Good Returns (dot co dot nz) asked me to introduce myself recently
Here’s the Q&A:
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a financial planner based at Tamahere, south of Hamilton. My business offers comprehensive financial planning and investment portfolio advice.
How did you get into the industry?
Like a lot of people, I fell into the industry. My first full-time job was with Public Trust, in estates administration. I worked there for 12 ½ years and I loved the technical side of the work, and the customer interaction. I then worked as an investment adviser for a bank for a couple of years, as a fire and general insurance underwriter for a few years, and then (after parental leave) worked part-time for Mike Haszard at Advice Financial in Hamilton. I bought the business when Mike retired in April 2008 – which was dodgy timing! I rode through the GFC with a brand new business loan.
If there is one thing you would like to change about the financial advice industry, what would it be?
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
That’s a tough one, as I have been given a lot of great advice over the years and read some pretty great books. I like Warren Buffett’s saying: “The quickest way to lose money is to pay too much for something”. That’s a great piece of advice.
What could financial advisers learn from other industries?
Every industry has its challenges. I have worked in financial services for my entire career, so I don’t have any in-depth insight into other industries. So, I have no profound comment for this question – sorry.
What do you think the FMA has done well? What could it do better?
My personal opinion was that the FMA started its life by getting totally offside with the adviser community, but have progressively listened and learned from the industry, to the point where there is much more mutual respect on both sides. Their purpose is to improve consumer confidence and I think that they have definitely made a difference in this area. I think that they are doing a good job of consulting and communicating, and I hope that they continue with this strategy.
What could be done to improve KiwiSaver?
I think that the increased transparency of reporting is going to be a good thing. I would like the Government to not fiddle with it any more, as this makes people unsettled. So, Labour/NZ First/Greens, LEAVE KIWISAVER ALONE!
What role do you see for adviser groups under the new rules?
I would want to see the rules before I could answer this question!
What have been the benefits of regulation?
I think that regulation has put more structure around the giving of advice, and as part of that process, I think that clients are being given more education and information about “what” and “why” as well as “how”. I also think that adviser education is important, as we don’t know what we don’t know, no matter how long we have been in the industry. Education makes sure that everybody knows the same base information and advisers can build on their knowledge from that base.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career?
I get a massive buzz from seeing clients set goals, knuckle down and then actually achieve their goals. It is brilliant to see clients succeed and achieve things which are important to them.
What’s the biggest threat to financial advisers?
Succession planning. We need to be looking at who will take care of our clients when we leave the industry, because SOMEONE needs to, and how we are going to get paid for our businesses so that we can afford to retire. There is such a massive need for advice and we need people coming through to keep giving it.
What do you wish the public knew about financial advisers?
How much advisers genuinely care about their clients. I have met and talked to a lot of advisers over the years, and most of them have the fundamental motivation of making people’s lives better. We have some stunning people in this industry.
Are you a KiwiSaver member?
What’s your personal investment strategy?
Go hard or go home. But no – I don’t advise all of my clients to do that!
Outside of work what do you do?
I am a wife and a mum – my daughter, Sarah, is 19 and is looking at tertiary study for 2018, and my son, Cameron, is 12. Cameron is into sports, so I spend a lot of my spare time at sports events. I am a passionate amateur photographer and a member of the Cambridge Camera Club. I love to lose myself in a good book, I collect antique Royal Doulton and Royal Albert china and I enjoy needlework (a very old fashioned hobby!)
What would you say if one of your kids told you they wanted to be a financial adviser?
That would entirely depend on which one of my kids made that comment, as my children are polar opposites when it comes to financial savviness! I would be proud if one of my kids wanted to be a financial adviser. Financial advisers make a positive contribution to NZ society.
What’s one thing people may be surprised to know about you?
My “claim to fame” was that I was part of the 2011 Rugby World Cup anthem choir. We had to learn lots of anthems in all kinds of languages and travel around to sing them at the rugby games. We would each have our list of anthems to learn, rock up to a rehearsal the day before the game, and even if the mix of 30 choristers was entirely new, we were amazing! It was so much fun, and I met some really talented and interesting people from all over New Zealand.
If you weren’t in this job what would you be doing?
I have always fancied the idea of being a wedding photographer, because I love weddings and I love photography. I have done photos for a couple of very laid back weddings for friends, and it was fun. The secret is to take millions of photos so that you get a good selection of half-decent ones.