As seen in Focus Magazine
MJA Financial Services: a partnership to change lives
Mel Zander, founder of MJA Financial Services, this month announced that experienced financial adviser Brendan Hoy is to become a partner in the business. Brendan brings over a decade of financial planning experience. Born and raised locally, he understands the way we Coffs Coasters think, and has helped many in the community to get on top of their financial affairs.
We spoke to Brendan about being a financial adviser, and discovered that he is motivated by a desire to change lives.
What do you enjoy most about being a financial adviser?
I enjoy helping people. I like teaching people things they didn’t know before, and taking people to places they might not have been able to get to on their own.
A lot of people don’t trust financial advisers. What do you say to that?
Our industry has a reputation for being product floggers. That’s probably fair enough because historically there have been plenty of advisers who simply pushed the insurance company or bank product they were being paid to push. But nowadays we are moving toward a fee for service structure, which encourages more strategic financial advice.
It pays to examine an adviser carefully before taking them on. Check with the regulatory authorities to make sure they don’t have any black marks against their name. Ask for references and call their clients.
I would recommend that you only move forward with fee-based advice. Your adviser should provide you with a detailed explanation of the services they will provide and the fees you will pay. If you aren’t 100% sure, don’t sign.
How much money do I need before I see a financial adviser?
Everyone seems to think that you need a lot of money to see a financial adviser. That’s not true. Advisers help on many different levels.
Personally, I think everyone needs financial advice – including myself. We all have emotional hang-ups when it comes to our money and how we spend it. The most important thing a financial adviser does is look at your financial situation unemotionally. Without all those personal hang-ups an adviser can give you sensible, objective financial guidance.
What if I have no savings and I’m spending more than I earn? Does it really make sense to see a financial adviser?
Yes, I think so. We may not end up working together right away, but normally if you sit down with me you will come away with some extra knowledge and some plans to get your spending under control.
Financial advisers aren’t just about investing. We also handle estate planning, insurance, debt refinance, tax planning, budgeting… Everyone can benefit from these things. The first session with most advisers is free – and I can tell you there have been very few people who haven’t got something out of an initial meeting with me.
What are the biggest financial mistakes people make?
The first thing most people do is to think about what investment to go into. This is important, but it should be one of the last things you consider. First you want to consider where you are now and where you to get to financially. Only then should you start working out exactly what investment strategy will work best.
What is the most important thing you can do for a client?
Removing financial stress. I often have clients come to me in a lot of financial pain at the beginning. When we get 2 or 3 years down the track and that client is not experiencing financial stress anymore, then I know that I have changed their life.
Fifty percent of marriages fail, and 50% of the time financial stress is the main reason they fail. If you can take financial stress out of a person’s life, you add a lot of value to a person’s life. Makes me feel really good about my work!
Want to get your finances under control? Contact MJA Financial Services and book an initial appointment with Brendan Hoy. 02 6652 8788