Geoff Burchell is a Relationship Manager and Associate Director at Quill Group Financial Planners and heads up our Sunshine Coast office at Maroochydore.
Geoff is a Certified Financial Planner with 18 years experience in financial advice. In addition to his financial planning qualifications, Geoff has an MBA from Deakin University and spent 20 years as an Engineer Officer in the Australia Army. Geoff has also been a financial planning course co-ordinator for the University of the Sunshine Coast for the last 11 years.
Geoff’s specialty advice areas include retirement planning, financial and investment strategies, superannuation and SMSF.
Financial Advisor Sunshine Coast
There is so much uncertainty in the world today, there has never been a better time to make sure you have prepared adequately for your financial future than right now.
This is where Geoff and the Quill Group financial advisor team can assist you on all parts of the Sunshine Coast.
If there was a sudden crisis in your life in the near future, could you be sure of having enough money to see you through for a few months without getting into debt? If you’re not totally sure, you definitely need the services of a Quill financial advisor based on the Sunshine Coast like Geoff.
What does a financial planner (financial advisor) do?
The first and most important thing a financial planner does is they will help you work out what your financial goals are. The best financial advisors will then develop a custom plan with you that sets out how these goals will be achieved. This is the basis of personal financial planning.
In order to develop a plan with you effectively, they’ll need to describe the various financial products and strategies available to you, discussing the advantages and risks of each method, so you can together make informed decisions about how you want to proceed.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when developing a financial plan. Two of the most important ones are your age and your current financial situation. The younger and wealthier you already are, the more interesting the financial plan can become, but that doesn’t mean if you’re older and not particularly wealthy that there’s no hope for you to change at least one of those circumstances.
There are four main categories of income producing strategies available to you. These are:
- Tax Minimisation (legal – not tax avoidance!)
Superannuation technically counts as an investment, but since it’s a very long term investment with a maturation date far in the future and all kinds of special rules that apply to it, it’s best to keep it as a separate category. Superannuation advice including self-managed super funds (SMSFs) is a specialist area and Geoff Burchell from Quill Group Financial Planners is recognised as one of the best financial advisers on the Sunshine Coast in this area.
Savings are where most people will need to start, and the most difficult stage for the average person. The problem stems from the fact that most people tend to match their spending to their income, and some even take their spending beyond what they earn.
That’s what stops the majority of people from achieving financial freedom before they’re ready for retirement. All it takes to break free from old habits is to make the strong affirmation “I want to be free!” If you truly wish to be free, you’ll be able to summon the discipline to curb your spending habits and start saving.
It doesn’t take much. Ten or twenty percent of your income is plenty. If you’re earning $800 a week, how hard can it be to set aside $80 as savings?
Obviously if you’re earning more, you should set aside more. You should in fact set aside as much as you can. Once you’ve saved up approximately three months of savings, you should set this aside as an emergency fund that you never touch except in a genuine emergency.
After you’ve done that, it’s when the more exciting phase can commence. You’ll continue saving as before, except now you’re saving with the intention of investing. Your financial adviser will discuss with you what type of investments and how much you’ll need for investing.
How to find the best financial advisor for you?
There are so many options when it comes to selecting the best financial adviser on the Sunshine Coast. Start by understanding what advice you need? This could be any of the following categories of advice:
- Stock and equities advice (from a stock advisor)
- Investment advice (from an investment advisor)
- Pension advice (self-funded pensions or Centrelink / DVA / age pension)
- Insurance advice (life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance, income protection insurance)
- Free financial advice (for example through the FPA which provides limited access to pro-bono financial advice)
- Robo advice including automated and online investment solutions (robo advisor or digital advisor)
- Property investment advice
- Retirement advice
Should you use an ‘independent’ financial advisor?
It’s important to understand the the term ‘independent’ is very restrictive when it comes to financial advisors. The laws applicable to financial advice state that a financial planner or advisor can only use the words ‘independent’, ‘impartial’, and ‘unbiased’ when the financial adviser does not receive any commissions or volume-based payments, or other gifts or benefits and has no conflicts of interest or influence from any product issuer. This also includes related words like ‘independently owned’, ‘non-aligned’ and ‘non-institutionally owned’.
What most people consider independent when it comes to selecting a financial adviser on the Sunshine Coast or anywhere else is that the adviser is always working in their clients best interests, and not in their own best interests or in the interest of a bank, financial institution or other investment product provider.
Quill Group Financial Planners is owned privately and does not receive any commissions or incentives from financial product providers, which the exception of some legacy investment products (very minor and not applicable to new clients) as well as commissions on insurance products. For that reason Quill Group Financial Planners cannot under the law call itself an independent financial advisor. Details of the insurance commissions can be found in our Financial Services Guide (PDF).
How to choose a financial planner based on the Sunshine Coast?
Whether you are based in Maroochydoore, Buderim, Cotton Tree, Sippy Downs, Coolum, Mooloolaba or Noosa, the process you should go through to select a financial advisor should be the same.
Ensure the financial adviser is qualified and experienced. They should at least have a relevant financial planning degree and wherever possible should also be a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) as this is regarded as the highest level of recognition an financial planner can obtain in Australia.
Ask for testimonials from their existing clients. Many financial advisers grow their business from referrals from existing financial planning clients. This is a good sign that their services are well appreciated and they are performing well. If you’ve been referred to a financial adviser on the Sunshine Coast by a friend or family member, ask yourself whether the needs of that friend or family member are the same as yours. You could be in a very different stage of your life or have very different financial advice needs.
Also check for online ratings on the financial adviser through Google and Adviser Ratings. For example Quill Group currently is rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Google.
How much does a financial adviser cost on the Sunshine Coast?
The initial fee for financial advice ranges from $1,650 to $7,700 (inclusive of GST). Ongoing fees are determined by the complexity of ongoing work involved and the financial services we provide. These fees enable us to cover the cost of providing this service and include data collection, research, strategy development, continuing training requirements and ongoing administrative costs.
Our minimum ongoing fee starts at $1,650 (inclusive of GST).
Upfront financial advice fees are typically not tax deductible, however ongoing advice fees typically are tax deductible. This is the same for an SMSF when advice is provided to the trustees, for example investment advice.
All fees are outlined each and every year in a fee disclosure statements which provides the complete details of all financial advice services provided and the applicable cost of those services.
Get in touch with Quill Group Sunshine Coast today
The importance of a financial plan is that you have a road map showing you exactly what your financial goals are and how you’re going to reach them. It’s an exceptionally valuable asset to have in your possession.
Start the first step of your journey to financial freedom today by contacting a Quill consultant.
Whether it’s individual or commercial tax needs, financial advice or strategies to grow your business, the Quill Group has you covered!