David Dall, senior investment adviser, Shaw and Partners

I believe it was 2006… an existing client recommended to Peter that he should meet with me.

He had an existing share portfolio and some managed funds with ANZ private bank. It was mainly ASX-listed investment advice that he needed, and some assistance with asset allocation.

He had a few other brokers but in 2006 I would have been only 31, and I think he was looking for someone that was a bit younger and had a bit more time and energy, someone a bit proactive rather than reactive.

His family has really come into it in the last five years or so. It was partly succession planning. I say to a number of clients, there’s nothing as good for investment education as buying your own shares, getting involved in all the intricacies of the markets… I said that to Peter and I said you should involve your daughters, and the best way to educate them is to seed them with a little bit of money. I thought that was the best way to educate them and get them involved.

Peter tends to take the advice on board. I’d describe him as one of the nice guys of the world. He’s a listener, a gentleman, really polite, always appreciates the time and the advice. Peter won’t action every recommendation I make but he’ll thank me for it and take it on board. But over the years as the trust’s grown he trusts my recommendations accordingly, but it’s not automatic. Some clients accept every recommendation, but Peter likes to drive the train.

He’s very switched on and energetic, especially for someone born in 1929. He’s extremely sharp. He lives in a regional area, Kangaroo island. To get there it’s a 90-minute drive, then an hour ferry, then another hour and twenty from the ferry to his house. But he still comes to Adelaide each month and we’ll catch up in the city over coffee. The size of his portfolio justifies my time, but I really enjoy it too.

We get together annually with his family for what Peter calls the “annual general meeting”. He coordinates everything with the family and the accountant, who they meet afterwards. We hope he lives forever, or at least another 10 or twenty years, but you never know. It’s fantastic. I really prepare for those meetings.

Peter MacGill, retired business owner

We live half the time on Kangaroo Island and half the time in Adelaide. I was a salesman before I got the sack in the early 60s when the first credit squeeze hit us. Then I got into making disposable medical products which over 20 years grew from a one-man band to a company with 184 employees. We had offices and warehouses in every state, exporting to 18 countries. I retired from that at the age of 60 in 1991 and went farming for 16 years… sheep, cattle and mixed potatoes. I sold the farm and hung up my boots at 76, in 2005. And now I’ll be 90 in the middle of August.

While I was farming I did a bit of investing but a lot of that was just dividend reinvesting because I was too busy farming to pay much attention to it. Then when I sold the farm a mate of mine suggested David.

Now, I’d had a number of brokers over the years. In fact, when I gave David a trial I had two other brokers, but gradually I turned everything over to him because he was outstanding in his detail and presentation.

We meet once a month, either face to face, over the telephone or by email. David presents a lot of consolidated detail and analysis over my six portfolios. Overall there’s about 35 stocks that are in these portfolios and he’ll make recommendations for consideration. We sometimes disagree but we know each other pretty well by this stage. I would say that I take his advice 95 per cent of the time. I gave my daughters some money each for a portfolio about five years ago, which David looks after.

We meet once a year in David’s office and my accountant’s office and David gives a presentation of the various portfolios in the family, and then off we go to the accountant for another brief with the kids. All the family gets together.

I’m very fond of David and so are my girls. When I brought my two twin grandsons to meet him – they’re both in their twenties – he really looked after them and introduced them to the share market.

I’d sum it up by saying David has a very tidy mind, he’s very good on details. In my 27 years of investing I would have had dozens of advisers and he’s the standout. But don’t tell him I like him that much.

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.
2 comments on “Side by side: Trust is earned over time”
  1. Avatar Matthew Byrne

    This speaks to both building trust but also the products and services offered by planners. There is a big drive to MDAs for everyone and all assets to increase productivity. The downside is the loss of education, control and personal involvement for the client. I think that there is room in advice for numerous models I just don’t want to see everything become a widget. Well done David.

  2. I think the hovering table that they are sitting is fantastic.

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