Our Adviser Profile this week is Dennis Dibartolo, a Platinum adviser with 30 Client reviews at an average client rating of 94%. Dennis is the Practice Principal of Altitude Wealth Management in Townsville.
- Best thing about being a financial adviser?
I’d have to say for sure being able to make a positive contribution towards clients making more informed financial decisions that improve the likelihood of them achieving their financial goals and objectives. Being the “go to” person for all matters regarding money, family and life.
- One thing you would like to see improved or changed in the industry?
It would definitely be less red tape to enable us to spend more time face to face with clients rather than bogged in administration tasks that in some case offer little to no value to clients. I’d love to see a regime that based on education, compliance history and industry experience, there was a more relaxed advice model. For me, it’s about how do I create more quality time with clients and less non-client facing time.
- The areas on their finances or economy that worry your clients the most?
I’d say with confidence that its running out of money in retirement or facing another global financial crisis. It’s very daunting at first when clients retire. Drawing on savings versus adding to savings is very unsettling for them and takes a period of adjustment. Adding to this concern is the volatility in investment markets since the GFC. This has made clients more conservative than ever before. It’s for this reason I believe having a trusted adviser is more important now than ever before to guide, coach and support clients through all stages of their life.
- What's the strangest question a client has ever asked you?
Not sure if it’s the strangest, but certainly it’s asked more often than you’d expect. How old am I. This seems to be important to clients to ensure they are dealing with someone old enough to life experiences but also young enough I’ll be around longer than them. Now of course that theory isn’t guaranteed, but certainly clients seem comforted by the fact I’m mid 40s and sometime from retiring myself.
- If you could get three things into consumers' heads about what advisers do or don't do what would they be?
a) We are financial coaches, that guide, coach and making them accountable to ensure they make informed and educated decisions about their money
b) We are not stockbrokers or insurance agents.
c) We don’t sell products, we are in the advice business.
- How do you describe your job at BBQs?
I help everyday people make informed financial decisions through education and accountability to improve the likelihood of them achieving their financial and retirement goals. We aim to protect, manage and grow their wealth through strategic advice.
- How does a consumer choose a financial adviser?
I often explain to clients that you should first be considering someone that has invested in themselves. By that I mean, completed either a Masters in Financial Planning or have become a Certified Financial Planner. By holding either of these qualifications, you know they’ve been in the industry for some time, have spent considerable money attaining this qualification and more likely have financial planning as their chosen career. In addition, I’ve always suggested that clients see a few advisers with the above qualifications to determine who they may best connect with. This is a lifetime relationship, so be sure to choose someone that you feel comfortable with so you can in time like, know and trust.