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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Certainty advisers represent the fourth generation of financial advisers.
First generation advisers are the expert product or subject matter experts who specialise on a particular financial approach remunerated by the quantity of the financial product such as investments, shares, insurances, superannuation, property etc. Certainty Advisers are not remunerated by percentages of product, risk, property provided or under management.
Second generation advisers may have similar expertise to first generation but their offer includes their own platform or investment model which houses their client’s funds and investments both for convenient centralized reporting for their clients whilst building their own asset of client’s monies which become central to the valuation of their own advice businesses. Certainty Advisers have no affiliation or alignment to any product or service platform.
Third generation advisers have a variety of advice expertise but their own business exit is contingent on being purchased by a product or service manufacturer. These advisers adhere to the procedures, recommendations, and processes as set down by the ultimate buyer of their advice business. Certainty Advisers have no buyer of first or last resort agreements with any financial product manufacturer or service provider.
Fourth generations advisers such as Certainty Advisers are only remunerated in clear dollars amounts by their client agreed to via annual terms of engagement agreements each year. Everything fourth generation advisers do starts from a focus on serving their clients greater good and best interests whilst delivering and broad advice proposition – a principal adviser - built upon their specific advice expertise aiming for enduring and profound value for each client’s unique needs and outcomes.
Certainty advisers aim to build advisory houses that deliver consistent, specific and methodical advice tailored uniquely for each client. All certainty advisers whilst unique in their advice expertise, adhere to standards built in conjunction with Certainty Advice Group, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) and IP Australia.
This accreditation provides the baseline of advice to ensure clients can expect consistent fundamental standards regarding how their Certainty Advisers charge, management, deliver, engage and review their advice each year for each advice client. Their fundamental approach is consistent whilst their individual expertise is unique. Having a transparent, auditable, consistent financial advice methodology increases consistency, confidence and value for clients and advisory houses alike.
Not being remunerated by product, hours worked or platform, certainty advisers start each year with each of their advice clients understanding and agreeing the basis for the coming twelve months. This important annual conversation - called the annual discovery conversation - is the basis for all advice and support in the coming 12 months. This approach is often confused with a Family Office proposition for High Net Worth families and individuals. The heritage of family office proposition and experience is based in the quantity of assets requiring management and care rather than the quality of advice required.
Clients do not need to be high net worth individuals or families as Certainty Advisers charge on the quality of advice not the quantity of product. For too long advice has been seen as only affordable by either the cash or asset rich. Certainty advisers aim to produce valuable advice as determine uniquely by each client each year regardless of available cash or assets - they are a paradigm shift from most advisory houses.
Clients will deal with a team within each advisory house. Depending upon size of each Certainty Advisory firm, most appointments will generally have two team members present. The expertise and qualifications of attending team members will vary based upon expertise niches, and each certainty adviser.
Each team member will be accredited to certainty adviser standards of client engagement and management regardless of their age, experience, and technical qualifications. The careers of team members that will advise you and work to maximise the probability of achieving the financial outcomes agreed will be broader than product-based advisers.
Whilst under-pinning certainty advisers will usually be a specific technical discipline, their tertiary qualifications are a stepping stone towards a career more focused on on-going client management, project management and strategic management for clients to best achieve the outcomes they seek in the lives whilst managing and/or resolving the inevitable complexities hindering their day-to-day financial lives.
Considering the proliferation of first, second and third generation financial advisers, the majority of clients initially approach a Certainty Adviser specifically for one or two pressing financial issues in their lives. As Certainty Advisers have no conflict in terms of their advice either for specific product or service, after understanding each client’s unique and specific situation, both client and adviser will be able to determine most appropriate approach.
Certainty Advisers approach is unique, consistent, specific and methodical whilst their advice is specific to each professional. Fundamentally however, certainty advisers aren’t ‘order-takers’. If for their own good reason, clients are seeking execution only advice, certainty advisers may not be the first choice.
Most first, second and third generation advisers provide product-based specialties. These include inter-generational wealth transfers, establishing self-managed superannuation funds, selection, and establishment of property portfolios, managing transitions to retirement funds, taxation or asset allocation advice. Each of these provides clues to the incentives and remuneration models potentially underpinning these advice specialties causing either real or perceived conflicts of interests.
Certainty advisers specialise in attaining the outcomes that represent greater financial certainty for specific groups of people or situations. Our specialties include working couples when one part is heavily involved in Oil Gas sector, another is family operated owners of small fast-moving goods retail operations, another is time poor start ups operations dealing with evolving business needs and conflicting lifestyle needs, another is farming families specialising in specific grazing operations, another is busy dual working employed families seeking greater clarity for a myriad of differing financial options and advice. The specialties are as many client needs and certainty advisers.