The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2016-04-11T02:55:46Z Perth Financial Planners Provide Comforting Facts About Recent Bear Market 2016-04-11T02:55:46Z perth-financial-planners-provide-comforting-facts-about-recent-bear-market Perth, WA, 11 April 2016 - Recently, Perth firm Approved Financial Planners posted a timely blog about the recent fall of the ASX 200 into a “bear market.” Approved Financial Planners is a firm that is backed with the resources of parent company AMP Capital. One of those resources is Dr Shane Oliver, Chief Economist and Head of Investment Strategy and Economics for the parent company. In his column called “Oliver’s Insights,” Dr Oliver posted an article on the AMP Capital company blog that may have a calming influence on those who are worried about the bear market. (1)For some background, the ASX 200 fell into what is called a “bear market” in February 2016. Currently, a “bear market” means that shares have declined from their most recent high. The “high” from which the ASX 200 fell 20% occurred in April 2015. Dr Oliver noted that “bear markets aren’t always of the grizzly variety” because they are of varying lengths and depths. (1) Dr Oliver sees it as “unfortunate” that the only metrics for a “bear market” are a 20% fall from the previous high. The worst bear market in Australian history was from January 1973 to September 1974, when the drop was 59%. On the other hand, the bear market from April 2011 to September 2011 only fell 22%. (1), (2)Due to these wildly divergent depths and lengths of bear markets in Australian history, Dr Oliver would prefer different definitions of correction markets and bear markets. He also sees it as “unfortunate” that there is no official to pronounce or define a market as a bear market or a correction market. (1)Dr Oliver would prefer a market which features sharp falls in a previously rising market lasting a short duration, such as a “few months,” followed by recovery to a rising market again, as a “correction market.” He would prefer that the term “bear market” be saved for a market which features a “pattern of falling lows and highs” lasting “many months or years” with shares failing to return to previous highs for “at least a year.” (1)What The Current Bear Market Could Mean for Financial PlanningAccording to Dr Oliver, the probability that shares will climb upward by the end of 2016 is 65%. He bases this on his analysis of past bear markets and a few key factors. He feels that a prolonged bear market is likely only if there is a recession in Australia or the US and there is a “sharp fall in earnings.” According to Dr Oliver, current numbers don’t indicate either of these events happening. (1), (3)(1)AMP Capital, 18 February 2016. Dr Shane Oliver. Oliver’s Insights: “There’s a bear in there – what drives mild versus deep bear markets.”(2) ASX, Global Financial Data, Bloomberg, AMP CapitalLocated in Perth, Approved Financial Planners provide a full menu of financial services to their clients in the Perth area. They have the resources and backing of parent company AMP Capital and use them to the fullest to help provide the best in financial planning, investment planning and mortgage broking to the Perth market. To learn more, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.Approved Financial PlannersApproved Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN: 52 116 910 528, trading as Approved Financial Planners is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706.General Advice WarningWhat you need to know.Any advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. “Back to Basics” Approach to Investment Planning Mitigates Risk 2016-02-29T07:35:33Z back-to-basics-approach-to-investment-planning-mitigates-risk Perth, WA, 29 February 2016 - According to the Head of Multi-Asset Portfolio Management for AMP Capital, Debbie Alliston, it could make sense for investors to employ a “back to basics” approach to investment planning. The basics to which she refers: portfolio diversification and professional management of equity risk premium (ERP).*Low cash interest rates, not only in Australia but globally, have caused returns in many financial market investments to soften. Yields from bonds and other asset classes are currently low and Ms Alliston believes that growth will continue to be sluggish.*Globally, 2015 is expected to mark four consecutive years of positive returns in the global equities markets. However, some markets are better than others, leaving investors unsure of the future of their equities investments. Australian equities, after years of outperforming the global average, began underperforming in 2013 and continued through 2015. Ms Alliston doesn’t predict an upturn until at least 2017.*Equity Risk Premium (ERP)Equity risk premium means that investors are rewarded for their risk by a higher return on their investment. Since 1900, Australian equities were close to 6.0% ERP, compared to 4.5% from US equities. However, Ms Alliston predicts an Australian ERP of between 3.5% and 4.0% in Australia and 5.5% to 6.0% in Asia and other “emerging markets.”*Overall, Ms Alliston believes that equities will be what she terms an “asset of choice” due to returns that will be better than those of cash and bonds. She is not bullish on Australian shares, however, as they have underperformed global shares for five consecutive years.*DiversificationDiversification is a way to protect one’s portfolio from equity risk. Diversifying a portfolio means using different investments that are not all dependent on one set of economic conditions to prosper. When one economic indicator or market lags, another can “pick up” or at least remain constant, mitigating losses.*Ms Alliston mentions Government bonds, which can outperform equities in times of market corrections. Other examples are property, infrastructure, currency and private equity, all of which depend upon different factors for prosperity.*Back to BasicsMs Alliston feels that investors should examine their portfolios for diversification or the lack thereof. She believes that portfolio construction is a very specialised skill that can be used to maximise results for investors. She also believes that professionally managed multi-asset vehicles are a “sensible” investment.*Daniel Stevens is a financial planner for Approved Financial Planners in Perth. Approved Financial Planners are affiliated with AMP capital. According to Mr Stevens: “Ms Alliston is a great resource and one of many that AMP Capital provides for us. This allows us to give our clients the right financial advice. We agree wholeheartedly that a ‘back to basics’ approach and professionally managed multi-asset vehicles can help reward investors for their risk while mitigating potential losses.” *AMP Capital, Debbie Alliston. “Is it time to go back to basics?” 