FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

+ WHO IS WATTLE PARTNERS?

Wattle Partners is a team of highly experienced financial advisers and support staff. Wattle Partners is owned solely by those who work in the business which ensures we can provide advice that is not influenced by any external company or product provider.

+ WHY ARE YOU DIFFERENT?

Wattle Partners stands out by virtue of its heritage and experience in providing independent financial advice that is tailored to each individual client. Your advisory team have worked together for over 12 years and were educated in Australia’s first truly independent advisory firm. We understand that the majority of returns are driven by asset allocation, yet the majority of advisers and investors focus on stock selection and tend to lose capital. We apply an endowment approach to investing centred around aligning with the most successful managers in the world, providing access to exclusive opportunities and investing heavily into alternative asset classes.

+ WHAT DO YOU DO?

Wattle Partners provides advice across all aspects of your financial affairs including: superannuation, investments, borrowing, entity structuring, personal insurance and estate planning. Wattle Partners also provides ongoing support and management of investment and SMSF portfolios including all administration, paperwork, implementation and reporting required to meet your obligations as a taxpayer and trustee.

+ WHO OWNS THE ASSETS IF I INVEST WITH YOU?

When you invest with Wattle Partners you will always retain ownership of your assets. We cannot and will not ever trade on your assets without your express authority.

+ DO YOU RECOMMEND SMSFS?

Yes, we recommend SMSFs and a large portion of our clients utilise them as their preferred superannuation account. They offer greater transparency, more control and a fixed rather than sliding scale fee. In conflict with media reports, the cost of SMSF’s is actually falling rather than rising. The use of an SMSF, however, is determined by your individual circumstances, objectives and the characteristics you value.

+ WHY DID YOU START WATTLE PARTNERS?

Wattle Partners was established in 2010 in the malaise following the Global Financial Crisis. The founding partners of Wattle Partners shared the view that the financial advice industry in Australia had consistently let investors down through exorbitant fees, lack of service or clinging to the same out-dated investment philosophy. The biggest concern though, was the huge conflicts of interest that influence over 90% of financial advisers associated with major institutions. The founding partners were simply not comfortable working in an environment where their recommendations could be restricted by a product provider or major bank at the detriment to the client and bonuses driven by product rather than client outcomes.

+ WHO ARE YOU OWNED BY?

Wattle Partners is 100% owned by the staff who work in and operate the business. There is no external ownership nor shareholders who are not part of the advisory team.

+ DO YOU RECOMMEND PLATFORMS?

Yes, Wattle Partners does recommend platforms where deemed appropriate for each individual client. Platforms can offer an additional layer of security, cost savings, flexibility and the ability to reduce delays in the advisory and implementation process. We constantly review the platforms available in the market based on cost, flexibility and performance and have no commission arrangements with any provider. At present, our preferred platform for investment and superannuation purposes is the ASX-listed Hub 24.

+ DO YOU INVEST DIRECTLY?

Extensive research has shown that the majority of investment returns are driven by asset allocation and portfolio construction. We know that the majority of investors, advisers and stock brokers spend far too much time and effort in analysing individual stocks and companies. Importantly, we know that this is the reason why SMSF’s consistently underperform their industry and corporate super competitors. We prefer to align with professional fund managers, as we understand this means your capital is being invested by an entire team of dedicated experts who specialise in a particular area of interest. We simply do not believe that Australian investors have the knowledge, time or dedication required to consistently generate better returns from direct share investment than those delivered by the managers we partner with.

+ DO YOU USE MANAGED FUNDS?

Yes, we believe managed funds offers investors exposure to a broader range of investment ideas and professional management. We understand that we cannot be the best at everything we do and seek to partner with those who are leaders in their own fields. We understand that markets are inherently inefficient and investors will always make emotional decisions, which provides opportunities for consistent outperformance over the long-term. This only increases as the number and amount of passive investors continues to grow. Managed funds offer access to entire teams of well trained professionals, who are incentivised to make the best investment decisions and spend their entire career analysing them, rather than simply a few hours each week.

+ DO YOU RECEIVE COMMISSIONS?

No, we do not receive commissions based on recommendations that we make. There are, however, some providers, accounts and products that automatically pay commissions to us; in these cases, the commissions are refunded to ongoing clients at the end of each financial year.

+ ARE YOU CERTIFIED?

Our senior advisers all hold the highest designation in the financial advice industry, that of Certified Financial Planner and several are also SMSF Specialists. All representatives must have a Bachelor degree and have completed a post-graduate diploma before they are authorised to provide advice. Wattle Partners is also one of the few ‘Professional Practice’s’ authorised by the Financial Planning of Australia; an honour bestowed due to a commitment to education, transparency and service.

