VOTE WITH YOUR FINANCIAL FEET
The final report from the Banking Royal Commission has been all over the news in recent days. The Commission has shone a spotlight on an industry that has let Australians down and many changes have been recommended, but did it go far enough?
The share prices of wealth managers, AMP and IOOF jumped after the report was released, as did those of the big 4 banks, because as Alan Kohler put it, "They can keep employing financial advisers to flog their products, while managing conflicts of interest, instead of getting rid of them… for them, the Hayne report resembled a wet lettuce.”
At the end of the day, it is up to Australians to drive real change by voting with their financial feet.
· If your bank is ripping you off, move.
· If you’re in a dud super fund, roll it over to a new fund.
· If you’re getting an ordinary deal on your mortgage interest rate, take your business elsewhere.
· If you’re paying high insurance premiums because someone’s collecting a commission every year at your expense, take your business elsewhere.
And if you’re not sure about any of the above, get help!
It’s HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS (if not millions depending on how old you are) that high fees, low returns and poor value will be costing you. For goodness sake, if you don’t want the money you could at least donate it to charity instead of gifting it to the big financial services companies!
Let’s be honest, you didn’t need a Royal Commission to tell you that financial services companies have been ripping you off… deep down you already knew that. The Commission simply showed you just how bad it is.
Financial product providers have been ripping you off for years. I know first hand from experience with ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and State Super (now StatePlus). At each of these companies, I spoke with very senior managers about the need for change. Every time the notion that clients/customers were getting a raw deal was mentioned, it was just dismissed as something to aim to fix in the future, but something that couldn’t be tackled right away (code for “we don’t want to risk our big bonuses, so we’ll leave the mess for someone else to fix in the future”). I will never forget being at some work drinks when I first started working as a financial adviser at ANZ… I was speaking with the head of financial planning and politely raised my concerns about percentage-based fees. He literally just turned around and walked away. It’s a moment that was burnt into my brain.
I subsequently tried working with two other big businesses, but as much as they would argue against it, at the end of the day the best interests of the clients were not put first. Whether it was high fees, poor returns, or fees for no service, people were getting ripped off.
I’m one of only 125 truly independent financial advisers in Australia (according to SuperGuide). Given there are around 25,000 financial advisers in Australia, it’s not hard to do the maths and see why we’ve had a problem in the past… it’s less than 1% of advisers who don’t have a conflict of interest! You’ve got 125 truly independent financial advisers to choose from if you think independence matters. One of them just happens to live here in Orange and the first appointment is FREE. What have you got to lose? Or more importantly, how much could you gain?
If you’d like to find out more about how INDEPENDENT financial advice could help you manage cash flow, pay off the mortgage faster, get the most out of super and invest wisely, then get in touch on 0411 484 464 or head to wealthtrain.com.au.
Daniel McGregor is the man behind Wealth Train and is a member of the Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia. This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice which does not take into consideration any of your personal circumstances. All strategies and information provided are general advice only.
Daniel McGregor and Wealth Train are authorised representatives of Independent Financial Advisers Australia AFSL 464629