Banks and advice need ‘divorce’

Johanna Roberts


May 14, 2018

Whenever planner Paul Bourke is faced with a curly tax question, he simply runs next door to the team of accountants with which he shares his business.

While Bourke says he is well and truly across all sectors of the planning industry, when it comes to complicated tax structuring, it “makes a big difference” to be in business with a team of people who know the system inside and out.

“Accountancy is a trusted profession and is much older than the modern planning industry,” Bourke says. “It is seen as a very stable and trusted model. So cross-pollination with accountants works really well for advisers and their business.

“It’s also really helpful for clients who see the benefits of having access to an accountant in the next room.”

Trust is the name of the game in financial planning, Burke acknowledges, especially since the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has revealed stories of planners charging for services they haven’t provided and giving advice that’s not in the best interests of the client.

Bourke spent many years at the coalface of planning with NAB and, while he says he’s not about to “bash the banks”, he thinks it’s time for them to recuse themselves from planning.

“I think the time has come now for the banks to divorce themselves from advice and we need to fully develop as a profession,” Bourke says. “And if there is a positive thing that has already come out of the royal commission, it’s that it has made people so aware of the importance of this facet of life.”

When Bourke was working at NAB as an adviser in his early 20s, he says he straight away had a sense financial planning was something he wanted to continue to do.

“I loved the interactions with clients and I found the regulatory framework to be good,” he says. “I’m not denying there have been bad apples, but in terms of the environment I worked in, I was taught to be mindful of compliance.”

Bourke is a confessed conservative when it comes to money management. He deals mainly with retirees who are looking to consolidate income and super, rather than stage a tilt at high-risk stocks.

“We’re not that kind of business that professes to shoot the lights out each year,” he says. “We’re about developing objectives and reaching those objectives. I have a saying for clients: ‘The pain of losing a dollar is worse than the euphoria of earning a dollar.’ That resonates with them.

“We’re really about protection of the downside, and ensuring our clients have a steady and stable income they can live off.”

Many of his clients are “grey nomads”, he says.

“They will call me from the road for a five-minute chat but we talk for 30 minutes. Travel is high on their list of priorities. I also love travel, and have framed pictures on my wall of the places I have been. Clients will bring in their travel shots and we will compare notes. It’s a very nurturing relationship.”

If there is one piece of financial advice he would give to people it would be to start planning for retirement early.

“Most people come in and see us right before they’re about to retire,” he says. “But if they come in five or even 10 years beforehand, we can do so many things to help them get ready for retirement, including structuring their money the right way.”

Name of firm: ID Accounting & Wealth Solutions
Name of licensee: self-licensed (Illingworth David Financial Planning)
Time in the industry (previous jobs?): about 16 years; 2001 corporate banking graduate with Bankwest; 2003 financial adviser with NAB; 2008 financial adviser at ID Accounting & Wealth Solutions, director since 2009
Academic qualifications: bachelor’s degree in commerce
Accreditations: Certified Financial Planner
Professional association memberships: Financial Planning Association


TOPICS:   ID Accounting & Wealth Solutions,  Paul Bourke,  Planner Profile

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