09 December 2015.Approved Financial Planners provide investment planning and a full menu of financial planning services. They have been a trusted name in Perth and are now affiliated with AMP Capital, giving them the resources of one of Australia’s largest investment firms to offer to their clients. To learn more or for a free consult, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.Approved Financial PlannersDaniel Stevens, Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of Approved Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN: 52 116 910 528, trading as Approved Financial Planners, Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327, Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706.General Advice WarningWhat you need to know.Any advice contained in teds of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Australians “Lost” $16 Billion in Superannuation Funds in 2014 2016-01-14T08:37:13Z australians-lost-16-billion-in-superannuation-funds-in-2014 Perth, WA, 14 January 2016 - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) revealed statistics for 2014 that may come as a surprise to you. According to the ATO, $16 billion was “lost” by Australians in superannuation accounts. These are known as “lost supers.” (1)This money is just sitting in unclaimed superannuation accounts, waiting to be claimed by the people who own the accounts. Many Australians may have “lost supers” and not even know about it. (2)Each job has its own super fund. When people change jobs, they sometimes forget about their super. A person who has had multiple jobs often has multiple supers. Each of these supers is taking out various charges and fees. These can add up to thousands of dollars over a working lifetime. (2)An Australian with multiple or “lost” supers can save thousands of dollars by consolidating them into one account. The money they save on fees is compounded and can rise exponentially over a working lifetime. (2)How Superannuation Funds Become “Lost” As mentioned before, changing jobs is a common way that supers become lost. But they can also become lost because someone changes their address or their name. The criteria for a super fund member being reported to the ATO as “lost” are as follows:The super fund cannot contact the member.The fund has not recorded any activity in the form of contributions or rollover accounts from the member in five years.The member shifts the account to a new super fund as a “lost super,” but the new super can’t contact the member. (2)What is an “Unclaimed Super?”The money from lost supers remains in the super fund. However, there are multiple sets of circumstances in which the monies in a lost super are turned over to the ATO. In this case, the monies stay with the ATO until claimed. One example is an account holding less than $2,000 with no contributions in the preceding year and insufficient data to identify the holder of the account. (2)Benefits of Claiming a Lost SuperOne of the many benefits of claiming a lost super is that it allows the account holder to consolidate the “lost super” into their current account. This cuts down on fees. The money saved on fees is invested and compounded over a period of many years and can increase exponentially. (2)Consolidating all of one’s supers into one superannuation account also makes it easier for the account holder to track their finances. (2)Finding a Lost SuperOne or more lost supers can be found by contacting every former place of employment and having them check their records. The super could be with a state, a territory or the ATO. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) can also aid in finding lost supers.According to Daniel Stevens, Financial Planner at Approved Financial Planners in Perth: “Perhaps the easiest way to find and consolidate lost supers is to contact a qualified financial planner.”Approved Financial Planners offer superannuation help and a full menu of financial planning services to their clients in the Perth area. They are backed by the resources of AMP Capital. The financial planners and advisors in their Perth area office have more than 80 years combined financial industry experience. To learn more, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.(1) Australian Taxation Office--Research and statistics. Super accounts data overview, 2015.(2) AMP Capital. How do I find my lost super? https://www.amp.com.au/personal/super-and-retirement/services/find-lost-super Approved Financial PlannersDaniel Stevens, Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of Approved Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN: 52 116 910 528, trading as Approved Financial Planners, Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327, Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706.General Advice WarningWhat you need to know.Any advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Estate Planning Advisers Warn: “Know Where Your SMSF is Going if You Die.” 2015-12-16T05:00:49Z estate-planning-advisers-warn-know-where-your-smsf-is-going-if-you-die Perth, WA, 16 December 2015 - It is important for those who have families and assets to make sure that their families have access to those assets in a timely manner and without paying excess taxes. Recently, Financial Planner Daniel Stevens of Approved Financial Planners in Perth provided a guide on his company’s blog to help consumers ensure that their Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) were going to go where they are intended to go in the case of their death. According to Mr Stevens: “Death is not something most of us consider, but it is inevitable for all of us. We like to help our clients protect their loved ones in the case of their deaths and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure their supers end up with the people who are supposed to get them and in a timely manner.”Disbursing the Super in Case of DeathWhen someone dies, the money in their super plus any wealth protection or life insurance payments due to the super are added together to form the “death benefit.” The death benefit is then dispersed by the trustee of the SMSF to the dependants or the estate of the deceased. (1)Any surviving spouse or former spouse, including de facto partners, are defined as “dependants.” Children under the age of 18 are considered dependants, as are anyone with whom the decedent had an interdependent financial relationship or anyone who was financially dependent upon the decedent. (1)Binding and Non-Binding NominationsThe owner of a super fund can nominate people to receive benefits in a binding or non-binding manner. If the nomination is binding, the trustee is forced to pay one or more dependants or your legal representative who must pay the money according to your will. A non-binding nomination allows the trustee to make the final decision and the trustee is not required to follow any instructions. (1)Taxation of Death BenefitsTaxation of death benefits can be complicated, but is determined by some basic factors. These include whether or not the decedent or the beneficiaries are older or younger than 60 years old, the benefit was paid as an income stream or a lump sum. If you are a dependant of the deceased, you do not tax on any component of a superannuation death benefit if you receive it as a lump sum.According to Mr Stevens: “Estate planning can be complicated. That’s why we always recommend seeing a professional who can help guide you through the process and make sure your family is protected in their time of need.”Approved Financial Planners offer strategic estate planning advice, financial planning, retirement planning, wealth protection and self-managed superannuation services in the Perth area. They specialise in helping people from widely divergent backgrounds and financial situations maximise their retirement and their estates while maintaining their current lifestyles. To learn more or to arrange an individual consult, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.