In conversation with David Harvie and Campbell Sorrell on planning considerations for SMSF trustee and investor

Friday November 24, 2017

With over 20 years' experience in the financial services sector David Harvie have gained extensive knowledge within a range of organisations from corporate brokerages to boutique firms. Working closely with family offices, business owners and professional individuals, he has provided tailored strategic advice and wealth management solutions to assist his clients reach their short term goals, as well as helping them prepare for their future lifestyle requirements. Now his focus is partnering with external organisations to provide our range of services that make a real difference to the financial wellbeing and outcomes for business owners, C Suite executives, staff and most importantly, a difference in the lives of families. He is adept at understanding the value proposition that a business has and joining the dots to leverage opportunities for growth between organisations. With a passion for developing innovative client solutions, he strives to provide ongoing leadership and entrepreneurial insights to the industry leading financial advisers at Shadforth. As an accomplished public presenter, he is a strong advocate of simplifying often complex financial strategies and terms so our clients are empowered and feel confident to make informed financial and investment decisions. A seasoned traveller, his experience and interest in different cultures and philosophies helps in developing strong relationships with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. He enjoys spending time with his young family, or challenging himself with various race or charity cycling events. An active member of Rotary, and is a Governor at The American Chamber of Commerce as well as other networking groups.

Campbell Sorrell is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) practitioner, the highest accreditation in the financial planning profession. He is also a SMSF Specialist Adviser (SSAT), has completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at Monash University and holds a Diploma of Financial Planning from Deakin University.  Campbell was recently ranked number 7 in The Australian's Barron's Top 50 Financial Advisers of 2017. He has previously been a finalist in the AFR Smart Investor Masterclass for Financial Planning and short listed in the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) Value of Advice Awards. Campbell began his financial services career in 1992 at Coopers & Lybrand chartered accountants and joined a Shadforth Financial Group founding member firm (Haintz Financial Services) as a Senior Financial Adviser in 2003 before being appointed as a Director. Campbell is a past Melbourne Chapter Committee member of the FPA and has been a Master of Ceremonies and guest speaker at major industry events and conferences. He is the author of several whitepapers, a regular media contributor and has lectured in financial planning at the University of Melbourne. Campbell helps successful people achieve their goals by making smarter financial decisions. This provides them with freedom and confidence to spend more time doing what they love. His client base includes senior executives, business owners, retirees, high net wealth individuals and not-for-profits. Campbell's areas of expertise include cashflow modelling, goals-based investing, wealth creation, superannuation planning and philanthropic services.

Thank you to David Harvie, National Relationship Manager and Campbell Sorrell, Private Client Adviser from Shadforth Financial Group  for joining us in this Q&A.

Would you be able to tell us a little bit about Shadforth and your collective experience in the SMSF industry?

David: Shadforth is a national professional services firm with seven capital city offices and eight regional ones. We have over 100 advisers supported by dedicated local teams. We partner with over 10,000 private clients and have over $10 billion in funds under management. We’re part of the IOOF group, which is an advice-led ASX listed firm with a $3 billion market capitalisation and strong balance sheet.

Campbell: We have a number of advisers who are accredited SMSF Specialist Advisers (SSA™) and recognised industry-wide for their skills and knowledge in the SMSF sector as well as SIS, Tax and Corporations Law.  SMSF advice is a key part of our comprehensive strategic offering for clients that encompasses all elements of their financial lives..  By putting clients’ interests at the heart of everything we do, our focus is to make a meaningful difference in their lives. Our advice starts with developing an understanding of our clients’ most important life goals and comprehensive cashflow modelling is a core component of every client’s financial plan. By taking the time to understand what really matters most to our clients and by incorporating goals-based advice, we are able to assess the role of a SMSF in their financial journey. SMSFs are the fastest growing and largest part of the superannuation system and the super pie is going to get bigger. Our role of guiding clients to make informed decisions is growing in importance.

What do you feel are the main planning challenges for SMSF trustees and investors following the recent reforms?

Campbell: It’s imperative that SMSF trustees and investors understand the new superannuation regime and that now there’s additional complexity. One of the key components is reviewing transfer balance accounts, how they’ve been set up and ensuring instructions are in place for the SMSF.

Another important consideration is estate planning and reviewing current arrangements. This includes death benefit nominations and whether to use reversionary pensions.

David: There‘s also a number of issues to consider and this reinforces the importance of engaging with qualified advisers to help navigate successfully in this new world. Our role is to help SMSF trustees and investors identify and understand the relevant issues and how they’re impacted to ensure they are taking advantage of the planning opportunities. This also includes being aware of the pitfalls they need to avoid. Importantly, technology is now much better placed to help with the collection and integration of information as the industry moves to more real-time reporting.

Do you view the changes as a risk or an opportunity for your clients? 

Campbell: It’s a double-edged sword. There are enormous planning opportunities and significant value-adds, however, you need to tread carefully to avoid making mistakes that could have a detrimental impact to their financial wellbeing. We need to continue adding value and educating our clients on the underlying planning issues to improve their overall financial position.

David: At the same time, the information paradox means that whilst trustees have access to a plethora of investment choices, planning options and strategic decisions, it may be difficult to know which way to turn. A conversation with one of our advisers about what’s really important to the Trustees can help with determining these priorities and making decisions that are most suitable for their circumstances. These are the things that matter.

Your presentation at the upcoming Superannuation conference will discuss, among other topical concerns, investment philosophy approaches in portfolio construction. Is there a particularly successful example of this in action that stands out for you recently?

Campbell: Our role is to help clients make smarter financial decisions to enhance their lives. We’ve been partnering with many of them for a long time and have built close enduring relationships. A key part of their success has been the ability to negotiate challenging market conditions such as the global financial crisis and take advantage of government disruption and new strategic advice opportunities. Our evidence-based approach to portfolio construction has been an important part of this journey to manage risk and reduce client anxiety. By accessing markets efficiently and performing ongoing portfolio rebalancing, our clients have been able to stay the course and ensure that emotion has not corroded their framework. Also, it’s meant that we’ve been able to deliver world-class investment solutions and leading-edge advice.

In what instances would you recommend practitioners seek advice from financial advisors and how can the industry as a whole work collaboratively to achieve the best outcome for SMSF clients?

David: It’s important for practitioners to understand what advice they can provide in the new regulatory regime and to partner with financial advisers who have the necessary skills and expertise to help deliver appropriate advice outcomes. Practitioners need to ask themselves whether they are the right professional to guide the client on this journey. By working collaboratively, practitioners and advisers should be able to deliver even better outcomes for clients.

Finally (and this will no doubt be a mixed bag of responses!) - what is the best piece of advice you’ve been given within your professional life?

Campbell: Let time be your best friend and not your worst enemy as an investor. Benefit from the power of compounding and be patient. Then, by adding diversification  which I call the free lunch, the concept of being a successful investor becomes a reality.

David: Price is only an issue in the absence of value. This starts with being clear on the value one provides as an adviser or as a firm. By making a real difference in the lives of clients today, they can plan for a more confident tomorrow and be comfortable with the engagement they have with their adviser or accountant and see the true value in the advice relationship.” DH

Shadforth Financial Group ABN 27 127 508 472 AFSL 318613

David and Campbell recently spoke at the 3rd Annual Superannuation Essentials Conference: Life After the 2017 Reforms seminar held in Sydney. Did you miss them? If so, purchase the recording!


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