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IS TRANSITION TO RETIREMENT STILL VIABLE? As many readers will be aware, legally getting access to superannuation before retirement can be rather difficult. But, back in 2005 things were made just a little easier. Find out more
Our Financial Promise
 

Our promise to you
We work with you to agree on the destination; determine when you want to arrive; we plot the smoothest and safest route: we take advice from people along the route and those that have been there before or have already arrived; we deploy the sails and then guide the ship changing course as required should the economic winds and weather conditions change until we safely reach the destination.

We have a crew of experienced sailors that in many cases have done this journey before helping others reach their destination.

All the time you sleep soundly below the deck, enjoy the relaxation of sitting on the bow watching the waves go by or hopping off at stopovers to view the sights whilst we stay on watch.

We don't always find the best winds but we can read maps and charts to avoid the worst weather and treacherous reefs.

There are times when we ask you to join us at the helm to discuss major changes to our route caused by bad weather or unforseen events but your destination always remains the same.

The time of arrival may be sometimes delayed but you will arrive.  We are your rudder to keep you on track.

 


 

BRINGING ALL THE PIECES OF YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE TOGETHER

If your financial life seems to be spinning out of control, you are not alone.
Today more than ever, financial advisory professionals are an essential resource.  From budgeting, to planning for retirement, to saving for education, to managing your texes and your insurance coverage, "finances" does not mean just one thing and "financial planning" means much more than just investing.

Bringing all the pieces of your financial life together is a challenging task.

We at M Financial Services have completed extensive training and are held to maintain rigorous ethical standards.  Our many years of experience help us to understand all the complexities of the changing financial climate and make recommendations in your best interest.

It is not just the action and decisions that we help you make; it is the actions and decisions that we help you avoid that are sometimes much more powerful and valuable.

Why you need a financial plan
Financial planning take the guesswork out of managing your finances and helps you understand the implications of each financial decision you make.  Everyone has different goals, so it is important to have a unique plan that works for you and your financial situation, both now and in the future.

Benefits of financial planning

Today's investor faces an uncertain economy and more options for saving and investing than ever before.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed or confused, unless you find a way to understand the big picture.

We can bring clarity to all your finances and help you develop a strategy so it is easier to make financial decisions, short-term life goals, and stay on track.

Working with M Financial Services can secure your financial well being and give you peace of mind.

 Some people decide to do their own financial planning, but you may want to seek help from us if you:

  • Want to better manage your finances, but are not sure where to start
  • Do not have time to do your own financial planning
  • Want a professional opinion about the plan you have developed
  • Do not have sufficient expertise in certain areas such as investments, insurance, taxes or retirement planning
  • Have an immediate need or unexpected life event

 


 

The financial planning process
Coming up with a solid financial plan means doing some homework - both on your part and the part of our financial services team.

From examining your current situation, to setting goals, to deciding how to measure your progress, we are uniquely qualified to take you through the financial planning process.

In six steps we will:

  1. Agree on how to work together - We will explain the services we will provide and define each of our responsibilities.  Along with compensation, we will discuss how long the professional relationship will last and how we will together make decisions.
  2. Agree on how to work together - We will talk about your current situation and gather any necessary documents.  Together, we will define your personal and financial goals, including time frames.  We will also want to discuss your comfort level when it comes to taking financial risks.
  3. Analyse and determine strategies - We will take all your finances into account and determine how to meet your goals.  Our analysis may cover your assets, liabilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments or tax strategies.
  4. Develop recommendations - Next, we will go over our financial recommendations, explaining the rationale so you can make informed decisions.  We will address your questions and concerns and revise our recommendations if necessary.
  5. Put your plan in motion - We will need to agree on how the recommendations will be carried out.  We may carry out the recommendations ourselves or serve as your coach, coordinating the process with you and other professionals, like lawyers or stockbrokers.
  6. Monitor progress and stay on track - As you work towards your goals, we will need to decide who will monitor your progress to make sure you are staying on track.  If you wish us to take charge, we will check in form time to time, reviewing your situation and making any necessary adjustments to our recommendations. Above all else, you should have confidence that the way we operate is both competent and ethical.  We earn and maintain our qualifications by meeting education, examination, experience and ethics requirements. In addition to delivering general financial planning services, we work closely in liaison with our accountancy practice partners delivering a service fully considering your income requirements, taxation planning and asset protection issues.


 

Plan for success

 

What is the most expensive thing you will ever buy in your lifetime?  The answer probably is not a big-ticket item like a new TV, car or home.  When you put money into a retirement nest egg, you are "Buying" your retirement.  Given the increasing demands on our Social Security system, longer life expectancies and meagre employer superannuation contributions, planning for this major expense is more complicated that it was a generation ago.