(1) Australian Securities and Investments Commission, MoneySmart, “Super Death Benefits,” https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/how-super-works/insurance-through-super/super-death-benefits. 21 August 2015.(2) Australian Taxation Office, “Superannuation Death Benefits,” https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Deceased-estates/Superannuation-implications/. 4 June 2014.Approved Financial PlannersDaniel Stevens of Approved Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN: 52 116 910 528, trading as Approved Financial Planners is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706.General Advice WarningWhat you need to know.Any advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Active Asset Allocation Gains Popularity; Perth Financial Planners Urge Caution 2015-10-12T04:38:27Z active-asset-allocation-gains-popularity-perth-financial-planners-urge-caution Perth, WA, 12 October 2015 - In Perth, financial planners find themselves advising a growing number of investors who are using active asset allocation to grow their investments. Daniel Stevens, who provides financial services in a Perth area firm called Approved Financial Planners, cautions investors to be careful when allocating assets.According to Mr Stevens: “While the low interest rate is great for many sectors of the economy, it is not favourable for those who have inordinate amounts of money in traditional cash investments such as term deposits, because low interest rates dictate low rates of return. Some of these investors are opting to invest their money in equities and bonds, which are more volatile than cash investments.”Approved Financial Planners are located in the Perth area but are now backed by AMP Capital. That allows them to combine the customer service dynamic of a smaller firm with the resources of a large firm. One of those resources is Dr Shane Oliver, the Chief Economist for AMP Capital. Recently, Dr Oliver published an informative post on the AMP Capital Blog. The post was entitled, “The perils of switching–why active asset allocation makes sense but why it needs to be done properly.” In the post, Dr Oliver revealed some surprising facts about how money grows in various investment vehicles. One graph tracked how much one dollar would be worth today if invested in three different investment vehicles in 1900. The numbers assume that the dollar would have made “average” earnings and all money would be compounded or “rolled over.”A dollar put in cash investments and rolled over would be worth $224 today. The same dollar would have grown to $802 today if invested in bonds. However, if that dollar had been invested in Australian equities, it would now be worth $438,844.*Since Dr Oliver’s intent was to illustrate the importance of putting a lot of thought into active asset allocation, he offered another set of statistics. In a balanced fund of 75% Australian Equities, 20% bonds and 5% cash, $100 invested in July 1928 would have compounded to $518,009 today. Meanwhile, if an investor had put the same $100 in a balanced fund in 1928, converted it to cash after every negative year for the balanced fund and put it back into the balanced fund after the next positive year, that fund would contain $173,656.*According to Mr Stevens, “This illustrates how difficult it is to grow your money by allocating assets. Active asset allocation is a great way to grow your funds, but you have to know the market and your reactions have to be both fast and accurate.”Mr Stevens concluded: “That is why so many people would rather contact a financial planner and let a professional help them with asset allocation.”*AMP Capital: “The perils of switching–why active asset allocation makes sense but why it needs to be done properly.” Dr Shane Oliver.Approved Financial Planners is a firm located in Ascot, WA. They have been serving the Perth area since 2005. They are backed by parent company AMP Capital. They offer a full range of financial services such as financial planning, investment planning, wealth protection and mortgage broking. Their financial planners have more than 80 years combined experience in the financial services industry. To contact a financial planner, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/. Approved Financial PlannersDaniel Stevens of Approved Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN: 52 116 910 528, trading as Approved Financial Planners is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706.General Advice WarningWhat you need to know.Any advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Chief Economist of AMP Capital Remains Optimistic about the Australian Economy 2015-07-20T03:27:35Z chief-economist-of-amp-capital-remains-optimistic-about-the-australian-economy Perth, WA, 20 July 2015 - The financial services field in Perth is a busy one. There have been so many changes in markets, mining, home loans, property and superannuation over the last ten years that it takes talented professionals to keep track of them and help Australians maximise their investments. Approved Financial Planners is a Perth mainstay. They recently became part of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited. This allows them to combine years of local knowledge with the resources of one of the largest and most trusted financial services companies in Australia. Recently, they published a piece on their company blog about Chief Economist of AMP Capital, Dr Shane Oliver, and his counterbalance of those who constantly predict “gloom and doom” for the Australian economy. According to Dr Oliver, there are seven main reasons to be optimistic about the Australian economy and its ability to fully recover from the roller coaster ride that began shortly before the Global Financial Crisis, continued through the Australian Mining Boom and has led Australia to where it currently sits, slowly recovering but not quickly enough for many economists.Slow GrowthWhile the economy is rising, the growth has been painstakingly slow in the eyes of most economists. Year to year growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of March was 2.3%, while economists would prefer a number between 3.0% and 3.5%. Consumer spending is up 2.6% but consumer demand is at minus 0.2%. Business investment is at minus 6.2%, but that is due to the mining industry and does not reflect other aspects of the economy.Reasons to Remain OptimisticDr