge amounts of money and getting advice on how to invest it. Financial advice is about achieving your lifestyle goals, things like buying a home, paying off the mortgage, protecting your family, retiring comfortably one day - turning hard earned money into wealth for a better lifestyle.” He went on to say, “People often worry that they don’t have enough money, or that they’ll be judged for the financial decisions they’ve made in the past… they feel intimidated when it comes to money. They’ll often say, ‘I know I should get some advice, I’ll come and see you when I have more money’. The point is that advice can fast track that process. The job of a financial adviser is often about helping people get more efficiency out of the money they earn, and very importantly, help people avoid the big money mistakes that set people back years!”.
Choosing a financial adviser is a significant decision. For our readers who feel they could benefit from having a chat with a financial planner, Mr McGregor advises going to the ASIC website and looking at their ‘Questions to ask a financial adviser’ page as a way of working out who to get advice from. Getting advice shouldn't be daunting and a little bit of research at the outset can help you find the right adviser for you.