You can afford to retire comfortably if you develop a solid plan and make smart choices along the way.  Regardless of your income, we can help you:

  • Calculate your net worth
  • Avoid financial setbacks
  • Deal with major life changes
  • Avoid debt and credit problems
  • Decide where to put your money

Today, there are an overwhelming number of choices for saving and investing your money, and we can help you navigate those options.  Creating a robust, realistic plan will help you stay on track to have the retirement you want.

 


 

Tips to succeed

You are ultimately in charge of your finances, and the results you get from working with us depend on your commitment and understanding of the process.  These tips can help you avoid some common mistakes and get the most out of financial planning

Set measurable financial goals
Create specific targets for what you want to achieve and when you want to see results.  Everyone wants to be "comfortable" in retirement and see their children attend "good" schools - but what do you mean by comfortable and good?  Clear goals are easier to aim for and measure.

Understand the effects of each financial decision
Remember, each piece of your financial life is part of a larger puzzle.  For example, an investment decision may have tax consequences that are harmful to your estate plans or a decision about your child's education may affect when and how you meet your retirement goals. Your financial decisions are interrelated.

Re-evaluate your financial situation periodically
Financial planning is a dynamic process.  Your financial goals may change over the years due to changes in your lifestyle or circumstances such as inheritance, marriage, birth, house purchase or change of job status.  Revisit and revise your financial plan as time goes by so you stay on track to meet your long-term goals.

Be realistic in your expectations
Financial planning cannot change your situation overnight - it is a lifelong process.  Remember that events beyond your control, such as inflation or changes in the stock market or interest rates, will affect your financial planning results.

Get help from a qualified expert
Just as you seek a doctor's expert opinion for medical issues, there are times when you need a qualified professional to provide financial planning advice.  We can help you on your journey to a healthy financial future.

Take charge of your financial life
When you work with us, be sure you understand the financial planning process.  Provide all relevant information about your financial situation.  Ask questions about the recommendations offered to you, and play an active role in the decision-making.

 


 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM WORKING WITH M FINANCIAL SERVICES

Knowing what to expect from a financial planning relationship puts you in the driver's seat - which is exactly where you belong.  To get the most experience with us we believe you shouldn't settle for anything less than the qualities of a true professional.

  1. Integrity - Trust is central to a successful financial planning relationship.  You rely on our honesty, professionalism and abilities to achieve your goals.  Knowing that we take our professional obligations seriously and place principles over personal gain, you can form a food working partnership with is based on trust.  Our strict code of Professional Conduct is designed to ensure we act in a professional responsible manner.
  2. Objective Advice - Your needs will be at the heart of all our recommendations.  We have a legal and ethical obligation to act in your best interest when we provide financial planning advice.  We use our experience and judgement to carefully consider your situation, and then give you advice that best meets your goals.  Sometimes this objectivity may require is to explain that your goals are unrealistic given your current resources and financial commitments.
  3. Competence - By gaining and maintaining our professional qualifications we demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge to offer financial planning advice.  We have completed rigorous education and experience requirements - including continuing education - designed to ensure competence in financial planning.
  4. Fair Treatment - Fair treatment means we will clearly state what services will be provided and at what cost.  We will explain the risks associated with all financial recommendations, along with and potential conflicts of interests.
  5. Privacy - To get the best results from your financial planning relationship, you need to divulge relevant personal and financial information to us on a regular basis.  We will keep this information in confidence, only sharing it to conduct business on your behalf, at your consent or when ordered to do so by a court of law.
  6. Professionalism - We will only provide investment advice and other services that we are properly qualified and licensed to offer.  If your situation requires expertise which we do not possess, we will suggest other professional who may assist you.
  7. Diligence - Before engaging you as a client, we will discuss your goals and objectives and explain what you can expect from our relationship.  Once we have determined that we can assist you, we will make recommendations suitable for you.  We will reasonably investigate the products or services that we recommend and closely supervise all staff that work in our firm.

 


 Questions you should be asking

  • What experience do you have? - M Financial Services has been providing financial advice since 1994.  A number of our team are not only Certified Financial Planners, the highest available accreditation in the financial planning industry, but are also Fellows of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Fellows of CPA Australia and Registered Tax Agents.  Our parent accounting firm was established in December 1985 and our team of over 40 professionals and administration staff currently provide accounting and taxation advice to over 4500 clients and financial planning services through our wholly owned financial planning arm M Financial Services to in excess of 900 clients.  The financial advisers you are working with will provide details of their experience in the financial services industry and other pursuits, both personal and business related during your initial consultation with them.
  • What are your qualifications? - Our financial advisers are sub-authorised representatives of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (No. 234951) and they hold formal accreditations to provide advice in various fields of financial planning.  From our broad base of financial planning, accounting and taxation resources and through our team of close professional affiliates with whom we work, we are confident that we have the qualifications and experience that will meet your needs.  when you deal with one of our advisers you do not only get their ideas and advice.  You also get access to the team and skills that are part of our extended business model developed around the concept of a one stop financial services firm.
  • What services do you offer? - Of the several hundred financial advisers licensed under Professional Investment Services, M Financial Services is one of the top 2% of financial planning practices that based on performance have qualified to be part of the Dealer Group's elite "Global Club".  This gives us access to an extra level of service, strategies and interaction with fund managers and other experienced financial advisers and their ideas, strategies and information.
 We are able to provide the following services to you:
 
