Our Adviser Profile this week is Paul Pellegrino, a Platinum Adviser with 10 reviews and an average client rating of 99%. Paul works out of Partners in Planning in Melbourne in Victoria. Do YOU think a one million dollar car is a good investment??
1. Best thing about being a financial adviser?
The best thing about being a financial adviser is being able to have a truly valued impact on the lives of my clients. Through both the good times, and the bad times, I knew I was able to make a positive impact on the lives of my clients, and this is what drew me to financial planning as soon as I completed university.
The strong professional relationship that a financial adviser builds with a client is something that not all professions are able to experience. The fact that I get to have a coffee and a chat with clients on a regular basis, and see how their lives have positively progressed as a result of sound advice, is by far my job’s biggest reward.
2. One thing you would like to see improved or changed in the industry?
This is a hot topic, and something that I feel extremely passionate about.
From the very beginning, Partners in Planning was created to challenge the every-day financial planning firm. We’re not your traditional financial planning firm. This is because we could see flaws in the current system. We wanted to challenge the financial planning industry by creating a culture of trust and honesty.
One thing that I would like to see drastically improve within the industry is putting advice first, and ceasing the pushing of a particular financial product or investment.
A financial planner’s main priority should be the best interests of the client, and not the profitability of a certain product or investment.
For this to happen, I believe that the banks must be completely removed from the financial planning space, so that the industry can remain honest and completely impartial.
As banks cannot be objective when they supply a product, it is important that they are not compared to the financial planners who can provide objective advice in the best interests of their clients
3. The areas on their finances or economy that worry your clients the most?
The most prominent concern that our clients have expressed to us is the Trump presidency and the impact that this will have on not only our client’s finances, but also the Australian economy.
However, I always ensure that our financial advisers have a long-term view that matches our client’s life goals, and this is something that I’ve found reduces any worry or stress.
4. What's the strangest question a client has ever asked you?
A client once asked me if I could convince his wife that buying an XY GTHO Phase 3 - would be a positive and successful investment decision.
This was one of the more out-of-the-ordinary requests that I have received. Given that the car was valued at $1,000,000, you can understand why my client's wife wasn't so convinced.
5. If you could get three things into consumers' heads about what advisers do or don't do what would they be?
I believe that the following three, important points need to be better understood by consumers;
a) Our job as financial planners is to help turn our clients’ wants (the realistic ones at least) into realities. We can help our clients achieve their goals, the fastest way possible. A financial adviser who isn’t working to achieve your goals, is a financial adviser you shouldn’t be working with.
b) Not all financial planners are built the same. Realistically, there are some financial planners out there who are strategically influenced by banks and other third parties. Be aware, do your research and find a planner that works to achieve your goals and takes the time to better understand you and your lifestyle.
c) A good, independent financial planner works for you and your best interests! This means that you are your financial planner’s main priority. You are number one. There are no exceptions. It’s as simple as that.
6. How do you describe your job at BBQs?
My job is best described as both fulfilling and rewarding. I am fortunate enough to be able to catch up with people, over coffee, to help them move forward financially, and remove any financial worry from their life.
I get to see people achieve their life goals, and obtain financial freedom. It’s rewarding, and it is something that drives me to create the best life for my clients every single day.
7.What is your approach to financial planning?
My approach to financial planning is extremely simple, and is guided by the following critical points;
The use of fundamental investing (tried and tested methodology);
Understanding that insurance should be used strategically to solve a problem, and not just for the sake of having it;
Running as efficiently as possible to ensure our fees remain economical, and our firm remains accessible;
Developing strong and professional relationships with our clients by having annual catch ups (by phone or in person) to ensure that our clients know that we are ALWAYS here to help.
8.What is your investment philosophy?
The Partners In Planning investment philosophy is simple; we LOVE the tried and tested methodology of fundamental investing. This is where our work begins, and where it ends.
One thing that ensures we can put into practice exactly what we preach is the fact that we can control our fees, and run as efficiently as possible- ensuring that we are economical and accessible. That’s the additional bonus of being independent, and the driving force behind our investment philosophy.
9. What do you say to someone who says “I can’t afford financial planning”
This is a comment that is frequently mentioned. Many people say that they cannot afford a financial planner. Honestly- I get it! I get that having a financial planner is an additional expense, and this is exactly why I founded Partners In Planning.
I wanted to provide clients with the opportunity to use the resources that a financial planner can offer to them, without feeling that the cost is out-of-reach.
Because we are independent, we have the capacity to keep our fees as low, and as economical as possible. This makes us extremely accessible, even if you are living week to week.
The reality is, a financial planner does more than just organise investments. Managing difficult student loans, executing estate planning, or even putting practices into place so that our client’s children can attend university are just some examples of the benefits of seeking advice from a financial planner.
A financial planner should be one of the first people you contact if a spouse were to die or become disabled, if you earn an inheritance or even divorce.
The biggest caveat here is making sure that you obtain advice from the right advisor. If you are vigilant and have done your research, the right financial planner can help you meet your financial goals.
The benefits of financial planning exceed the detriments, and it is important to note that with the right advice, seeing a financial planner can save you money… after all, that’s our job!