Why use a financial planner?

What good is a financial planner or adviser? What can they do for you? These are questions that we know people ask themselves.

Using a case study of one of our clients, Paul tries to answer those questions.

Case study: The value of a financial planner

About a year ago one of our long-standing clients came in to see me. He had been a bit unwell and with his down time had decided to pull out his old investment reviews to see how his investments have actually gone since we started together.

Background – the original investment

Back in early 2001, the client retired and approached me for advice on funding their retirement. He and his wife had about $1,000,000 available to invest and they had an investment risk profile between balanced and growth.

I created the initial portfolio and I have been doing formal 6 monthly reviews on the portfolio ever since. Many changes have been made to the portfolio over the years. The investments within the portfolio today look almost nothing like the investments we started with over 18 years ago.

Ongoing review and advice

We made incremental changes to the portfolio over time to keep it on track, to make sure it was within the bounds of the accepted investment risk profile, and to ensure it was continuing to meet the client’s retirement goals. What is a good investment today, may not be as attractive next year or the year after. This is an important point to remember for long term investing.

Each year these clients have been withdrawing between $50,000 and $60,000 (tax free) to fund their retirement. Over the years, they have in fact withdrawn slightly more than the initial investment amount of $1,000,000.

During the long investment time frame, they remained invested through the drama of September 11, the stress of the Global Financial Crisis and many other small hiccups along the way. At no stage did they withdraw the invested capital. They followed my advice and have been able to continue their desired retirement income goals throughout all of the ups and downs. This is not to say they were not worried or concerned at various times, but they listened to us and followed our advice.


Last year, when this client came in to see me with his summary of their investment history, the retirement portfolio was worth over $1.6 million. He wanted me to check that his numbers were correct. I was able to verify them from our records. Needless to say, he was very happy and excited with his investments. When he retired, he had assumed that his money would eventually run out. He didn’t expect to have more money today than he started with!

So, after being retired for over 18 years, having invested not long before the September 11 attacks and withdrawing more than the initial investment, their portfolio was up over 60% on their starting balance!

This is just one example of how our sound and stable advice helps our clients realise their investment goals and the importance of listening to solid professional advice during times of uncertainty.

For more information

If you would like to discuss your retirement goals and how to get there contact us.

Or if you want to get a copy of Paul’s book click the link below.

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