Oliver sees seven reasons to remain optimistic about the economy. He sees the record low cash interest rate as the main reason for optimism. Dr Oliver points out that someone who takes out a $350,000 home loan would pay an average of $750 per month less to do it today than they would have four years ago. This is money that is spent in other segments of the economy. Dr Oliver also sees rising household wealth as a source of optimism. The market for shares in Australia is providing returns of approximately 10%. Home prices are up 9%. Superannuation funds that are based on balanced growth are providing returns of 14%. This is all seen as a benefit to spending.Dr Oliver cites other reasons, such as low petrol prices, a high rate of household savings, a low Australian dollar and high export volumes as reasons for optimism. When it is all added together, Dr Oliver feels that Australia managed the mining boom much better than previous booms in other markets. In most booms, a market imbalance is created where too many market segments boom at the same time, only to bust at the same time. This didn’t happen with the mining boom.The result is an economy that Dr Oliver feels is on its way back up, despite all of the naysayers.Approved Financial Planners is a financial services firm in Perth. They offer a one-stop solution to financial planning, mortgage broking, retirement planning and investment planning. To learn more or to arrange a free consult, call their Perth office on 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.Approved Financial PlannersApproved Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN: 52 116 910 528, trading as Approved Financial Planners is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706.General Advice WarningWhat you need to know.Any advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Little-Known Research Study Links Financial Planning with Psychological Benefits 2015-05-06T03:27:38Z little-known-research-study-links-financial-planning-with-psychological-benefits Perth, WA, 06 May 2015 - To most financial planners in the Perth area, the notion that financial planning increases one’s sense of well-being is considered a “no-brainer.” Most see it as “common sense” that someone whose present and future are secure would have a better sense of well-being than those who are worrying about where their next dollar is coming from. Many would also see it as “common sense” that people who increase their wealth would display more satisfaction with their lives on life satisfaction surveys. However, many may not know about a research study that assembled a plethora of research about financial planning and psychological well-being. The study was authored by Kym Irving of Queensland Institute of Technology in 2012 and published in the Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, Volume 6, Issue 4. What the Research IndicatesAccording to the study, there is a link between life satisfaction, psychological well-being and financial planning. For the study, Ms Irving referred to a traditional, six-step model of financial planning. In that model, clients determine their scope of engagement, set goals, assess their financial situation, come up with a plan, follow the steps in the plan and review it both regularly and when significant life changes occur.*Out of the six steps, the three that seem to have the most positive effect on well-being are goal setting, planning to attain those goals and being engaged with one’s daily tasks.*Goal SettingMs Irving’s research indicates that goal setting often adds purpose and structure to life. According to her research, people who have a set of goals as a vision of their future tend to believe their lives have more meaning and are more likely to see their lives as “worthwhile.” The goals don’t necessarily have to be attained for the client to enjoy psychological benefits; they are a by-product of the journey, not the result.*Having a Good Financial PlanCreating a plan for the future helps one become more engaged with their daily tasks. Engagement is now seen as essential to a sense of psychological well-being. Having a plan and taking steps towards fulfilling that plan create a sense of mastery over one’s environment. This sense of environmental mastery is very empowering and is now seen as a causative factor in reduced anxiety, reduced depression, a better sense of well-being and an overall improvement in one’s state of mental health.*Reality vs PerceptionAccording to Daniel Stevens, Financial Planner at Approved Financial Planners in Perth, “Most financial planners had already figured out that people who provide themselves with a more prosperous lifestyle and ensure their futures tend to be happier and have a better sense of well-being, but it’s nice to see that there is some research to support it.”*Kym Irving, 2012. Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, Volume 6, Issue 4. “The Financial Life Well-Lived: Psychological Benefits of Financial Planning.”Approved Financial Planners is a financial planning firm with more than 80 years combined experience in providing financial planning help in Perth. They offer a wide array of financial services, including financial planning, estate planning, wealth protection and many others. To learn more about the benefits of financial planning, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.Approved Financial PlannersApproved Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN: 52 116 910 528, trading as Approved Financial Planners is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706.General Advice WarningWhat you need to knowAny advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters 5 Mistakes Commonly Made when Hiring a Financial Planner 2015-03-30T07:05:16Z 5-mistakes-commonly-made-when-hiring-a-financial-planner Perth, WA, 30 March 2015 - In the Perth area, there are a plethora of financial planners and financial planning firms. While this provides consumers with a lot of choices, it can also put them at risk for financial loss if they pick the wrong financial services provider. A Perth financial services firm, Approved Financial Planners, recently published a guide to help consumers choose a financial planner that is right for them. The guide is called, “Choosing a Financial Planner: 5 Crucial Errors to Avoid.” The guide provides information for those those looking for a financial planner for the first time or those who want to change financial planners. It lists five avoidable errors that can cost consumers money in the long term. Five Errors: a SummaryThe first avoidable error is a failure to conduct “due diligence.” Approved Financial Planners recommends checking the track record of prospective financial planners and their firms. In addition to track record, they suggest honesty, integrity and resources as important factors. The second error is confusing salesmen and share brokers with financial planners. A financial planner’s job is to consider a client’s entire financial situation and create a “roadmap” to achieving their goals. A share broker or salesman’s job is to sell financial products such as shares. Share brokers and salesmen don’t take a customer’s financial situation into account. This can result in losses if the product isn’t right for the client’s financial needs.The third error is not checking to see whether or not a financial advisor has been investigated or punished for misconduct. