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Frequently Asked

What is financial planning?

Financial planning can have a different meaning to different people. We bring value in different ways and like to think of it as putting the pieces of your puzzle together.

The financial planning journey starts by assessing your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. It then seeks to identify solutions that are considered to be consistent with and appropriate to those financial circumstances, needs and objectives.

We look at issues that impact on your financial wellbeing, such as:

  • your future plans

  • superannuation including Self-Managed Super Funds, industry funds and institutional funds

  • home ownership and debt

  • investment (direct property and shares)

  • tolerance for risk

  • health and insurance

  • risk management

  • estate planning

  • Centrelink qualification

  • taxation, gearing

  • retirement planning

  • debt management; and

  • aged care

How are you different from other financial planners?

We are different to many other financial advisers in that we apply actuarial skills to map your assets and cashflow to appropriate financial strategies, and then recommend suitable ownership structures and investment opportunities. Our general approach to wealth creation is to develop an investment portfolio gradually over time averaging into the market rather than investing substantial funds quickly.

Where appropriate, we recommend a structured approach of gradual investment. We operate under our own licence, conduct our own financial product research and are guided by an independent Investment Committee. We do not outsource our work. It is our practice to
not receive commission and brokerage.

How much does it cost and how long does it take?

The first step is an initial brief discussion about your circumstances, usually of 15 minutes or so. If during that discussion we feel that we cannot help, we will let you know. There is no charge for discovering this.

Prior to attending this meeting, you may complete our fact find or prepare some notes on your goals. If you want to proceed further, we will then begin to discuss your circumstances in more detail and start to clarify where you are at and where you are going.

Normally, the cost to develop a full financial plan depends on the complexity of your individual circumstances. Importantly, this fee is not linked to the size of the financial assets you control but rather the hours budgeted. Normally a deposit is required before the work commences. This initial financial planning process normally occurs over a 6 to 8 week period.

Do you receive any commission or brokerage?

It is our practice to not receive commission and brokerage, as we remain independent and provide advice solely for our clients. Where commission or brokerage is paid due to a product issuer’s business practice, we will have this fully disclosed and rebated back to the customer. When we provide our services we do not act for any third party like a bank or a fund manager. We act for you. 

How does Berry decide on investments?

It is common for our clients to hold a range of investments to ensure adequate diversification.

To guide us in portfolio construction we have an Investment Committee that comprises investment professionals with a broad range of skills. The Committee discusses the current local and global economic climate and the performance and outlook of specific sectors and securities. The views of the Committee are documented in the quarterly investment report which is available to our ongoing clients.

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