We have both a financial adviser and an accountant. They have done an excellent job in my view and we are way ahead of where we would have been without that expert advice, but with these new taxation of investment laws coming in April 2007 who will be giving what advice? It seems much more complicated than before, especially with regard International investments.
You are right. We are now challenged with a whole new layer of required knowledge or at very least a strong working understanding of the new rules (which I believe will get more complex, not easier as time progresses). In days past it was the accountant that did the business compliance and taxation planning, the lawyer did the structural stuff and kept you out of trouble (or got you out, if in trouble) and the financial planner did the nuts and bolts of the investment work and drew it all together - if they were good.
Who actually delivers what to the client on each occasion now will be a matter of just where the line is drawn in the sand. If you take the US and Australian experiences the financial planner has certainly had a significantly greater input into the taxation matters that surround financial planning, asset growth, superannuation and investment.
Whether you actually get to a position of always ‘doubling up’ to make sure all is well will depend upon, for example, who gets paid - not all would be keen to pay for both I would think. It will be case by case, complexity v’s simplicity I guess... But you make a good point that continually exercise’s our thinking.
As far as quality advice is concerned it is good to hear of your positive experience, but just look at any adviser, accountant or lawyer for that matter and ask yourself - would I give any of these folk my mother’s money? When I hear anybody use the terms 'I don’t use those things' or 'I don't let my clients invest in them' or similar, one has to wonder about who is looking after whom.
How can any professional promise to provide a full scope of service when personal bias or lack of knowledge prevents the client being best provided for? Roll on legislation, complexity, taxation and registration – it will be good for all.
Original Article published May 2006
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