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) allows consumers to use their website to verify whether or not a financial advisor has ever been disciplined by ASIC.The fourth error is choosing the financial planner who charges the least. They feel that the quality of financial advice far outweighs cost as a determining factor when hiring a financial planner.The fifth error is not knowing a financial planner’s level of experience and expertise. They recommend investigating and interviewing numerous financial planners if necessary to ensure finding one that fits the client’s individual needs.Daniel Stevens has a wealth of experience helping clients in the Perth area achieve their financial goals. He is a financial planner at Approved Financial Planners. According to Mr Stevens:“Over the years, a lot of our business has come from people who weren’t satisfied with their previous financial planners. Some were nearly ruined by incompetent financial advice. In these cases, we ask how they chose their financial planners. Many said they listened to friends or chose the financial planner with the lowest price. While both of these strategies can occasionally succeed, the odds are much more in your favour if you use proven criteria to select a financial planner.”Approved Financial Planners is located in the Perth area. Their financial planners provide comprehensive financial services, including wealth protection, mortgage broking and retirement planning to clients in the Perth area. Their financial advisors have amassed more than 80 years combined experience, making them one of the most experienced financial planning firms in Perth. For the full version of their guide or to learn more, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.Approved Financial Planners ABN: 52 116 910 528 and Daniel Stevens are Authorised Representatives and Credit Representatives of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited Australian Financial Services Licencee and Australian Credit LicenceeGeneral Advice WarningWhat you need to knowAny advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters Financial Planning Firm Reveals How to Find the Right Financial Advisor 2015-02-06T16:44:54Z financial-planning-firm-reveals-how-to-find-the-right-financial-advisor Perth, WA, 6 February 2015 - A Perth area firm, Approved Financial Planners, recently made a unique post on their company blog. The post, about how to choose a financial planner, consisted mostly of recommendations by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on how to find a financial planner, as seen on ASIC’s MoneySmart website. Daniel Stevens, a financial planner for the firm, explained his actions thusly: “Anybody can make their own recommendations of what people should look for in a financial planner. That usually results in a biased post that is supposed to convince the reader that the company writing the article is the best choice. For this piece, we chose to discuss what the ASIC recommends and let people decide for themselves whether they want to choose our firm or find someone else for their financial advice.”Recommendations via ASICReferralsThe ASIC presents professional associations, such as the Financial Planning Association and the Association of Financial Planners, as the best places to begin research when looking for a financial advisor. If that isn’t satisfactory, the ASIC recommends soliciting referrals from friends and acquaintances. Financial Services GuideFor the next step in the process, the ASIC recommends asking each prospective financial advisor for a Financial Services Guide (FSG). This will contain relevant information such as a list of services and fees.Licensed AdvisorsThe ASIC also reminds Australians to only do business with financial planners who are licensed. The licence is called an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). Any business they represent should also hold an AFSL, according to the ASIC.Experience and QualificationsThe ASIC recommends that every consumer makes sure that any prospective financial planner or advisor is an expert in the services and strategies that they want to employ. They also provide a list of questions on their website that they feel are good to ask any prospective financial advisor.Current ProductsThe parameters and products in the investment industry are constantly changing and evolving. The ASIC recommends that consumers seek out financial advisors who keep up to date on current products offered by the industry. They also recommend that consumers avoid advisors who offer only one service or product.How Approved Financial Planners Fits inAccording to Mr Stevens, Approved Financial Planners is happy any time they get a chance to educate consumers: “We love posting on our blog because it gives us a chance to offer relevant information to consumers. We believe that an educated consumer is going to make intelligent choices. We also believe that one of those intelligent choices is to call us and see what we have to say.”Mr Stevens concluded, “If we can keep one person from making an expensive mistake, even if that person never contacts us, we feel that we are providing an important and necessary service to our community.”Approved Financial Planners offers a plethora of financial services, ranging from financial planning to wealth protection to retirement planning to superannuation. They are located in the Perth suburb of Ascot, WA. To learn more about Approved Financial Planners or for an individual consultation, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.General Advice WarningWhat you need to knowAny advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Approved Financial Planners Support Proposed Reform of Educational Requirements 2014-12-15T07:47:13Z approved-financial-planners-support-proposed-reform-of-educational-requirements Perth, WA, 15 December 2014 - Recently, the FPA submitted a proposal to the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC), requesting that educational standards for financial planners and advisors be elevated. Approved Financial Planners, a financial planning firm in Perth, recently offered their support in a post on their company blog, stating that they fully support elevation of industry standards and that it “can’t happen fast enough.” The proposal from the FPA is a nine-point plan which would provide a structure for enhanced education and regulation of the financial services industry. A brief description of the highlights appears below.Highlights of FPA ProposalTo become qualified to dispense tier 1 financial advice, a new financial planner or advisor would be required to obtain an AQF7 level degree and prove one year’s experience in the field over the previous three