Real Value of Advice (from a Financial Planner)

Measuring the value of advice from a financial planner starts with the FDS

The real value of advice from a financial planner is now easier to gauge.  With the requirement for a Fee Disclosure Statement (FDS) to be issued annually to each client of a financial planner, in respect of whom that planner receives income from any source, comes a report as to the services undertaken to be provided – and the fees received by the planner/ adviser for those services.

Whilst there may be a perceived gap between cost of a service and its real value, this document makes the measure clearer, more transparent. (We posted an article some time ago on the value of financial planning advice – in so far as applies at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd.)

Over a three-year period leading up to significant reforms in 2016, several changes to the practices and processes of the financial planning industry were legislated and/ or introduced by regulation. One of the changes is the annual Fee Disclosure Statement (FDS): a document that is mandatory for all clients who have engaged with their financial planner under a service package/ payment arrangement and whose first anniversary fell after 30 June 2013. Detailing both the fee contracted and the services promised, the FDS provides the benchmark by which the value of advice can be measured.
[Note: since the requirement came into effect Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd has issued the required FDSs on time, with all agreed services having been delivered – in many cases at a higher level of frequency than the agreed minimum. ContinuumFP delivers FDSs to all clients with Ongoing Service Packages regardless of when they commenced.]

Real value of advice from a financial planner looking at a value-cost graphIn the FDS, financial planners are required to restate the services that were agreed to; disclose the extent to which those services have been delivered; and also state the amount of the fee that was paid for the range of services agreed, during the twelve months up to the preparation of the report.  The Regulator (ASIC) has changed the emphasis of this annual report to clients, to focus on advice services,

We welcome feedback from clients after they have perused the FDS we issue to them: and we also invite discussion as to the satisfaction clients have with the level of service being provided – and what they perceive as value in the services delivered. In this regard we appreciate the many demands on your time, noting that fewer than 5% of clients who receive the FDS call to discuss any aspect of it.

Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd has been a ‘fee for service’ provider of investment services since its inception. We have also ensured that full fee disclosure is made to you on an annual basis – usually in an advice document, but otherwise in portfolio statements. Based on the feedback we get from clients when our established annual practice of reviewing the service package most suited to your needs, we understand that you are generally satisfied with both the quality of the service we deliver – and the real value of advice and services you receive in engaging ContinuumFP.

Experience the value of a ContinuumFP financial planner’s advice

We invite you to engage with us to discuss aspects of the services we provide and how we can best meet your wealth management needs in a professional, personalised way with fair outcomes for all concerned. To arrange a meeting with one of our financial adviser team, call our office on 07-3421 3456; or use the website Contact Us facility – and be assured your enquiry will be attended promptly and courteously.

[The original of this article was posted in May 2013: it has been updated to reflect the reinstatement of the FoFA reforms late in 2014; and occasionally further revised/ updated, most recently in June 2020.]