+ HOW MUCH ARE YOUR FEES?

Our fees are determined by the level of advice and ongoing service required. We do not believe a sliding scale percentage fee is appropriate, as the level of service provided is determined by the requirements of each individual person and not based on how much capital you wish to invest. We tailor our fees to each individual or family and offer a longer term, 1 to 3 years, fixed fee arrangement. Our minimum ongoing fee is $10,000 per annum unless you have been referred by an existing client or friend of our firm.

+ WHY WATTLE?

We offer something that is truly different to the rest of the financial advice industry; an independent, family office approach. We have first-hand experience in running our own family businesses and guiding clients who have done the same. We refuse to receive commissions based on the advice we recommend and our business is owned solely by our employees. We have invested heavily over the last decade to build relationships that offer our client exclusive investment opportunities typically restricted to institutions and wealthy families. We offer access to the investment strategies used by the most successful investors in the world. We understand that asset allocation is the primary determinant of delivering consistent, less volatile returns for our clients. We are one of the few investment advisers that recommend substantial allocations to alternative asset classes.

+ DO YOU DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH?

Yes. Wattle Partners has its own investment committee whose sole focus is on determining the most appropriate selection of investments for you. We also invest a substantial amount of capital in subscribing to various investment research providers including CLSA, Bloomberg, Reuters, Morgan’s, Morningstar, Lonsec, Bell Potter, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. In a typical week our investment team will meet with 5 to 10 different managers, economists, syndicates or conferences to ensure we remain informed and aware of all opportunities available at any given time.

+ HOW DO I BECOME A CLIENT?

We aim to make the process as straightforward as possible. Every relationship begins with an investment of time in getting to know you and what it is you are seeking to achieve. We then provide a detailed review document which addresses each of your objectives and the strategies we recommend in order to achieve them; including product providers, superannuation and entity structures. We then establish an administration structure through which our ongoing portfolio management, strategic and end of financial year planning advice is delivered.

+ WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

As a client of Wattle Partners, you should expect a tailored and highly responsive relationship. The advice you receive will be supported by detailed reasoning about its appropriateness for you and your family ensuring you have an educated and informative experience. In terms of investments, we seek to partner with the best managers and investment experts in the world to deliver benchmark beating, consistent and lower risk returns. You should expect access to exclusive investment opportunities, venture capital, property and private equity transactions. You should not expect daily phone calls or regular trading on your portfolio, we are long-term investors who understand that true returns are only achieved through sustained exposure to investment markets and asset allocation.

+ WILL YOU HAVE CONTROL OF MY MONEY?

No. As a client of Wattle Partners you will always retain full control over your money. We do not have any discretion when it comes to making any changes to your portfolio; all changes must be approved by you verbally, in writing or via email.

+ HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM A BANK?

Wattle Partners holds its own financial services license (AFSL 383169) which means we are not beholden to other larger financial institutions. We are genuinely free to pursue whatever is in our client’s best interests, and we pride ourselves in having long term relationships with our clients. All advisers are shareholders in the firm and the focus is on personalised client service, rather than pursuing institutional objectives such as building funds under management.

+ HOW ARE EMPLOYEES OF WATTLE PAID?

Every employee of Wattle Partners receives an agreed salary and discretionary bonus. The bonus incentive is paid based on the achievement of various Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s, none of which are related to the level of income generated by the firm.

+ WHO WILL I BE ADVISED BY?

As a client of Wattle Partners you will receive the full support of our advisory and administration teams. You will have a primary senior adviser, being Jamie Nemtsas or Drew Meredith. To ensure continuity of your service and relationship you will also receive the support from one or several of our junior advisers and administration team members including Amanda Bouzeid, Rachana San, Meena Gouvas, Vanessa Cullen and Jenny Bui.

+ WHERE DO YOUR IDEAS COME FROM?

Our ideas come from a diverse range of sources including meetings with company managements, investment managers, institutions, research reports, trade conferences and our clients. We have an enviable network of contacts throughout the global investment and family office industry and are regularly the first Australian group to offer access to the most innovative, competitive and high performing investments.

+ HOW DO I INVEST WITH WATTLE?

Depending on the level of service required, clients can choose the level of involvement they desire. Some clients wish to have an active role in decisions being made such as asset allocation, while others prefer to outsource investment decisions to our in-house advisory team. This service is tailored towards clients that do not have a strong knowledge of investment markets, portfolio construction, experience with investing, or simply lack the time to manage their financial affairs effectively.