by 1 January 2018.Those who are already financial planners or financial advisors would have until 1 January 2019 to become compliant with the new standards.The RG146 curriculum would be replaced by a holistic curriculum providing a solid educational framework for educating financial planners and advisors. The Financial Planning Education Council would be responsible for approving an enhanced AQF7 curriculum.Financial planners would be required to complete 90 hours or points of continuing professional development (CPD) courses every three years.The new requirements would supercede the old requirement to take the national exam.Then Professional Standards Council and other organisations would create appropriate criteria to recognise professional bodies.Those professional bodies would work together to co-regulate the financial field and enhance consumer protection and consumer confidence.Only those who are certified members of a professional body would be allowed to call themselves a financial planner or financial advisor.General advice would be confined to factual information or factual explanations concerning products.Why Approved Financial Planners are in Favour of Educational ReformAccording to Dan Stevens, a financial planner at Approved Financial Planners in Perth, the financial industry needs financial reform:“For too long, people who aren’t qualified to give financial advice have been allowed to become certified and work in the field. Both Approved Financial Planners and our parent company, AMP, are strongly in favour of educational reform. We both have internal company standards that are far higher than the minimums required to provide financial advice. New standards would force everyone to elevate their standards closer to what we feel should be the norm.”Mr Stevens continued: “The proposed standards would be good for the industry as a whole, but the most important consideration is its impact on the consumer. Consumers would know that the person giving them financial advice was actually qualified to do so. That would eliminate many of the horror stories we hear on a daily basis.”Mr Stevens concluded, “It’s time to make the financial services industry safe for everyone who trusts us with their financial future.”Approved Financial Planners is a financial services firm which offers financial planning, wealth protection and self managed superannuation fund services. They are located in Perth and are associated with parent company AMP. To learn more about Approved Financial Planners, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.General Advice WarningWhat you need to knowAny advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Financial Advisor: Effective Retirees Have Five Habits in Common 2014-11-10T05:36:25Z financial-advisor-effective-retirees-have-five-habits-in-common Perth, WA, 10 November 2014 - Recently, Daniel Stevens of Approved Financial Planners, a firm that offers retirement planning and other financial services in Perth, published an observation piece on the company’s blog. The piece documented five habits that many successful and effective retirees and those who are setting themselves up for successful retirement have in common. Here are the five habits and some notes about each.Active Retirement PlannersEffective retirees start planning their retirements in advance. They take action, such as taking charge of their own investments and, in this era, their superannuation funds. While as many as two thirds of Australians take a passive approach to their superannuation funds by allowing their workplace to determine where their money goes, effective retirees know where their money is going.They Live on a BudgetEffective retirees live on budgets during their earlier years to save money that they can convert into investments in their futures. The first step of creating a budget is monitoring all ingoing and outgoing funds. This shows people where their money is going and makes it easier to create a realistic budget by asking themselves what they really need to be spending money on.They Receive Professional Financial AdviceEffective retirees understand that it is to their advantage to maximise every investment dollar, whether it is in their super fund or in other investments such as shares or investment properties. They realise that a strong financial planner who keeps up with investment markets can provide them with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise find out about. They Educate ThemselvesWhile they treasure professional advice, effective retirees also make it a point to know whatever they need to know about investing. If they choose property as a vehicle, they learn about the real estate market. If they choose shares, they learn all about shares. If they choose a diversified portfolio, they learn about every asset class in their portfolio.They Take Advantage of Tax ReliefEffective retirees know that investments are taxed differently, based on asset class and investment structure. They hire tax professionals to ensure they are not giving the Government a dollar more than they have to.Why it is Important to be EffectiveAccording to Mr Stevens, “The world of investing and superannuation funds has become extremely competitive. It takes a lot of drive and knowledge to maximise one’s retirement funds in this day and age. Those who realise this and treat their retirement planning and financial planning like a business are setting themselves up with a greater likelihood of success than those who aren’t paying attention and hope their super fund at work provides for their retirement.”Mr Stevens concluded, “Those who are successful at retiring with more than they need are usually the ones who are planning and taking an active role in their futures long before retirement age. Retirement should not be taken lightly.”Approved Financial Planners offers a full range of products, including retirement planning and wealth protection, in Perth. They are associated with AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited and have been serving Perth since 2005. To learn more or for an individual consultation, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.General Advice WarningWhat you need to knowAny advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Recent Government Inquiry Cites Increasing Life Expectancy as Risk to Retirement Plans 2014-09-17T07:16:24Z recent-government-inquiry-cites-increasing-life-expectancy-as-risk-to-retirement-plans Perth, WA, 17 September 2014 - Recently, the Australian Government released the Financial Services Inquiry (FSI) report. The report covered all aspects of the financial services industry, but Approved Financial Planners, a financial and retirement planning firm in Perth, found the comments about retirement products and life expectancy to be particularly relevant. The FSI report’s executive summary contains a quote that Daniel Stevens, a financial planner for the firm Approved Financial Planners, finds especially important:  “The retirement phase of superannuation is underdeveloped and does not meet the risk