If you are interested in knowing more about how we operate, here are twenty questions and answers that might be useful.
1. What do you do?
Wren Advisers specialises in investment management, superannuation and financial advice.
The firm has its own Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL 247124) and is not aligned with any financial product provider or dealer group. We can therefore work with you in an open, professional way to find solutions that meet your objectives, needs and circumstances. Wren Advisers is also a CPA Australia public practice.
2. What qualifications and experience do you have?
All the advisory staff at Wren Advisers have university degrees, postgraduate qualifications in finance or financial planning, and broad industry experience.
To ensure that these skills are maintained, we have detailed procedures for monitoring and reviewing their continuing professional development. Further information on each adviser’s qualifications and experience are provided in our Financial Services Guide which is given to prospective clients prior to the initial meeting.
3. What do you give advice on?
Wren Advisers is licensed under its Australian Financial Services Licence to give advice and deal in the following financial products:
- deposit products;
- options and warrants;
- foreign exchange;
- government bonds and debentures;
- managed investments;
- retirement savings accounts;
- life products;
- securities; and
For issues that require specialist knowledge – e.g. wills, estate planning – we can refer you to an appropriate professional.
4. Do you get paid by fees or commissions?
Wren Advisers charges an hourly fee, or a portfolio management fee, for our professional services. Where the products we recommend pay an adviser commission, this is rebated to the client or offset against our fees.
This policy is designed to minimise potential conflicts of interest and promote unbiased advice. It also creates a level playing field for financial products that do not pay adviser commissions – such as industry super funds, term deposits, indexed investments and shares.
5. What are your fees?
Our fees will vary depending on the amount of work performed but are competitive with most of our competitors, including industry funds.
All fees are fixed, agreed in advance and set out in an engagement letter. We will negotiate terms with clients who have special needs, time constraints or other exceptional circumstances.
6. Can I pay for your fees out of my super fund?
The question of paying our fees out of a super fund depends on the nature of the advice. For superannuation and retirement planning advice, our fees may be payable from your fund but wealth creation advice is generally considered to be a personal expense, not an expense of the fund.
7. Can I claim a tax deduction for your fees?
The general rule is that the initial cost of financial advice is a capital item and therefore not a tax deduction. However some parts of the advice relating to tax matters may be deductible if they can be identified and billed separately.
Ongoing advice regarding your investments may be tax deductible and/or entitle you to reduced input tax credits (RITC).
8. Do you have any relationships or ownership ties with any financial institution?
No. Wren Advisers is independently-owned and is not associated with any bank, insurance company, fund manager or other financial product issuer.
9. Do you receive soft-dollar benefits, overseas trips or other incentives from fund managers?
No. Wren Advisers adheres to a strict fee-for-service approach and does not accept any monetary or non-monetary incentives that could potentially cause a conflict of interest.
This includes all free or subsidised products and services, sponsorships, loans, marketing support payments, excessively generous forms of entertainment or hospitality, annual fee rebates and similar deals.
10. What if I’m mostly interested in shares and property?
Because Wren Advisers is a fee-based practice, we are just as comfortable giving advice on shares and property as we are with managed products.
As long as clients understand and accept the greater managerial responsibilities involved with direct investments, we will gladly act as their adviser and assist them with the administration of their portfolio.
11. Can I get access to investment research?
Yes. We produce regular research on financial market trends, listed securities, residential property and managed funds.
We also publish a monthly Client Update which features analysis on the share and property markets, commentary on interest rate trends, model portfolios and company research.
For a free sample copy of our Client Update, please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 9663 6602 during normal business hours.
12. Do you do leasing and finance?
No, but we can refer you to other firms that can arrange competitive leasing and finance packages to suit most individuals and business clients.
13. What if I just want some specific advice, not a full financial plan?
Our view is that clients should be able to get financial advice on a specific matter if that’s all they need. Advice which is restricted to a particular issue, sometimes called defined scope or limited advice, is often appropriate for people who want to know:
- whether to buy or sell a particular asset;
- how to consolidate super fund balances;
- how to claim a particular social security benefit;
- review one of their insurance policies; or
- whether to switch from one investment to another.
Wren Advisers can generally provide this information quickly and at a very reasonable cost.
14. Is the first meeting free?
Yes. We believe it is very important that potential clients learn how we operate and that we understand their objectives, needs and circumstances before any financial advice is provided.
As a result, we do not charge for the first meeting, nor do we seek to recoup this time via additional charges at a later date.
15. I work full-time. Can I meet you after-hours?
Yes. We appreciate that it is often difficult to take time off work during normal business hours. With prior notice, we can arrange meetings at a time which is mutually convenient.
We are sometimes asked to meet clients at their home but in most cases we do not agree to this unless it is warranted by exceptional circumstances.
16. What portfolio management services do you offer?
Wren Advisers has a range of options to provide you with comprehensive portfolio management and administration services. These can be tailored to your needs depending on the size of your portfolio, the type of assets you own and the level of management you wish to undertake yourself.
The fees for this service range from 0.44% to 1.10% of funds under advice.
17. Do you offer advice on ethical / socially responsible investments (SRIs)?
Yes. A wide variety of ethical and socially responsible investments are now available to individual investors and the returns have often been well above industry benchmarks.
Socially responsible investing is an investment approach which integrates moral values and social concerns into the decision-making process.
If you have strong ethical reasons for avoiding certain types of investments or you wish to promote companies with social or environmental goals, we can assist you with model portfolios and a selection of managed funds which should meet your needs.
18. I’m an accountant. How do I know you won’t poach the clients that I refer to you?
There are three reasons why Wren Advisers will not poach clients that have been referred to us by other accountants.
- First, we are a professional and ethical firm that respects the existing relationship you have with your client. Our goal is to enhance the quality of this relationship, not compromise it.
- Second, poaching clients would not make financial sense. Referrals are an important source of new business and it is not worth jeopardising such introductions for the sake of a potential short-term gain.
- And third, our firm specialises in investment and superannuation advice. We do not offer most of the core public accounting services that you provide to your clients.
Wren Advisers values its independence and is committed to its ‘no poaching’ policy with referring professionals.
19. I’m an accountant. Can I get a copy of the Statement of Advice you are giving my client?
Yes. If the client authorises us to send you a copy of our Statement of Advice, we will provide this and discuss any views or concerns you might have.
Our objective is to work with you in a co-operative way so that everyone stays informed and the client achieves a positive outcome.
20. How do I make an appointment?
Contact us now on (03) 9663 6602.