A sign in reception at SEQ Advice on Barolin Street states their mission as clear as day: “we’re here to help you own tomorrow”. Between their offices in Bundaberg, New Farm, Ipswich and Gold Coast, the financial planning firm has 22 staff and 500 clients, with about $300 million under management.
Managing Director Bill Beimers said his aim was to make finance and investment understandable, to improve quality of life. “Whether you’ve got $20 grand or $50 million; doesn’t matter. What’s important is for people to make that last through retirement,” he said. “Our life expectancy is longer. Even at 60 most of us probably have another 30 years ahead of us, so we want to help our clients have financial peace of mind.”
Bill said it was becoming increasingly difficult for investors to navigate the right investment options. “Investors are looking for advice that is tailored to their specific circumstances, in a manner that sits within their comfort zone or appetite for risk,” he said. “We generally advise our clients in the present climate to take a diverse investment approach for their portfolio; take a step back while the world finds a new normal, because we don’t know what’s going to happen when Government stimulus ends, or the broader implications from the COVID-19 global environment.”
Bill said yields from cash deposits and bonds were at an all time low, returning less than one per cent per annum. “Ten years ago term deposits were returning four to six per cent and considered a reasonable investment,” he said. “The property market seems to be in a bubble at the moment, so many investors edging towards retirement are faced with these more volatile investment options, which definitely poses a dilemma.”
Bill said the global stock market had been performing very strongly, with many international indices reaching all-time highs. “People need to be very careful not to chase returns based on the performance of the past 12 months. The All Ordinaries, for example, are up by close to 30 per cent,” he said. “It’s tempting, but you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and leave yourself over exposed at the wrong time in life.”
Bill said it was important to consider other financial strategies too, other than investing. “Ten years out from retirement, it’s important to look at ways to maximise Social Security entitlements. How can we structure your assets and investments to minimise unnecessary taxes and increase your eligibility for the age pension.”
*Bill’s comments are general in nature, only. Please consider your personal circumstances and seek independent advice before making investment decisions.
Visit: 51 Barolin Street, Bundaberg South www.seqadvice.com.au