management needs of many retirees.”Why Life Expectancy is Making Retirement Planning More DifficultCurrently, many retirement products are based on an average life expectancy of 85 years. This number has become the norm in the financial planning industry. However, statistics support a conclusion that one who reaches age 65 can reasonably expect to make it as far as 90 years of age. In addition, 10% of women who make it to age 65 can now expect to live 100 years or longer. While this is great news, it also presents a problem for retirement planning. Retirement income is now going to have to last longer than it did to prevent retirees from outliving their money. Besides age, there are other factors that affect retirement plans.InflationWhile inflation can be somewhat predictable, no prediction model is perfect. Inflation must be figured into any estimate of how much money is needed to retire comfortably, but there is no guarantee that inflation won’t get worse in the future. Most planners build a “buffer” into their plans to account for inflation, but there is always the risk that inflation will grow too fast in comparison to what a retiree has left to spend. Market FluctuationsFluctuations and corrections in the market, such as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), can erode retirement investments. While new laws have provided more flexibility with self managed superannuation funds, no investment model is perfect, nor are they guaranteed to produce consistently. Most financial planners recommend diversity, but even diversity is no guarantee of a positive outcome.Why Financial Planners are NecessaryThe Government recommends that retirement products should be “income stream products with longevity risk protection.” Currently, most income stream products are either annuities or account-based pensions. The Government recommends that more choices be made available in the future. According to Mr Stevens, “Retirement planning is just too important to risk going it alone. The current range of financial products are sufficient for most people, but you can’t afford not having an expert to help you maximise your income. Due to compounding over the life of any investment, every mistake you make is magnified and can seriously compromise your retirement lifestyle.”Mr Stevens concluded, “Ideally, you don’t outlive your retirement funds but they don’t outlive you, either. A great financial planner can help you attain that balance.”Approved Financial Planners are a financial and retirement planning firm in Perth. They offer a wide array of products and are now associated with AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited, giving them access to even more resources and products. To learn more, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/. Recent Study Indicates Australians have 30.9% Disposable Income* 2014-08-15T04:27:58Z recent-study-indicates-australians-have-30-5-disposable-income Perth, WA, 15 August 2014 - Recently, news.com.au published a study* about Australian spending habits. A firm that offers financial services in Perth offered a viewpoint that interprets the report as proof that Australians have plenty of leftover money to make contributions to their superannuation funds.According to the study, Australians spend an average of 20.5% of their take home pay for housing. Another 15.5% is spent for household bills such as electricity, water, Internet and telephone. 12.1% goes to groceries, while 6.9% is spent on transport. 4.2% goes toward health expenses while 9.9% is spent paying off credit card debt.When added together, this means that 69.1% of the typical Australian’s paycheck is spent before they cash it. However, Daniel Stevens, an Authorised Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited who works at the Perth firm Approved Financial Planners, prefers to look at the bright side of the equation. According to Mr Stevens:“If 69.1% goes to necessities, the good news is that 30.9% is discretionary income. It might not seem like a lot when a person looks at what they have left after paying their bills, but there is plenty of money in there for the average person or household that formulates a budget and decides to spend a certain amount every month to help secure their future.”Mr Stevens recommends that any household create a budget and stick to it. The mechanics of creating a budget are simple. First, income is taken into consideration. Then, mandatory expenses, including food, are tabulated and subtracted from the income. The remainder is discretionary income. The simple act of tracking one’s income and expenses can be an eye-opener for those who have never done it before. It allows one to see exactly where their money is going, especially discretionary purchases. Mr Stevens advocates striking a balance between current and future lifestyle:“It can be tough to strike a balance between enjoying life now and securing your future. We know that people want to buy the new, expensive car, a large, flat-screen TV or something like a motorbike or motorboat. We also know that it is a lot of fun to take expensive vacations and eat at expensive restaurants. But how much is too much? When does the money you spend today take money out of your pocket when you may need it the most?”Mr Stevens recommends talking to a financial planner to help solidify future financial goals while still allowing for a comfortable lifestyle today. According to Mr Stevens,“I always recommend sitting down with a financial planner. When I start working with a client, we figure out when they want to retire and how much money they want to retire on. Then we come up with a plan together to help them get there.” Approved Financial Planners is an Australian financial planning firm offering superannuation and other financial services in Perth. They offer a full range of financial planning and wealth protection products. To learn more, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.*Study published 23 June 2014:http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/ing-direct-research-reveals-how-australians-spend-their-monthly-salaries/story-e6frfmcr-1226963930282General Advice WarningWhat you need to knowAny advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters Recent Survey Shows that More than Half of Australian Men Feel Financial Stress 2014-07-16T06:32:13Z recent-survey-shows-that-more-than-half-of-australian-men-feel-financial-stress Perth, WA, 16 July 2014 - A recent survey conducted by The Digital Edge and published by News Corp Australia indicated that a large number of men feel financial stress. The survey polled 1,000 Australian men from all over the country. Those who conducted the study were genuinely surprised that so many men from such diverse backgrounds gave such similar answers when asked about financial stress.Out of every three men who participated, one said that his current income caused financial difficulty. South Australia had the highest percentage of financial stress, at 49%. Over half of those who took part in the survey said that they felt financial pressure