Our Adviser Profile this week is Heidi Schwegler, a Platinum Adviser with 13 client reviews and an average customer rating of 4.95 out of 5 stars. Heidi advises from AHS Financial in Parkville in Melbourne.
1. Best thing about being a financial adviser?
I love being able to remove the uncertainty that hangs over my clients when they come to see me. I enjoy educating my clients and empowering them with knowledge to confidently move to the next stage in their financial journey. My aim is to help people make smart, long-term financial decisions so by default, I try and stop people from making some not-so-smart financial decisions!
2. One thing you would like to see improved or changed in the industry?
I’d like to see greater trustworthiness and a positive change in the perception towards financial planners. It’s a shame to be criticised by the masses for a handful of bad apples.
3. The areas on their finances or economy that worry your clients the most?
Clients come to me because they are uncertain about something. It might be they are unsure how long their money will last in retirement or whether they will be alright financially. They might wonder how quickly they can pay off their mortgage and grow their nest egg or how they can support their loved one through the aged care process. Whatever the issue, every client says that they want to be “financially secure” but this means something different to each of us and my role is to help clients navigate this path.
4. What's the strangest question a client has ever asked you?
I’ve had a single 61-year-old woman ask whether I can assist her find a life partner because she didn’t want to retire alone. It was quite sad because she saw retirement as ‘the end of life’ rather than the beginning.
5. If you could get three things into consumers' heads about what advisers do or don't do what would they be?
a) We take people from being uncertain about something to being certain and confident
b) We act in the best interest of our clients, even if it means turning clients away or telling them to come back when they are ready
c) We tell the hard truths to clients, even it means they may not want to hear it.
6. How do you describe your job at BBQs?
I help people make smart, long-term financial decisions and take the financial uncertainty away.
7. Have you won any industry awards
Yes. Our business won the Most Trusted Practice, Most Recommended Practice and Most Trusted Adviser awards in 2016 from the Beddoes Institute, an independent research organisation. I also won Securitor’s National Adviser of the Year in 2016 and was a finalist in 2015.