Steven Korner knows most people wait until their twilight years to seek financial advice, yet the retiree market is not the focus of his attention. In fact, he doesn’t have any older clients.
“My niche is people between the ages of 30 and 55,” he says. “That gives us plenty of time to help them achieve their goals and turn their finances around. In fact, the younger the better. The earlier someone comes and sees me, the more time I have to help set them up.”
Of course, persuading people in their 20s to come and see him is no easy task.
“The clients I do have who are in their 20s are people I have met at functions and who have then come to see me later,” Korner says. “Generally, people in their 20s are wanting to have a good time. They’re not thinking about arranging financial advice, but I must say that people in their 50s always tell me they wished they had started a lot earlier.”
Korner’s fascination with sound financial management and goalsetting started when he was young.
His dad grew up in a housing commission home but managed to set up his own successful small business and provide for his family.
“He showed me it was possible to get ahead and to reach for something big,” Korner says.
Korner reads psychology books in his spare time and is intrigued by the way parents’ attitudes towards money can shape their children’s.
He sees many people in the Omniwealth office, where he is one of four financial planners. He says he often encounters clients with wants and needs based not on their own desires but their parents’.
“They will often say that they have to buy a house now, but it’s sometimes not what they want, but what their parents want,” he says. “My job is to find out what they really want to achieve and that path will look different for everyone.”
Korner concedes that part of his job is to challenge people’s comfort zones because often the fear of the unknown is what holds people back.
“It’s frustrating at times to see people you know have a purpose but are afraid of doing something wrong or someone judging them,” he says. “We’re too used to thinking that discomfort is bad, that it’s a sign that something is wrong. Discomfort is just the feeling of doing something differently.”
In Korner’s philosophical approach to his industry, there is the “old planning world” and the “new planning world”, and he is definitely part of the latter.
“The old planning world is the one where a client comes to you and you put an investment portfolio together with fees under management and take commissions,” he says. “I don’t do that.”
What Korner does do is fee-for-service, goals-based advice. All commissions he receives on insurance products are disclosed and returned to the client.
“I know that the term ‘goals based’ is a bit of a buzzword, but that is the long-term approach we take with each client,” he says.
Omniwealth clients are offered a one-stop shop, where they can access a range of financial and business services, including business advisory, accounting, legal and planning services.
“I honestly think this model is the way of the future for the planning industry,” Korner says. “Rather than having a broker and an adviser and an accountant all in different locations, clients can consolidate all of their financial and business requirements in one place.”
Name of firm: Omniwealth Financial Planning
Name of licensee: Omniwealth Services (self-licensed)
Time in the industry (previous jobs): Three years as a financial planner. (Previous jobs in administration, paraplanning, insurance advice and holistic advice.)
Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Finance, Bachelor of Economics, Diploma of financial planning
TOPICS: Omniwealth, Planner Profile