Our Adviser Profile this week is Kevin Witham, a Platinum adviser with 31 client reviews with an average client rating of 95%. Kevin is the Principal at KWA Financial Services, which operates out of Canterbury in Melbourne.
- Best thing about being a financial adviser?
The best thing about being a financial adviser is being able to see the satisfaction grow in people who take control of their lives financially.
- One thing you would like to see improved or changed in the industry?
I think vertical integration must be outlawed before we will be considered a real profession. Bank sales people bring everyone down with them.
I would also like fees to be based upon fixed quotes and do away with the one size fits all concept of 1% or some other percentage based “fee”.
- The areas on their finances or economy that worry your clients the most?
Clients hate changes to superannuation laws which create scepticism in the system. Most people see superannuation as something the government will tax when they are struggling to balance budgets.
- What's the strangest question a client has ever asked you?
Would you want me as a client?
- If you could get three things into consumers' heads about what advisers do or don't do what would they be?
a) Advisers can help people invest into sound markets but they aren’t responsible for market emotion.
b) As an adviser, I want my clients to ring or email me when they have a concern. Our job is to help them navigate through their various stages of life and they will have concerns from time to time. The worst person to talk to is someone not qualified and who probably doesn’t have much experience but is happy to share their view of the world. Good advisers want their clients to stay in contact.
c) Advisers are not sales people.
- How do you describe your job at BBQs?
I help people to understand, manage and protect their money better through various stages of their lives.
- Do you have a perfect client that you pursue?
No. I’m happy talking to all people interested in getting their financial lives in order. I may end up telling them that they should stay with their industry fund or that their insurances are currently adequate but I enjoy talking to people on these issues and want to see my profession seen as both objective and empathic.
- What is your pet hate?
I struggle with an education system that sends young men and women into the world with little, and usually no financial education. Surely some part of the Years Eleven and Twelve curriculums could be dedicated to seeing these young adults "tooled-up" financially for their years ahead. I make a pro-bono offer to children of clients who want to spend an hour or so with me, to get tips on budgeting and having processes in place to ensure that they are in charge of their financial lives and their superannuation savings from when they commence earning money.