Fee for Service Policy
Under our fee for service policy, advice fees are quoted before work commences; and ongoing adviser service arrangements (OASAs) are packaged and priced according to the needs and requirements of our clients.
Each client is treated as an individual at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd: we recognise their individual needs and have structured our service offering to best suit those needs. We offer four standard-service offerings – and we customise services to add to these core packages for each individual as required. The standard-service offerings allow us to efficiently meet our clients’ core needs for financial planning/ wealth management services and are priced to reflect our operational efficiency.
The range and frequency of services provided for each client is agreed at the time of confirming our engagement, with customised variations agreed as required. A fixed price for the agreed services is struck at the commencement of our arrangements with each client. These arrangements are revisited on a regular basis, at least annually. (Since the introduction of our service package policy, the rules and regulations applying to all advisers requires documented confirmation of the arrangements on a systematic basis. As our policy is more stringent than the regulations require, we have not had to change these policies whilst we remain compliant with the rules as they apply as from 1 July 2013.)
Payment for Services
Operating on a ‘fee for service’ basis, we offer clients two options for payment.
In respect of initial advice, upfront charges are generally collected directly from the client (who may opt to have this paid by a product provider). Ongoing adviser service arrangement fees are generally collected in the form of a monthly adviser revenue. These are usually collected as a fixed dollar monthly payment, though in some circumstances, at the preference of the client, as a % of funds we manage for (or insurance premiums paid by) the client.
Whichever method of payment is selected by the client, there is transparency in disclosure as to what the costs are and what services have been agreed upon.
Annual Fee and Services Disclosure
Prior to the FoFA laws coming into effect, we provided regular advice to clients as to the services provided – and the fees paid by them – since the previous update. Since 1 July 2013 we have adopted the annual Fee Disclosure Statement (FDS) requirement more broadly than is required under the FoFA regulations. Our current practice is that all clients who have entered into a service arrangement with Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd receive the FDS within a 30-day period of the anniversary of their most recent version of their engagement package with us.
Standard fee for service Packages
Our base level package – Package D – is a ‘low touch’ offering for the client who has no immediate need for direct advisor contact beyond the initial engagement arrangement.
Our base-level advisor-contact package – Package C – is a ‘low touch’ offering for the client who is confident of their strategy; and of their ability to manage their portfolio.
The next level – Package B – is a ‘higher touch’ package that ensures we have regular contact with clients: this is a popular package for the relatively new client needing support in growing their understanding about investment matters; or the established client wanting to consult more regularly with their adviser.
Our service package for the client who wants to work closely with us in the development and management of their wealth strategies (and implementation thereof), is Package A.
Each of the above packages can be enhanced by taking additional services from a menu of options – again, at fixed prices.
Outside the arrangements
Other services requested subsequent to engagement are charged on an agreed basis for each service. Where clients seek our services beyond the agreed, customised package, our published hourly rate applies to the provision of their specific requirement. In most cases, we will be able to provide a quote before commencement of the task.
Where this service need arises, clients can be assured that a fair and reasonable attitude will apply to costs – and in cases where we have a detailed knowledge of the relevant facts, the cost will be considerably less than in those cases where we need to establish detailed background information.