  • Wealth building & investment planning
  • Superannuation and Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF)
  • Tax Planning
  • Salary Packaging
  • Retirement Planning
  • Debt management
  • Centrelink advice
  • Risk insurance
  • Estate planning
  • Cashflow analysis 
  • What is your approach to financial planning? - Our approach to Financial Planning is a structured process of getting to know you and then jointly with you developing a plan that meets your requirements.  In the short term, medium and long term, Financial Planning is not a "one size fits all" or a "set and forget" process.  We see ourselves as more a financial and life coach that the provider of an investment product.  Anyone can provide you with a product but we strive to meet our professional and legal obligations knowing you and the financial product that we determine together is in the best interest of you.  Once implemented our role is to not only continue to ensure that your plan remains suited to your requirements but to also manage your emotions and maintain your investment discipline so that goals and objectives are achieved.
  • What type of clients do you typically work with - Not all clients that begin with us are wealthy, but we expect them to have an ambition to acquire wealth
Our Lifetime Money Management plan is a simple 5 step approach of:
  • Making it - (improving your income potential)
  • Keeping it - (reducing the tax you pay)
  • Investing it - (creating your wealth and lifestyle)
  • Protecting it - (protecting your assets and income)
  • Disposing of it - (planning retirement, wealth and business succession)

 

  • Will you be the only person working with me? - Even though your advice will be provided by a specific adviser, we adopt a team approach to the provision of services to you.  That way there will always be someone on hand to answer your questions or be sufficiently conversant with your particular portfolio to quickly source the answer to any question that you may have.
  • How will I pay for your services? - As part of any engagement with you we will advise you in advance of the manner in which we will charge you either for the initial work to be performed or the provision of ongoing service to you.  We will agree in advance the level of our remuneration and the manner in which we will be paid.
As a general rule fees can include:
  • A set dollar amount
  • An hourly rate for the time taken to research and prepare your Statement of Advice
  • An adviser service fee based on your investment amount
  • An initial fee for advice given and an ongoing fee each year for portfolio maintenance and review
  • Some financial products also have fees built in that may be passed on to you
  • How much do you typically charge? - Fees and charges vary dependant on the complexity of the required advice, the degree of technical expertise required to provide the advice, the inherent risk attached with the provision of advice typically determine by the quantum of funds on which we are asked to provide advice and the level of service, support and information that we provide on an ongoing basis.  All of our fees and charges will be fully explained and agreed upon with you prior to us providing advice and services to you.
  • Could anyone besides me benefit from your recommendations? - Our Statement of Advice will include any business relationships or investment interests that may in any way present the opportunity for a Conflict of Interest to arise during the provision of advice to you by your representative adviser or by our firm in general.  We abide by a strict code of professional conduct and in addition, by law are required to disclose any such relationships or interests to you.  We maintain a business interest register which is available for review upon request.

 

 

 

 

What our clients say...
  • "One word - Trust. I know how to make money, but accounting and financial planning is foreign to me so I've had to rely on people who I trust to look after my money. I've been working with Ross now for over 20 years as an accounting client, and when my financial planner retired it was an easy transition to Andrew, particularly because of his age. Andrew is young, serious, experienced and he is a long-term thinker. There is unbridled trust both ways working with Andrew. - Read more
    - Wayne Nicholson, First National Real Estate
  • "Andrew Westcott stands out from the crowd. When there were a few challenges with an insurance matter, he went to enormous lengths to find a solution. Not only that, he is a genuinely good bloke, and he is supported by a great team at M Financial Services. I trust, respect and highly recommend Andrew to anyone needing financial expertise at any point in their life." - Read more
    - Ryan Boccalatte
  • For approximately forty years, while Ross Maclean acted as both accountant and friend, I've witnessed the addition of intelligent, hardworking people. Andrew Westcott became my financial adviser almost six years ago. Although honour is an old-fashioned notion, I have found Andrew to be honourable, as well as knowledgeable, helpful, and patient, when I really needed his help when my husband died and I didn't function for a few years. That's when you need someone who you can trust. I have recommended Andrew to several friends, and I recommend you consult Andrew if you need financial advice. - Read more
    - Roslyn Evans
  • Andrew looks after us as if we were his only clients, even though we know we are not. He is generous with his time, easy to talk to, he clarifies issues in simple terms and talks to us in a friendly and professional way. Andrew helped us make the big decisions involved in our retirement, and has never given me the impression that as a female my views are not important in any conversation or decisions making process and this is important to me. Both Don and I feel important and valued by Andrew and the staff at M Financial Services, and that has helped us feel safe and secure in our financial future. - Read more
    - Don and Gayle Zahner
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