Independent Financial Advice
The meaning of independence
Out of the 18,000 financial advisers in Australia, Whole Wealth and it's advisers are part of about a hundred that can call themselves truly independent.
The word "independent" in the financial planning industry is strictly limited by law to describe firms that follow a strict set of standards. This criteria is set out in section 923A of the Corporations Act.
Being independent means not being owned or controlled by a product provider like banks, insurers, super funds, etc. It means not accepting conflicted remuneration like commissions. This means our only incentive is to achieve your goals.
Unlike most financial services firms, Whole Wealth is completely independently owned. This means that we do not have a parent company that owns us or controls the way we provide advice.
Many advisory firms are owned or controlled by product providers. These companies have a duty to their shareholders to maximise profits, which means increasing sales of their products. The financial planning arms act as distribution networks for their product rather than financial planners. Often they're salesmen in disguise.
Many advice firms might not be owned by a product provider but their licensee will likely be. It is important to understand the relationship an adviser has with it's product providers and to have it in writing.
No conflicted remuneration
We provide conflict free advice, which means we don't accept any conflicted payments like commissions. This means you can trust that we are on your team.
Many payments that advisers receive create conflicts of interest. For instance, an incentive is created for adviser to recommend products with the highest commission. These products might not be the best products for the you and you might not even need them to achieve your goals. This drives advisers to poor behaviour and put their own interests above your own.
You only have to look towards the royal commission to see the appalling criminal behaviour of bank backed advisers on their clients.
Many parent companies (product providers), restrict their advisers' choice of products to a limited list which will likely only include their own products. This is commonly referred to as an approved product list (APL).
Whole Wealth is an independent financial planner, which means we have an open APL because we want to be able to choose the best products that will suit you.
This also means that we won't force products on you like insurance, super, or investments because we are not being controlled or incentivised to do so. We work together with you towards your own objectives.
Why choose independent financial advice
The reason we are independent is to show you we are serious about achieving your goals. We want you to trust in our expertise, trust in our experience, and trust that we on your team. When you remove all the conflict the only thing to do is the right thing.
No ownership or control by product providers means that we are free from influence and provide real effective financial advice and not just sell products. This means strategic advice that will align with your goals and values.
No conflicted remuneration means that we have no incentive to recommend certain products. This means you can trust we will either get the best products for you or get no products for you. It all depends on what is right for you.