Contacted via a facebook page, Amie advised Tina and her husband to set up an SMSF, but the relationship was cemented when the pair started sharing war stories about balancing the budget while raising kids.

Read their story in the first instalment of Professional Planner‘s “In our best interests” series.


Amie Baker, director, financial adviser at Rekab Advice

Tina and her husband, Michael, became clients in early 2016. It was a referral through Facebook. They’d invested in property in the past and wanted help setting up an SMSF.

We started chatting and it turned out they were frustrated with their cash flow and had some big renovation goals. I visited their home to see what they had planned, and I remember tiptoeing down the hallway because the baby was having his afternoon nap.

At the time, Chloe was about 3 and Blake was just a bub, about 18 months. Tina was still on maternity leave and they were feeling like they were getting nowhere financially. I have a clear memory of their frustration; having three children myself, I can relate to that time. It’s hard when you’ve got childcare, maternity leave, one income and a massive mortgage.

I kept reminding them it wouldn’t be long before Chloe was in school, and in our most recent review, Tina spoke about them reaching that next stage now. But the beginning of the process was really about changing their attitudes and behaviours around money; teaching them how to bank better and stay in control of their bills. There’s a total attitude change when you’re the one in charge, not the electricity company.

They’ve been open to my advice. I did have to tell them that they didn’t have enough in their super to do what they wanted to do – they wanted to go straight into buying an investment property and I had to talk them off the ledge a bit – but they took it on the chin.

Tina’s pretty switched on and has a good understanding of the finance world. She’s even been helping me with my marketing and PR, which shows a real passion for what she does in her career. I can see she has a lot of talent in what she does, she’s quite a spark.

Tina Gibson, marketing manager, Sydney 

My husband, Michael, and I were looking to create an SMSF and a few people recommended Amie on our suburb’s Facebook page. When I met her, I was on maternity leave with a new baby and a little girl who was 2, so things were a bit tough.

The initial goal was to set up our SMSF, which we did. We wanted to buy a property through it but Amie advised us to put that on hold and invest in other areas, and we’ve managed to do better than what we would have with our old individual super accounts.

When we met Amie, we had also maxed out our credit cards and were behind on bills. We’d just get ahead one month and then a $1500 electricity bill would come in… it just felt that there was never going to be a light at the end of the tunnel. But she got us paying the bills every month on direct debit, and two years later, it feels like we’ve come through the other side.

There was one time our investments were down and we thought ‘What are we paying you for?’ You don’t expect that. But it obviously had a lot to do with the economy. Then when things started turning around, she said, ‘See, I told you guys!’

Amie’s been through all the tough things that we have. Her kids are a bit older now but she was a single mum so I think she’s quite inspirational, raising three boys and having her own business. She’s obviously quite a driven woman, and I like that about her.

If we didn’t kick off so well on a personal level when we first met her, we probably wouldn’t have given her the business. We’re brought up not to talk about money really as a culture, as Australians, but you need to able to have those difficult conversations with someone.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.
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