Today I’m speaking with Paul Benson from the Financial Autonomy podcast. Paul is a tertiary-educated financial planner with over 20 years of experience. We talk about the role of a financial planner and Paul gives us some real-life examples of how financial planners are able to assist us with our FIRE journeys.
Some of the topics in today’s episode include:
- What exactly is a financial planner?
- Why do financial planners have a bad rep in the FIRE community?
- How much does a financial planner actually cost and what should you expect for that fee?
- How do financial planners get paid and how do you tell a good financial planner from a bad one?
- If someone already has a dialled-in FIRE plan, where is the value in paying a financial planner?
- How to find a good financial planner. Is there a financial planner directory in Australia?
- What questions should you ask and what to avoid when choosing a financial planner?
- Financial Autonomy website
- Financial Autonomy podcast
- ASIC Financial Advisers Register
- Financial Planning Association of Australia
Heads up grammar police, the following transcription is half human half machine and not 100% perfect so expect a few typos and errors…
You got to be very careful getting financial advice. Before I had any knowledge on investments, A financial planner got me to invest in ITC pulpwood and got me to transfer my super from defined benefit and they took their fees from it. As everyone is now aware, the pulpwood investment was a dud investment and money making scheme for the Financial Planner and their companies. Beware the financial planner!
Great podcast Matt. Really enjoyed this one. We recently got set up with a financial planner. Like most FIRE people I thought why would I bother. I know what I’m doing. Well it turns out I was wrong. We learned so much useful information. We moved our Super to a far better provider with lower fees. We got our personal insurance sorted. We both had some in Super and thought it was fine but we learned about how to use tailored products instead. We’re cover properly now and the costs didn’t increase significantly. We decided not to engage the planner for our outside Super investments though. That’s the meat of the FIRE community and it’s pretty simple. The planner agreed we didn’t really need to spend more money for him to tell us what we already know.
Funny timing that you and FIRE & Chill are talking about the same thing within a day of each other!
I’m glad to hear you had a positive experience Declan. Yeah I saw F&C pod and thought the same thing haha.
Indeed. Very happy to share our positive story.
Great minds think alike.
RE: outcomes of the Financial Services Royal Commission
There have been a series of wide ranging legislative programs implemented covering areas such as:
1. Responsible Lending guideline updates (ie the rules around what financial service organisations need to do before they can give you credit)
2. Design and Distribution Obligations (Google target market determination for Australia, this went live
3. Customer Complaints
4. Financial Crime and Anti-Money Laundering
What I’ve found super interesting is the pendulum swinging from post RC, introducing rules to make lending more restrictive and then the pandemic hitting and the Govt immediately loosening all these rules that they just introduced because they wanted the banks to lend more money.
So while the Govt are supposedly “looking out for the customer”, they also strike a balance with trying to keep businesses profitable and ensuring money / credit is being given to keep the economy booming.
Great comment Ben.
I really enjoyed this one, and I think Paul did a great job of showing where a financial planner can help. They’re not for everyone, a lot of the stuff you can do by yourself if you want, but the demonisation of them in the FIRE community based on outdated stereotypes is just over the top.
Great interview, thanks!
I would be interested in hearing more about what specific financial modeling you are getting from your accountant as I feel like I could be getting more out of mine even though he does a very good job. I invest through a family trust also.
It’s basically what are the best results (tax-wise) for selling our investment properties and distributing the cap gains. There was a lot of moving parts in our situation because of how complicated the last 12 months have been. Add to the fact that I’m not working as much and we’re planning to also do debt recycling once we sell our last IP… it got a bit complicated so I just outsourced it.
A great listen! Definitely a few important things to look out for when selecting a financial planner. I have found the best way to find a financial advisor or planner is through word of mouth.