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Financial Happenings Blog
Wednesday, October 06 2010

The main headline for Tuesday’s Australian Financial Review read “Planners’ fees slug consumers”.  If this did not get your attention it sure got mine.  Leong Yeow provided the following analysis:

  • Consumers are paying up to 3 times more in annual fees for financial advice since the changes banning commissions were introduced
  • Percentage based fees are as high as 1.5% of assets under management
  • Additional one-off upfront financial plan fees of $1,000 to $5,000 are being charged

You might think that as a financial planner I would be cringing at headlines such as these.  Granted it is not good for the industry as a whole but personally my reaction is quite the opposite.  It reminds me and hopefully my clients and future clients that A Clear Direction has been positioned to fight against the fee gouging that goes on through the industry.


So how do our fees stack up?


We would prefer to offer clients a flat annual fee that included all financial strategy and investment advice, capped at $4,400 p.a..  For some clients this flat fee is prohibitive so we also offer a fee based on a percentage of assets under management.  The maximum fee that any client pays this firm is 0.55% of their assets under management.  Research I have read suggests the average rate is more like 1.1% of assets under management.


We do charge one-off financial planning fees at a standard rate of $660 per annum,  a little bit more for complex plans.  We think this sits pretty well against the standard $1,000 to $5,000 being charged elsewhere.


One last point to cover is a definition for the term “Assets or Funds Under Management”.  For A Clear Direction this refers to the assets we manage on the behalf of clients.  For investment clients and clients with their own Self Managed Superannuation Fund, we don’t think we need to charge a fee to manage their cash assets so this does not fall under the assets we manage and therefore we do not charge a fee on this.  We do however continue to provide these clients with guidance as to how to make these cash assets work as hard as possible for them.


Without wanting to beat our own drum (we acknowledge we are giving the drum a pretty good going over in this blog) we think our service offering and pricing is very competitive.  In the end though, you need to find an adviser you feel comfortable with and who applies an approach to financial planning strategy and investment advice which you are at ease with.


If you would like to find out more information about A Clear Direction please take a look through our website or get in contact –



Scott Keefer

Posted by: Scott Keefer AT 12:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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