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Jack of all trades: Brokers urged to diversify

Industry heavyweights say the key to success is diversification - but are brokers up to the task of providing holistic financial advice? We speak to Matt Lawler of Yellow Brick Road and Greg Cook of Eureka for their thoughts on adding financial planning to your repertoire.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, Australian Broker Online
Donna Sawyer:
 Industry heavy weights say the key to success is diversification and that goes for businesses as well as individuals.  Yellow Brick Road’s, Matt Lawler says brokers are well placed to offer financial advice to clients.

Matt Lawler, Yellow Brick Road
Matt Lawler:  What we talk about a lot is that if the client is trying to achieve something which is normally a lifestyle goal, what are the other things that we can advise them on, which actually help them to achieve that goal, which helps them achieve that strategy.  And more often than not there are other financial services products that they can be packaged with the mortgage in order to help them achieve that goal.
Donna Sawyer:  Renowned financial planner Greg Cook of Eureka says there is plenty of room for more financial planners, but brokers moving into the business need to be qualified.  
Greg Cook, Eureka Financial Group
Greg Cook:  Australians are under advised, so the more competent financial planners there are in Australia that’s a good thing.  It’s, you know there is a lot of untapped opportunities, commercial opportunities, business, opportunities for financial planners in Australia.  So in principle it’s a good thing.  The obvious point is that the particular individuals giving advice need to be working in an area that they are competent with.  
Matt Lawler:  In terms of being fully qualified, it depends what that definition fully qualified is.  If that means a certified financial planner operating at the highest echelons of the industry, well a lot of people are going to miss out purely on the fact that 30 year old is probably not going to get the time or be able to afford that a fully qualified certified financial planner you know will levy I mean in terms of fees.  So what we have got to be thinking about is, who is appropriately qualified and positioned to help clients across the various spectrum of needs that they will have.  So at Yellow Brick Road, we make sure that our people are appropriately qualified to deal with different types of people in different situations.  If the advice gets beyond their capability or qualifications, then Yellow Brick Road has specialists that will come in and support that advice.
Greg Cook:  I imagine a lot of people who just focused on mortgage broking in the past would be competent or would be on the way to having appropriate qualifications and so on.  I guess the danger is, just like if you are changing from any other speciality or profession is that if you are sort of dabbling now and again in an area that you are not that experienced or comfortable or qualified in, then it can lead to bad client outcomes and that wouldn’t be a good thing for the finally planning profession.
Donna Sawyer:  So what’s the best strategy for brokers making the transition to financial planning. Matt Lawler says Yellow Brick Road, targets younger clients who are seeking simple financial advice?  
Matt Lawler:  We are absolutely convinced that quality advice for that market, 30 to 45 year old market is something that’s missing in Australia, because most financial planners are skewing themselves towards pre-retirees and retirees, so we want to be the trusted advisor in that space. So the things that I would say, one you have to have a belief that this is right for the client and I can give you many arguments as to why it is right for the client, but you have to believe that.  The second thing is that you have to believe that it’s also right for your business and you are prepared to do the work to be appropriately qualified in order to be able to sit in front of the client.
Donna Sawyer:  This is Donna Sawyer reporting for Australian Broker Online.