the entire year. Bills, future expenses and insufficient savings were the reasons most cited for feelings of financial stress.Astoundingly, more than 70% of those surveyed said that financial stress had caused at least one incidence of a health problem or a fractured personal relationship. Some said they had lost their families, some said they developed drinking problems, some said their health had suffered and some even said they had contemplated suicide.Jeff Kennett is the Chairman of a group called beyondblue, which is part of a national initiative to bring attention to the mounting problem of depression and anxiety in Australia. Mr Kennett is of the opinion that finances, family relationships and health are the areas in which men most commonly feel the effects of financial stress. He also feels that men tend to keep their worries to themselves, compounding the negative effects on their health.Mr Kennett was quoted as recommending one important positive step when facing financial difficulty: consulting a professional financial planner. According to Mr Kennett: “When your car is broken, you go to a mechanic. When you have financial problems, you should talk to an expert to work out a budget to live within.” A Financial Planner Weighs InDaniel Stevens is a financial planner for a firm called Approved Financial Planners. Mr Stevens agrees with Mr Kennett that it is important to consult an expert who can help alleviate financial stress. According to Mr Stevens:“When a person is under financial stress, it can seem like the world is about to end. They find themselves in the position of being under so much stress that it is difficult to make the correct decisions. In addition, those feeling financial stress often lack the financial resources to extricate themselves from their situations. They find themselves trying to make decisions from a position of weakness or desperation. That is often a recipe for disaster.”Mr Stevens continued, “I agree with Mr Kennett: the first step is to consult a financial planner who can help you stabilise your current situation. The next step is to begin investing. This can be done in two ways: standard investments and taking control of your superannuation fund. But it starts with a professional financial planner.”Approved Financial Planners are located in Perth. They offer a wide variety of financial planning and investment products, including the AMP Flexible Super Fund. To learn more, call 1300 787 274 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.What you need to knowAny advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters.AMP Flexible Super is issued by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379. Before making a decision about the product, you should consider the AMP Flexible Super Product Disclosure Statement available from AMP at https://www.amp.com.au/ or by calling 1300 157 173.If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial planner, our practice, AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd and other companies within the AMP Group will receive fees and other benefits, which will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investments. You can ask us for more details. Call Approved Financial Planners ABN 52 116 910 528 on 1300 787 274.  Total and Permanent Disability Insurance Helps Disabled Australians 2014-06-26T02:16:21Z total-and-permanent-disability-insurance-helps-disabled-australians Perth, WA 26 June 2014 - Nobody wants to think about permanent disability, but the fact is that it can happen to anyone at any time. An accident or a debilitating illness can render one unable to work and bring any income into their household. That is why so many Australians are purchasing total and personal disability (TPD) insurance. How TPD Insurance WorksTPD insurance is a policy that pays the policyholder if they become disabled and are unable to work. Even if one already has a pension and a somewhat developed superannuation fund, the payout from TPD insurance helps them with expenses such as extra medical bills, rehabilitation and refitting their living space to compensate for any handicap that prevents them from otherwise conducting typical daily activities.TPD insurance policies can be written as “any occupation” or “own occupation.” An “any occupation” policy does not pay the policyholder unless their disability is so severe that they can no longer work at any job, whether or not they have been trained for it yet. An “own occupation” policy pays the policyholder if they are disabled and can no longer perform the duties on their current job or one in their field of expertise.Some Benefits of TPD InsuranceTPD insurance provides protection from the severe financial ramifications of a severe illness or injury causing permanent disability. If one does become disabled, it can stabilise their financial situation by replacing the income that is lost by their inability to work. Even if the policyholder never has to make a claim, they still have peace of mind because they know that they are covered in case “the unthinkable” happens.If the policyholder does become disabled, it protects their quality of life. When one is disabled and unable to create income, it decreases their quality of life. TPD insurance can increase well-being by providing the funds necessary to pay off medical debt, pre-existing debt and household expenses. Finding an Appropriate Cover LevelNo financial situation is like any other, so it is always recommended that anyone interested in TPD or any insurance talk to a qualified insurance professional. However, there are some preliminary factors that one can consider when determining an appropriate cover level.Income LevelIf one is no longer able to work, the TPD policy will likely be used to replace the income which the policyholder no longer earns. DependentsThose with dependents may want to consider whether or not those dependents will require funds in the case of the breadwinner’s disability. DebtDebtors may be sympathetic to one who becomes disabled, but it doesn’t mean they will forgive debts. The more likely response is to give a few months’ leeway and then start the process of debt collection. Buying TPD InsuranceDaniel Stevens of Approved Financial Planners is experienced in both financial planning and insurance products. According to Mr Stevens, “Many Australians are beginning to see the wisdom of purchasing TPD cover. While nobody likes to think of what will happen if the unthinkable happens, TPD can provide protection, stability and peace of mind to those who decide to purchase it.”Mr Stevens concluded, “We encourage anyone who wants to know more about TPD insurance to call us and talk to an insurance specialist today.”Approved Financial Planners offer many financial planning and insurance products in the Perth area, including total and permanent disability insurance. To learn more, call (08) 6462 0888 or visit their website: http://www.approvedfp.com.au/.General Advice WarningWhat you need to knowAny advice contained in this Page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters