Kerry Ong: [00:00:00] If we leave up to just clients seeking advice on little specialist areas, they may miss parts of their planning, and they might not realize what they’re trying to achieve overall. They’re just trying to fix one part of their problem, but there may be a broader bit of advice that they’re actually missing out on and needing to actually achieve success or achieve the values that they’re actually trying to get to.
Fraser Jack: [00:00:25] Hello and welcome to the Goals Based Advice Podcast, where I have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. I’m your host, Fraser Jack, and I want to thank you so much for tuning in today. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please help me spread the word, share it with your friends and colleagues and leave me a review. I’d also like to thank our supporting partner, Advice Intelligence, for powering this podcast.
Fraser Jack: [00:00:46] In this episode, I chat with IOOF, head of Advice Academy, Kerry Ong. We discuss everything you need to know if you’re starting up or converting your business to a goals and values-based advice business. We cover the business planning side as well as the client advice process and briefly touch on pricing. This is a really valuable episode for anyone looking to benchmark their business or ideas with one of the profession’s largest licensees, Advice Academy. I thank both Kerry and IOOF for sharing this in the spirit of helping all consumers get access to quality advice. Let’s hit play on my chat with Kerry now. Welcome to the show, Kerry.
Kerry Ong: [00:01:28] Thanks Frazer. Thanks for having me.
Fraser Jack: [00:01:29] Very good to have you along now. Do you want to give the listeners just a quick overview of what you’re doing at the moment?
Kerry Ong: [00:01:35] At the moment, head of the IOOF Advice Academy in IOOF of course. I guess it’s a business coaching, business consulting, advice coaching team within the IOOF business. Working with our aligned practices, building better businesses, building better client outcomes, that’s what we’re all about.
Fraser Jack: [00:01:56] Fantastic. I imagine you’ve quite a lot of advisors now under the IOOF umbrella.
Kerry Ong: [00:02:02] Yeah, we’ve grown quite a bit, grown through acquisition and grown through I guess natural growth of the licensees as well. We work with a select group of those practices. They’re self selected. They joined the program on their own accord, and we work with them directly to really work out what their measure of success is and guide them through the way, through consulting and coaching to get there.
Fraser Jack: [00:02:25] Do you want to give us a ... Maybe go back to when it all began for you. Give us an overview of where you started and how you got involved in the industry.
Kerry Ong: [00:02:36] Financial advice was actually my first job. Back in ... It would have been 2003, 2004. I joined ... It was NAB back then, NAB Financial Planning. As an associate. I was an assistant within a team. Worked in that team for about 12 months and then made the move into an advisor role. I was fairly young at that point. I think I was ... I wouldn’t say too young for the industry, but I was very young and very fresh and I came and gave the industry some really fresh eyes.
Kerry Ong: [00:03:10] I’ve been an authorized rep since then. Since then, up until about two years ago. About 11 years in the financial advice industry, working in Australia, in the private wealth world and then working in the UK as well in a private wealth company. Advice is pretty much all I know. It’s straight out of uni, straight into advice, straight seeing clients. I think I’ve been exposed to quite a different range of advice and the type of advice that comes out of I guess particular segments within Australia.
Fraser Jack: [00:03:43] Yeah, I imagine over the last three or four years, since you’ve been with the Advice Academy or working with financial advisors on trying to find best practice for their business, you would have seen a lot of different models and of different businesses.
Kerry Ong: [00:03:57] Unbelievable models. I think especially within the IOOF group, we’ve actually got salaried models, which is with the Shadforth brand and then we’ve got the self-employed models within our AFSLs. Then within each of those AFSLs, there’s completely different sizes of businesses, types of businesses, whatever clients they target and operating models within that.
Kerry Ong: [00:04:20] We work with all sorts. We have to adapt the way that we provide our coaching and consulting support of course depending on that business, but it’s been really interesting to see I guess the lay of the land of financial advice. I look back at history over the last 30 or 40 years since the birth of our industry and how it’s evolved to where it’s sitting now. It’s fairly exciting to see where it’s heading in the future as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:04:49] The future looks to me ... We’ll probably get there a bit later, but it’s a pretty interesting space and there’ll be a fair amount of change for a lot of people. Just at the moment with regards to a lot of the advisors, are there any common issues or pains that you’re often coming across?
Kerry Ong: [00:05:06] Yeah, I guess the biggest pains at the moment are the ones that are written all over the news. Of course, all the regulatory pressure, I think we’ve got different expectations now, and the industry has a different expectation on it. It’s not only coming from the regulators. I think it’s coming from clients as well. I think the regulators are leading the way, but they’re leading the way because they’re trying to talk on behalf of the clients.
Kerry Ong: [00:05:29] In the end of the day, the way I look at financial advice is it’s there to benefit Australians to live a better life really. If we’re not doing everything we can from a regulatory perspective to protect that and protect I guess the benefit to that client, then we should really think about how we’re doing things. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges at the moment. With that challenge comes the time involved in making sure that you actually serve those clients in the right way.
Kerry Ong: [00:06:01] We’ve got education standards coming through the time involved with that as well. I think time pressures because of all these regulatory pressures right now at our ministry is probably the biggest part, but I think on the other side of that as well is that we’ve got to make sure we’re looking after the clients. The clients are going to have a different expectation around the value of advice. We need to make sure that our practices ... I think the practices are starting to come to terms with that. We need to make sure we’re looking after the client at the end of the day. Are our business models a year from now, two years from now, going to support what clients are expecting from us then?
Fraser Jack: [00:06:38] Yeah, I think you’re spot on with both those points on time pressure. These time pressures really need quick decisions, don’t they? The advisors and planners to make decisions and act on those decisions for the time pressure. I also love what you’re saying around the fact that client centric. I know client centric can be a bit of a buzzword or whatever, but it really does gel this point of view. All of the glittery stuff just stems from looking after the clients. If we start with ... We’re talking about business planning a lot here. I think in my view if you’re really thinking about business planning seriously, maybe you can include clients or consumers in your planning process and run it past them rather than just the people in the industry and say to your clients, “Is this something that you guys value before we actually put it in place?”
Kerry Ong: [00:07:32] Yeah, it’s interesting you say that because one of the practices that we work with actually had a client feedback session where they got ... I think it was a bunch of 10-12 clients in a room. It was open feedback about how we’re doing, what should we continue doing, what should we start doing, what should we stop doing? I think that level of trust with clients to start with is a really good one, but actually being able to listen to clients and shape your business ... To be honest, that’s the reason why you’re in business, so why aren’t we listening to them a little bit more? I think that’s the important part of it. We try to learn off that IOOF as well. We try to do a lot of research. We’re probably heading down into another market research project in the next couple of years or next couple of months anyway.
Kerry Ong: [00:08:20] We want to make sure that whatever we’re doing and whatever changes we’re making within the business and with our practices is hitting the mark with clients. I think at a smaller level, individual practices can do that as well especially with that relationship that they actually have with clients. Most of the times, it’s open and honest, so why not ask the people who matter?
Fraser Jack: [00:08:38] Exactly right. Do you want to give us a bit more of an overview of the actual academy itself. This is obviously the Goals Based Advice Podcast. A lot of the stuff you’re doing is around goals-based advice and values-based advice. Do you want to give us a bit of an overview of the academy itself?
Kerry Ong: [00:08:54] Yeah. The academy was actually established back in December 2016, so it’s fairly new. The first intake to our program was in 2017. It was really built off the back of IOOF’s advice-led strategy. We created the academy as an investment back into the industry and an investment back into our advice businesses and ultimately for the Australian clients that we’re all looking after as well.
Kerry Ong: [00:09:20] We had a look at I guess their value chain of advice. Why IOOF has that advice-led strategy is because the true source of value for our clients is the advice that they’re receiving. We wanted to invest a little bit more into that world. My team ... We run modules. It’s a five-module program. It covers every facet of running an advice business, and we break it down into I guess three broad coaching areas. The first one’s business coaching. That’s all around business planning, the personal vision of the practice principles, the business vision of the division, the advice philosophies. We even touch on the employee value [inaudible 00:10:01] HR pieces as well and capacity planning and pricing.
Kerry Ong: [00:10:05] Then we really lead into making sure that that has a connection to the advice coaching piece, which is all that goals-led conversation, goals-based advice, what client ongoing coaching offer actually looks like and how do we actually embed those goals into that ongoing coaching offer? We introduce what we call client benchmarking. We use client data to demonstrate to the clients that their decisions throughout I guess their advice relationship is either going to bring them closer towards or further away from their goals. We help facilitate that conversation around that. Then it’s really about that values-based conversation with clients linking back to those goals.
Kerry Ong: [00:10:44] What does success look like for clients in an advice relationship? I think it’s really important to understand that with a client because ultimately the reason that they’re coming to see you ... There may be a trigger point. It may be they’ve got a pay rise, they’re having a new kid, they’ve been made redundant, but there’s actually a value behind that we need to extract from the clients so that we can truly understand how we’re making a mark there. The third part of the coaching is I guess the systems and processes that wraps all around that. Processes and procedures, of course, using advice technology to enable that. It’s all about systemizing that back office so we can actually have better conversations in the front office.
Fraser Jack: [00:11:31] If a practice is looking at starting this process, how long would it take them to go through those three steps in the modules?
Kerry Ong: [00:11:41] The five modules run over about a two-year period. You could probably do it shorter, but what we actually do is we run a module. Then we have about three to four months that we have in rotation after that module. Some people run faster than others of course, and it depends on their commitment, their time commitment that they can actually allow for that. In general, it’s a two-year program plus I’d say probably another year after that to introduce the full offering to their clients.
Kerry Ong: [00:12:09] We deliver a lot of content and we deliver a lot of our learnings and business transformation. That doesn’t happen on day one, but it happens through a stage process. I’ve got business consultants and business coaches within my team that actually work on a regular basis. They work to a project plan with our practices to guide them through every step of the way.
Kerry Ong: [00:12:28] One of the most important things is there’s a connection between all the modules. An example of that is we talk a lot about advice philosophies in module one. Those advice philosophies actually filter through modules two, three, four and five. What we find with a lot of practices is we refine those philosophies through the module as well. We’re going back and revisiting quite a bit of time. Generally, it’s a two to three-year relationship with our team.
Fraser Jack: [00:12:56] It’s interesting, isn’t it? As you mention, the transformation process takes time. Do you work with the whole of the practice or just the principles?
Kerry Ong: [00:13:03] Yeah, we work with the whole practice. We believe that the whole practice needs to be involved where applicable. I think it’s about using everyone to their unique abilities and their unique strengths. Depending on the content. If we’re talking about personal visions, business visions, it’s more the practice principles, but once we start talking about that advice coaching piece, it’s really about all the advisors and all the authorized reps and then the systems and processes of everyone in the office. We get everyone involved.
Kerry Ong: [00:13:31] We spend a lot of time in the offices. The workshops, general, people fly down to Melbourne. It’s like minded individuals in a room. It’s really an open conversation and a workshop, but we actually spend a lot of time in the offices bringing the rest of the practice on the journey because a lot of the times, a big practice can’t fly everyone out for a day. We’ll head out to them and we’ll make sure that we facilitate that collaboration between the teams.
Fraser Jack: [00:13:55] Yeah, it’s a little bit of change within the actual ... A fair bit of change within the practice itself. As you mention, it takes time. How do they then roll it out to their clients? I think it’s probably easier with a new client or starting with a new client, but how do they roll it out the existing clients?
Kerry Ong: [00:14:12] It’s definitely easier with a new client because they’re introducing a brand new service offer. With the existing clients, we’ve seen people do it in a few ways. Either they’ll start introducing a different type of a relationship and it’s almost a reengagement of clients. What we actually do is we really focus on engaging new clients, but we apply that engaging new clients to existing clients as well. It’s about shifting that conversation with the existing clients to say, “The importance of having a conversation around your goals and an important conversation around working out what success in financial planning looks like for you is this, this, this. This is the service offering that we’re trying to introduce for you.
Kerry Ong: [00:14:58] I think with the existing clients, they may have a perception on their relationship that they’re having with the advisors. Training that sometimes is a little bit more difficult, but we’ve found that once you get it right and once you approach it in the right way, most clients are actually realizing that’s actually what I do come to you for. It just wasn’t clearly articulated in the past.
Fraser Jack: [00:15:22] Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right about the perception thing. There’s probably now, more than ever, as a good excuse to bring up this conversation with your clients to say, “You know what, there’s been a whole lot of changes and this is how we do things now.” From there-
Kerry Ong: [00:15:39] Yeah. I think financial planning’s always been a goals-based industry. I think advisors have been really good at translating those goals into either portfolio review or a product outcome. I think we’ve always been really good at having a conversation about client goals. We’ve just translated it in the wrong way and provided potentially either the wrong conversation around the solution. It’s just about changing a few things around here just to say, “No, we’ve got to put an extra step around the values and what you’re actually really trying to achieve from your goals and then the product solution will come after that.” I don’t think we’re going to get rid of the investment conversation or the product conversation. I think it’s part of the delivery of advice, but there’s just adding that extra step around, “There is a link between what success looks like in financial planning or your values to your goals to the product offering.”
Fraser Jack: [00:16:28] I just want to unpack some of this a little bit more. You talk about the goals and we talk about the values. I know that they’re different things, but [inaudible 00:16:40] talk about the order they come in and how they work together?
Kerry Ong: [00:16:44] Yeah, I think they have to intertwine. They need to have a direct link with each other because what we see as their values is what clients really come to seek advice for is what does success look like in financial planning for them whether that be peace of mind, looking after my family, all those values and feeling parts. Every goal should be able to link back to that value. It might not be a direct link, but it should lead them towards achieving that success and achieving those values.
Kerry Ong: [00:17:19] If they’re waiting to make sure they’re looking after their family, then the goals there might be making sure if anything goes wrong that they’ve got adequate covers in place or whatever it might be or that they’ve got things structured in the right way to make sure that they can actually achieve that. It might just be going on a holiday or making sure their kids can go to private school or whatever it may be. It should link back to what success looks like and what the values of advice for that client is. Then we bring in the product part later. If you put values and success in the center of everything, I think the goals sit just in the outside, but they intertwine. Then all the actual advice sits on the outside of that.
Fraser Jack: [00:18:06] As you’re saying that, I’m visualizing the Simon Sinek Golden Circle with the why, what and how. Essentially, the values are really the why, the goals are the what and the financial planning piece is the how.
Kerry Ong: [00:18:24] Yeah, that’s exactly right. You’ve hit the nail on the head with that. It is exactly that. I think if you’re covering off ... We’ve been really good at industry of not having to get into that why often, but I think we have to get there now. I think clients are expecting it from us. I think the true relationships are really in that why now.
Fraser Jack: [00:18:46] I think that’s right and understanding and being able to articulate that, understanding their values and their way back to them, is the reason that they’ll stay the long term.
Kerry Ong: [00:18:57] Yeah, that’s right. It’s going to be the norm and the expectations of the industry moving forward. I don’t think we can avoid that. I think it’s something that we need to embrace and we just need to be aware of it. I think it’s actually really easy. Advisors are generally good at talking and they’re good at actually connecting with clients. It’s just about being conscious that we need to connect to them at that level. That’s where the true value is going to come out in that relationship.
Kerry Ong: [00:19:25] I think that value needs to be more than financial. We’ve done some research at IOOF as well. We’ve got a white paper that’s published. If you search IOOF white paper, we researched the intangible benefits around financial advice and I think that is important to understand as well is that it extends beyond financial gains. It improves overall physical health. It fosters stronger relationships. It provides that peace of mind, less arguments within the family. If we can actually focus on that ... A lot of that value around advice is more than a financial benefit, but we’ve got to take the conversation to that level.
Fraser Jack: [00:20:03] Just while we’re on the intangible benefits side, there’s been a lot of conversation in the industry lately. Obviously, when it comes to fees and FDS and those sorts of things and being able to stack up, “These are the services we provided. These are the fees that we’re paying.” Again, most of that infrastructure evolves around the how and doesn’t necessarily include the what and the why. How do we bring that intangible back into the billing process when it comes to stacking up what we did for the client?
Kerry Ong: [00:20:38] I think it’s about building a really good CBP that links to the values of the client. It’s two parts. It’s making sure your CBP links to the values of clients, but it’s making sure that your service offering and your ongoing coaching offer or your ongoing service offer, whatever you want to call it, links back to delivering value to that client in every touchpoint along the way.
Kerry Ong: [00:20:59] I think if you do that and you’re introducing the conversations to the client, they’re going to start to realize that it may say in the ongoing service agreement, “Yep, we’re going to have an annual review,” but the clients should be able to interpret that to saying, “Yep, we’re going to make sure that we’re revisiting what success looks like to us as a client. We’re going to revisit our goals. We’re going to look at my current information again to make sure it’s aligned. I’m going to derive value. It’s either going to bring me closer to my success and closer to me achieving my goals or it’s going to reset me on a path.”
Kerry Ong: [00:21:31] I think it’s about really defining out that CBP and linking those values back to each step of the process in the relationship with the client. I think that’s a really important part. I think we as an industry off the back of the 232 ASIC report, we’ve got to redesign what ongoing service looks like for clients. I think we have to be very client centric on it and we need to make sure that we are delivering the right type of service for our clients. That needs to link back to not only what we’re doing for the clients, but why we’re doing that for the clients as well. We’ve got a big project. I think a lot of advice or AFS sellers have products going on at the moment. In having a look at that to make sure that we are providing the right outcomes for our clients.
Fraser Jack: [00:22:19] If we can keep that in the conversation too going forward over the next few years to make sure that ... I know that the licensees are working on it, but it’d be also great to have it in the public domain as what could be a great expectation for all planners and all advisors out there even if they’re small licensed or self licensed or whatever it might be.
Kerry Ong: [00:22:42] To be honest, I’m hoping it is. There’s a two-pronged effect to I guess this change. I hope it is a change in the way advice businesses are delivering advice to clients, but a change in what clients are expecting from advice as well. I think right now it’s a really good time for us to help educate clients on the value of advice and the true value of advice. A lot of times ... I still remember in the past that I got referred to as a super person, “I’m going to see Kerry, the super person.” Do I want to be that as an advisor anymore? No. I want to be that trusted advisor. I want them to refer to me as, “He’s the guy that’s going to get me to where I want to get to. He’s the guy that’s going to leave me in a better position after I see him.” How do we actually correct that as a norm and a norm and expectations from a client?
Kerry Ong: [00:23:31] I think this is going to lead us along the way, but what we’re going to have to realize is that one can’t change without the other. We can’t change I guess the way we provide advice without the change in the client’s expectations. We can’t change a client’s expectations if we’re not meeting that from an advice point of view as well. It’s got to happen on both sides of the fence.
Fraser Jack: [00:23:50] It’s interesting that you say that because you’re absolutely right. People used to be known in the way what their specialty was. I know specialization is still a thing, and some people might be a ... You’ll see it all the time in the SMSF world, where they’re an SMSF specialist or we see it in the risk insurance world, where they’re a risk specialist. How do you see all this panning out with the specialist conversation because generally the specialist has been around a particular strategy or product, not necessarily the goals or values.
Kerry Ong: [00:24:25] I actually still see a place in the industry for specialists, that’s for sure. I see a space for both types of advisors, but there’s potentially the entrance of a ... I’ll call it a third type of advisor, even though it exists anyway, but it could be more of the relationship style advisor that actually draws in specialists where required. It could be that ... Whatever you want to call it, a values-based advice or a strategic advisor. It could be that relationship that fosters that or really fleshes out with a client what they’re really trying to achieve from advice, but they’re bringing in a specialist where required to look after a particular area. I still see that as a benefit. I don’t think we can ... I don’t know. I think there’s more value in a client having someone that can actually look at their client situation in full.
Fraser Jack: [00:25:18] I guess similar to the professional model with the GP and the specialist.
Kerry Ong: [00:25:22] Yeah, very similar to that definitely.
Fraser Jack: [00:25:25] Very good. Kerry, in this podcast, I wanted to have a conversation with you about if you and I were starting an advice practice from scratch ... We had a clean slate. We could do anything. We didn’t have to worry about not having income in the first few years, whatever it might be, how would and what would our advice process look like? How would we set it up in the best way knowing that to you and I, for example, based on all of your dealings with other businesses, what you might put. What would that perfect advice process look like?
Kerry Ong: [00:26:03] I think the first thing we’d do is I’d sit down with you, Fraser, and we’d really nut out why we’re going to into business together to start with. We call it our personal vision. It’s about working out what actually makes you tick, why you are actually in business. It could be that you’re in business to look after clients, you want to put clients in a better position or it could be ... I’d probably drill down a little bit further than that and work out, “What does success look like for you? What are your values in regards to what you’re trying to achieve with financial planning?” I want to work out, “Is this your retirement plan? What actually makes you tick? Why are you going into business?” I think we both need to understand that in each other to make sure we’re aligned in what we’re trying to do. Then I’d say, “Okay, the next step beyond that ... Sorry. Go.
Fraser Jack: [00:26:48] So passion and purpose we work out with each other. Now, we could have the same passion and purpose or we could have contrasting passion and purpose, but it works for us because say I’m retiring in 10 years and you want to take over. It actually could work whether it’s similar or contrasting.
Kerry Ong: [00:27:07] Yeah. I think it’s really important to make sure that you’ve got an understanding around that passion and purpose. That’s probably the most important part. It doesn’t matter if it’s different because different passions and purpose could lead to that same business vision. I think that’s what’s important in the next step is that we work out personally what we want to do, but let’s translate that personal vision into a business vision for me and you. That’s a joint business vision. I think that personal visions can be separate and they should be separate because they’re personal, but the business vision, we’ve got to somehow get together and go, “How do we translate both our personal visions into a business vision that’s going to take us forward?”
Fraser Jack: [00:27:44] Perfect, good. Yep. We’ve done that.
Kerry Ong: [00:27:47] Yep, we’ve spent a bit of time in that because everything that we do from that point on should relate back to that business vision. Decisions we’re making we can relate it back to that. From there, I’d say that we really need to work out what our philosophies around advice are. The Fraser-Kerry brand, what do we want advice to look like coming out of our business? I think we need to be fairly firm on that because setting that up from the start is going to give us a lot of guidance in regards to everything, from the type of staff we’re bringing on board, the type of clients we’re bringing on board, the type of advice that we’re providing.
Kerry Ong: [00:28:19] I want to be proud in what the Fraser-Kerry brand is delivering. In the academy, we split that into cashflow philosophies, broad philosophies and contingency philosophies. We break it into three different areas. We’d really flesh out ... At a contingency, we’d touch on insurance. It’s probably the simplest one. “What is our philosophy and approach around insurance advice? What is our philosophies around what investment advice? Are we using managed funds? Are we using direct equities? Are we outsourced into managed accounts? What are we actually doing there?” It’s really having a firm understanding on that and agreeing to that. Then we can have some consistency within our business as well.
Kerry Ong: [00:29:04] I’d probably start to look at systems and processes there. That’s the whole technology piece, plus actually trying to build out what we want from a systems and processes point of view. Start to roadmap that. I wouldn’t say we’d firm it down at that point. We’ve just got to have some sort of roadmap around where we see I guess our infrastructure to look like and what the processes that sit behind that to look like. Then it’s really nutting out what our CVP is because we need to work out what is our value proposition to our clients and perspective clients because that’s going to feed into our target market and then our acquisition plan.
Kerry Ong: [00:29:44] That’s going to relate back to what our advice philosophies are and back to our business vision as well. Making sure that those all interconnect is a really important part. I think from there we’ve got to work out ... I’d skip to our ongoing coaching offer. I’d skip to that point and say, “Let’s think about from a ongoing relationship point of view with our clients, what are we actually trying to help them achieve and how are we going to get them there? How is our advice going to revolve from an ongoing point of view?”
Kerry Ong: [00:30:17] It may be goals tracking, how do we actually goals track? How do we actually make sure that that comes up, that our conversations from an ongoing basis are focused on inspiring those clients back to those goals? How are we inspiring clients to success? Then once we work out what that ongoing coaching offer is, let’s go back and let’s really work out what the engagement process is from initial engagement piece. We’d break that down. We’d say, “Do we have a prospect screening call? What do we do in the first appointment? Do we want some sort of structure around that? How do we introduce our advice philosophies? How do we introduce what our ongoing coaching offer is and the value to the clients there?”
Kerry Ong: [00:30:57] If you’re thinking about that, we’ve got our business vision, our advice philosophies, our systems and processes. We’ve got our ongoing coaching offer. We know how to onboard clients now. We can actually really start thinking about our capacity planning and HR piece. Let’s get the right people aligned to our business vision, aligned to our advice philosophies to help us start delivering this.
Kerry Ong: [00:31:18] Whether or not that be just me and you to start with or whether or not we think we need help, that goes in the capacity piece. Then once we’ve got that capacity piece, we know our CVP. We know our target market. We know the type of clients we’re wanting. Let’s translate that back into our business plan. I think first off that business plan would be created from the start, but evolve into now. Let’s really draw that back into a pricing model for our clients. Are we trying to be profitable year one? Are we actually trying to set up a business? What are we actually trying to do there? Let’s translate it back to a pricing model that supports our growth, our capacity plan, our staffing and get in the right clients in the door to the right offer that is valuable for them and valuable for us.
Fraser Jack: [00:32:08] Fantastic. That’s a pretty comprehensive process to go through to look at setting up a business.
Kerry Ong: [00:32:15] Are we going into business, Fraser?
Fraser Jack: [00:32:16] Before we do that, let’s just quickly go through this engagement process and set up the magical best practice amazing for client engagement process. As you said before, do we start with a qualifying coaching call, whatever it might be? What is that? Is it a three, four, five six-meeting process and all the way through to engaged, ongoing client?
Kerry Ong: [00:32:49] We’ll start from initial engagement to start with. I think prospect screening is a really important part of the process. We often get asked who should be doing that prospect screening. Should it be the receptionist? Should it be an admin staff, a para planner, associate advisor or the advisor? I personally believe it should be the advisor. Prospect screening is the first point that you’re going to have contact with the client. It’s there to actually help you not only understand if the client fits into your business, but be able to start setting the scene for that client on what value they’re going to actually start to achieve from I guess engaging with you. It’s a two-prong thing. It’s about us selling I guess what we’re doing in value back to the client, but working out if that client actually fits into our world as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:33:34] That screening call ... We call it a call. It could be an online meeting.
Kerry Ong: [00:33:39] Yeah, it could be an online meeting. It could be a coffee. It could be any way. I think doing it in the most efficient way for you is best. I think we should be using digital a lot more than what the industry is and I think it is changing that way, but we should be supporting that as much as possible. Like Zoom webinars and Skype calls and the rest of it, we should be using that as much as possible.
Fraser Jack: [00:34:04] It’s a two-way conversation, to find out a little bit about what the client wants, their expectations or at this stage the prospect. Then we give them a bit of an overview of what we do. Do we talk about pricing at this point?
Kerry Ong: [00:34:19] Yeah, we always ... We recommend the introduction of pricing into this conversation. I don’t think we are firm on what the pricing is, but there is an expectation that there is a cost associated with advice of course, but I think that can be discussed in length in the first appointment once you know the client’s situation a little bit more. I’m always of the opinion that we should be collecting a little bit more information in these prospect screening call as well, so we can actually go into a first appointment prepared to some extent to make sure that each step of the process, within that first appointment, the client is actually receiving some sort of value because you actually understand them a little bit more.
Fraser Jack: [00:35:04] Okay. Cool. I like the idea of talking about pricing too in that first coffee catchup/screening/online meetup. That’s the one thing that’ll be in the back of their mind as a fearful thing, how much is this going to cost? Am I getting myself into too deeply? Have I committed to something already? I think a lot of that putting the client at ease, pricing conversation ...
Kerry Ong: [00:35:31] Yeah, definitely. I don’t think we should be hiding behind pricing especially we’re very confident on the value that we can actually deliver to a client for that pricing. You go to a doctor and you expect to pay something. You go to an accountant, you expect to pay something. It should be the same for financial advice, and we shouldn’t be hiding behind it.
Fraser Jack: [00:35:50] That first initial meeting, that’s not charged or recorded though?
Kerry Ong: [00:35:55] It’s up to the individual practice, but we position that there is a cost associated to it at times, but it can be waived. I think we need to not hide that there’s a cost association with time that we spend with clients. If you were charging for that meeting for every client, you’re probably going to screen out a lot of potential clients and then potential value that you’re going to add back to the clients because they’re going to be scared to come in.
Kerry Ong: [00:36:27] I think it’s about playing it by ear. A lot of people do ... I don’t like saying obligation-free, price-free first appointment. I think we should position it that there is some sort of expectation with the client that we’ll have a really deep discussion. There may be costs involved beyond that, but for this meeting, we’ll put the cost aside for the time being because we want to understand you better. There’s got to be a reason behind why the cost is actually waived in that instance. I don’t think it should just be a free appointment.
Fraser Jack: [00:37:03] Sorry, I was talking about the phone, the catchup type ... The very first meeting. Then the next meeting I guess we call ... A lot of people call this the discovery meeting or whatever it might be. Getting a real good understanding of the client’s goals, objectives and needs and passions, their why and what if you like.
Kerry Ong: [00:37:23] Yep, yep. I’m hoping we have, between the prospect screening call and the meeting, gathered some sort of information from that client, so we’re actually not having to rehash on everything there. Digitally is probably the best way that I’d say we’d gather that. I don’t think we should get a full fact find done, but some basic information so you can actually go into a meeting with a level of understanding about the client. Most of that meeting should be about ... We talk about structured presentations for that first appointment. It should be about us introducing what we do as a business, but more importantly what is that client really wanting to achieve? What does success look like in a financial planning relationship for that client?
Kerry Ong: [00:38:07] We’ve got to interpret that to see if that aligns to our visions for our business, but then it’s about the goals conversation and the true goals conversation, not the, “I want to consolidate my superannuation goal.” It’s what is the reason behind you wanting to consolidate your superannuation?” It should be all focused on that with the client. That’s questioning techniques. That’s all about the advisor. Even me as a young rookie in the advice game, going on 13 years ago, 13, 15 years ago, I think I wrote some goals in my SOA that was, “I want to consolidate my superannuation,” without delving further. I think it’s an expectation now that we should be delving further into the why, into that middle of the circle again.
Fraser Jack: [00:38:54] Yep, and I think why is a great question just by itself, isn’t it?
Kerry Ong: [00:39:00] Yeah, definitely.
Fraser Jack: [00:39:00] Really refining those goals, understanding them and then articulating them back to the prospect client at this point and just making sure that they are what they want to achieve and maybe doing some prioritization around those goals during that meeting.
Kerry Ong: [00:39:16] Yeah. I think there’s a few things. It’s, “Let’s ask why. Let’s ask the client what does that actually mean to them as well.” Then it is reflecting back on that goal and asking them how that actually makes them feel.
Fraser Jack: [00:39:29] With the advice process, in my head, I have this thing where we get all that information. We find out why. We at that point then, after you’re really starting ready to give advice, you go through a process where you’re looking at strategies. Then you’re looking at individual products they can put those strategies in place. Then you’re relaying all that back to the client in the advice format, the advice process. Then you’re basically looking for them to make decisions based on them having all that information available to them. Some people break this process up into several meetings. Some people do it in one. What are your thoughts?
Kerry Ong: [00:40:12] I like to do it in one. What I think is clients should come in and they should value the time that they’re spending with you. I’d like to have ... After the discovery meeting, I’d like the next meeting to be a planned presentation meeting where we get the client back in and we provide them with some sort of clarity around the situation on them moving forward.
Kerry Ong: [00:40:35] I’m not against having a strategy meeting in between that if we need to flesh out exactly ... Let’s say we haven’t collected enough information prior to the first meeting where we can actually provide some sort of guidance on where the advice is going. I don’t mind having a points for discussion meeting or a strategy meeting in the middle of that, but definitely I want to provide clients with clarity every time they come in and see us around how we are actually going to help them achieve their goals, how we’re actually going to help them move towards the success.
Kerry Ong: [00:41:11] What we need to do more as an issue as well is we collect ... If we’re going to slowly move into an industry where we’re collecting true goals from a client, but it’s actually doing something with those goals and reinspiring the clients towards those goals and making sure that if we are recommending products and recommending strategies, it does relate back to their goals and it does relate it back to success for that client. It’s making that link that’s really important. I think that clarity for a client in that planned presentation meeting is one of the most important parts.
Fraser Jack: [00:41:43] Yeah, absolutely. You definitely have to link it all back to the goals in my mind too. With regards to the strategy conversation ... Sometimes it can take some clients longer than others to get their heads around the different strategies and how they work. Sometimes it can also be really overwhelming to ... Say we’re doing eight different strategies and we’re doing all these different things. For a client to have that complete understanding of how the strategies are all going to work, how do you feel about that scenario of do you do it all in one go or do you spread it out over a couple of meetings, say, “Right, we’re going to do all these things first we mentioned before when we talked about the topic of cashflow contingency and then investment,” of maybe breaking it up into those three and doing one, then doing the next one the next month and the next one the other month after?
Kerry Ong: [00:42:32] I think to get proper clarity on a client’s situation, I think their goals ... Let’s say, Fraser, we’ve mapped out the client goals and they’ve got 20 odd goals that they want to achieve between now and their lifetime, I think the cashflow advice, wealth advice and contingency advice are all going to lead to them being able to achieve those goals. I think the conversation needs to happen somewhat in one hit. If the meeting’s going for four hours, then maybe we need to break it up a little bit. We’ve got to be reasonable there with that time we spend with the client.
Kerry Ong: [00:43:06] I think the client needs to understand that not one part of advice doesn’t have an interconnecting part to another part of advice. I’d always say in that instance is let’s spend more time on that goals conversation. Let’s spend more time on potentially some sort of financial modeling. I think that’s where technology plays a huge part, but let’s talk about your cashflow advice, your wealth advice and your contingency in one hit in relation back to those goals. I think the only way to do that is to, first off, have a really good system as in system and process within your business, but secondly, use technology to enable that. It’s really hard to draw that on a white board these days. It’s getting more and more complex on making sure that everything interconnects.
Fraser Jack: [00:43:55] Okay, so bring it all up in even a summary format and then start going a little bit deeper into it maybe and then depending on whether we’re getting glazed eyes or whether we’re getting complete understanding. Just play that one by ear whether you break it up over several meetings.
Kerry Ong: [00:44:12] Yeah, I think you have to give clients a break. We tried to time out a planned presentation that covers cashflow, wealth and contingency advice. We sort of found after about cashflow wealth, you’re sitting at about an hour and a bit. That’s probably the time to get up, walk out of the room, offer the clients a coffee, potentially show them around your office, but get them out of that learning pattern for a little while so they can actually refresh and reset before bringing them back in for a contingency discussion. We almost say that’s a perfect break as well because heading into a discussion around estate planning, personal insurance and all that asset protection style of things, it’s probably a good point to have a break because you’re about to talk about some really heavy stuff.
Kerry Ong: [00:45:03] It also gives us a point to say, “As we’re heading to that contingency discussion, what we’re actually doing is we’re protecting all their goals and objectives there anyway, so it gives us a point in time where we can actually have a break, but come back in and reinspire the client around their goals, but then this is everything that’s going to protect it. Advisors need to play that by ear. I am one that ... I’m a good talker, and I’ll continue to talk for hours and hours, but we need to understand that good talks don’t translate to good learners. We need to understand that clients learn in very different ways and we need to be mindful of that. We do that in our workshops and the rest of it as well because no one wants to be talked at for hours and hours and hours.
Fraser Jack: [00:45:47] I do love the word contingency when you’re talking about estate planning and risk and contingency that can cause. The whole reason we’re doing this is putting these in place as a contingency to make sure your goals are more likely to happen, which is fantastic. I love that term. I just wanted to touch on this cashflow side of it because that’s obviously the one part that clients really can control a lot of the plan. Also a lot of the time, this is not just about setting a budget or looking at your cash and setting a budget. It’s an ongoing ... New behaviors need to be learned, new habits, all those sorts of things. Often, in the first year, it’s a regular catchup around cashflow, isn’t it? How do we position this?
Kerry Ong: [00:46:38] From a cashflow perspective with us, we don’t look into the micro of the budgeting, etc. I think there is a place for all that. The way we look at cashflow, cashflow is the one area that the clients have control over. It’s a really important part that helps them either achieve or not achieve their goals and objectives. We look at it as simply as cash in, cash out, how much money is coming in, how much money’s going out, how much is left over and where are we putting that? Are we allocating it towards goals? Are we allocating to future savings? What are we actually doing with that?
Kerry Ong: [00:47:12] The next step there is actually keeping the clients accountable to their cashflow strategy. We use something called client benchmarking. In real simplistic terms, it’s a financial planning model or methodology around accountability to the client and the financial advisor on their decisions that they’re making in their cashflow strategy over the last year is either going to bring them closer to or further away from achieving their goals and objectives.
Fraser Jack: [00:47:41] A net cashflow and then also being able to show that net cashflow on a regular basis to make sure that you are doing what you ... The accountability side, you are doing what you’re meant to be doing. If not, then we need to have a talk sort of thing.
Kerry Ong: [00:47:56] Yeah, that’s right. I think again technology is a huge part in that to make it actually efficient for you to actually be able to get that information. We can’t always rely on the clients to know exactly what we’re spending, but we can actually use high level technology to give us high level figures on what’s actually happened over the past year.
Fraser Jack: [00:48:14] I think the technology’s great here because so often ... For many years, clients have been saying, yeah, they earn this and they spend that and then what they actually earn and actually spend is often very different. Sometimes pretty close, but often very different to what they actually think. There’s a bit of a moment in time where they actually go, “Oh wow, that’s ...
Kerry Ong: [00:48:34] Yeah, and I think they need to understand that ... Let’s say we’re preparing financial modeling based on them spending $60,000 a year, but if they spend $80,000 a year, they need to understand that that’s going to have an effect on the financial model they’re providing. Not just the modeling. We’re modeling towards their goals and objectives, so it’s going to have an effect on them achieving their goals and objectives. We should be able to be armed with the data that we’re already collecting off the client to have that conversation.
Fraser Jack: [00:49:01] Absolutely. We’ve helped them with their cashflow. We helped with their contingency. We’ve worked through any investment outcomes they need. Then it’s decision time for the clients to make decisions around what they want to do. Is that another meeting?
Kerry Ong: [00:49:27] I’d like the clients to have clarity in that meeting to be able to make some sort of decision. I’m very aware that clients need to think over things. A lot of the times, we like to make sure that our advisors are actually potentially leaving the room in some parts through the meeting to allow the clients to actually have a discussion with each other. I think it allows them to get in a better position to make a decision in the meeting as well. I think everyone needs to have the choice in proceeding or not proceeding. I believe that.
Kerry Ong: [00:49:59] Sometimes that choice can occur in that meeting if everything you’re saying is compelling and to the needs of the client. Sometimes they might need to walk away with that. We’ve got to be prepared in both instances, but I think we need to give the clients every opportunity to make a decision in that meeting if they’re ready to make a decision as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:50:15] Then after the client decision, we have the implementation process. How do we go with that? Is that something that you talk to your team, to your advisors around the client services staff being involved or outsourcing some staff? How do we go?
Kerry Ong: [00:50:35] This is the part of the process where we actually make sure that we’re bringing the office involved within our coaching. We set up all the systems and processes in the office to make sure that implementation occurs, which is a very important part because if we’re promising all this stuff to the clients, the clients agree to all this stuff, then let’s make sure it actually happens, but at the same time, let’s make sure we keep the client up to date with the process along the way as well. I’m impartial to outsourcing or keeping it inside the business. I’d like to have things inside the business from a preference, but I don’t mind if people wanted to outsource any part of the implementation as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:51:21] We’re now up to the implementation process. How do we go about that? Do we start looking at outsourcing staff? Is it the advisor’s role? Where do we sit with all the implementation stuff?
Kerry Ong: [00:51:33] This is the part of the process where we actually make sure that we’re bringing the office involved within our coaching. We set up all the systems and processes in the office to make sure that implementation occurs, which is a very important part because if we’re promising all this stuff to the clients, the clients agree to all this stuff, then let’s make sure that it actually happens, but at the same time, let’s make sure we keep the client up to date with the process along the way as well. I’m impartial to outsourcing it or keeping it inside the business. I’d like to have things inside the business from a preference, but I don’t mind if people are wanting to outsource any part of the implementation as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:52:17] When it comes to ... A lot of people now at this point ... Let’s say something’s all gone through and the plan’s all been set up. At the next meeting with the client to just go through everything and make sure they understand everything and how it’s been set up?
Kerry Ong: [00:52:34] Make sure we have a implementation checkpoint at some point. Whether that’s a virtual meeting or a face-to-face meeting, I think it’s important to give the client clarity that what you’ve said you’re going to do has occurred and everything’s gone in the right direction. It also gives us the checkpoint to say, “If anything hasn’t happened, let’s address it at that point as well.”
Fraser Jack: [00:52:54] Yeah, I think it’s a great meeting to have and just to show ... Showing them and understanding. Some people go through this meeting, go, “Can you show me you know how to log in and see this? Can you show me how to do all these sort of things?” The accountability side. I guess we can also touch on the cashflow accountability again at this point.
Kerry Ong: [00:53:14] It’s also a really good point to reestablish what the online coaching relationship is going to look like with that client because a lot of the times in initial meetings and initial planning presentations, the clients are focused on that implementation of that plan. We need to make sure we’re reestablishing that relationship around, “This is what you can expect from us over the next year. This is what we expect from you as well.”
Fraser Jack: [00:53:39] Then to the ongoing meeting. In an ideal world, how often would you be recommending the client come in and go through and catch up?
Kerry Ong: [00:53:50] It depends on the client and the service offering to be honest. I like to have at least a six-monthly check in with the client. It may be a smaller type of review in that instance, but it’s a check in to make sure that things are still on track. At a bare minimum, Fraser, once a year, that’s a absolutely bare minimum. Depending on the client and the client situation, it could be up to quarterly. It could be quarterly. It’s a combination of web meetings, telephone calls and face-to-face meetings. I think it’s about working out your value points with that client along the way and making sure the client requires it to continue to proceed, to work towards their goals and objectives and success and that you can deliver it as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:54:32] Yeah, I like the idea of quarterly even for the first year, just as you get started, just to make sure that they are understanding how things are different. They don’t have to be big long, indepth meetings. Often it’s just quickly track your goals, look where they’re up to, understand ... Keep them focused on what they can do. As I mentioned, what they earn, what they spend, keep them focused. That accountability piece is really big in the first year until they form new habits.
Kerry Ong: [00:54:59] Again, technology is a big part in that. I think if I went back 10 years ago and someone told me I had four appointments with a client, I’d think, “Whoa, four appointments is a lot,” but in this day and age, with the connections around Zoom, etc, I think it’s a lot easier to be able to do. I think we should be using that as much as possible and keeping in contact with our clients as much as possible as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:55:20] Absolutely. As you mentioned, with online meetings, there’s no excuse really, is there? You don’t have to be finding a car park and making your way in through traffic. It’s pretty easy. Very good. Just in a ballpark way ... Obviously, you see a lot of different charging models and pricing models, what would you see averaged highs and lows maybe of annual charging for this sort of service?
Kerry Ong: [00:55:51] That’s a tough one, Fraser. We’re playing around right now with a pricing calculator. We’re trying to price out, “What does the offer look like? What sort of figure can be associated with that?” It ranges anywhere between ... For an annual service, anywhere between three to six grand. The more meetings you’re adding in that ... If you’re going to quarterly reviews, you’re probably adding a couple of thousand bucks extra on top of that as well. It’s really very unique to the cost to serve for that particular offering.
Kerry Ong: [00:56:30] We’re actually working through that with a lot of our practices at the moment. It’s varying quite a bit depending on overhead, staff costs, etc. It varies a little bit, but I think it is ... I see it becoming a little bit ... I guess the price is actually rising to be able to service clients properly, but with that price rise, we’ve got to make sure we’re still delivering that value back to the clients. We’ve got to link our cost to serve with the value to the client and what they’re receiving from it as well.
Fraser Jack: [00:56:59] Cost to serve is an interesting one that you mentioned before. Just ever changing, with PI changing every year. Seems to be on the up at the moment. A few different obviously costs in the business as well. I’m hoping technology will bring some of those costs down, but there are other costs that are continually being pushed up.
Kerry Ong: [00:57:21] Yeah, that’s right. Definitely, definitely. Especially right now. I think a lot of staff costs, etc, they’re trying to get businesses right and get businesses in the right direction. That cost is not always going to get absorbed by clients. Sometimes we’ve got to potentially wear some of those costs on a business right now to make sure we’re getting things right for the future. I think we’ll come out at the end of it in one or two years time with better businesses and better value towards clients. The pressures right now on costs are definitely increasing.
Fraser Jack: [00:57:56] Yeah, and you mentioned things changing in the near to mid future. There are obviously a lot of costs involved at the moment. As you mentioned, there’s two ends of the scale that pays these costs. It’s the consumer at one end, the client at one end. Then the other end is the shareholder of whatever business it is. Somebody’s got to pay for all this, for the extra costs. It’s either going to be the consumer or the shareholder. You mentioned the near future looking fairly good. How do you see all this panning out over the near, mid term.
Kerry Ong: [00:58:29] I think we’re going to come out at the end of this with a better industry or better profession really. I don’t disagree with anything that’s come out of ASIC or the FASEA regime, etc. I agree that we need to potentially clean up the industry a little bit from where it was to where it is. I think you go back in history, we’re a very product-centric, sales-centric industry. We’re moving towards that client-centric industry now, and I think we’ll get there.
Kerry Ong: [00:58:58] At the end of this period of noise that we’re facing right now, I think we’re going to end up with a really [inaudible 00:59:04] profession with really [inaudible 00:59:06] advisors helping a lot of Australians and keeping a lot of Australians happy and progressing towards their goals and seeing success in those relationships. I’m fairly excited and optimistic about where the industry is heading. We’re there to support either myself in my team or businesses. AFS sellers around the country are there to support our advisers to get through this to make sure that we do have successful businesses and successful clients at the end of it.
Fraser Jack: [00:59:35] Yeah, great. Tell me, if you’re chatting to a consumer friend of yours, maybe at a barbecue, what tips would you give them around getting advice?
Kerry Ong: [00:59:49] I think everyone should have a conversation with an advisor. I think the first instance is let’s first get you in front of an advisor and make sure you get in front of an advisor armed with the right questions. I think the right questions are ... The question in the back of your head is does this advisor’s way of working and what they’re trying to achieve for me, is it aligned to what I’m trying to achieve from an advice relationship as well? Are they asking the right questions?
Kerry Ong: [01:00:23] I think the first step is getting in front of an advisor. The second step is actually making sure that you’re aligned in your thinking with that advisor, but I think the biggest gap between people receiving advice is actually sitting down and actually having a chat with an advisor. I think that’s the biggest hurdle at the moment. I talk to my friends occasionally and I ask them, “Do you have an advisor?” Most of them all day, “Oh no, I don’t need one. I do it all myself,” or, “Oh no, I’m not in that situation yet. I’m not retiring any time soon.” We’ve got to fix that perception on who needs to receive advice and when. It’s about making it more accessible for everyone to sit down and have a chat, to really understand what advice is. The first step I’d say is getting in front of one.
Fraser Jack: [01:01:04] Good point. Then, as you said, make sure that you’re aligned to them and they resonate with you. If you’re talking to a planner or an advisor coming through or thinking about becoming a planner, what tips do you give to them?
Kerry Ong: [01:01:22] I think put the client first. The most important part of financial advice is making sure that you are putting clients in a better position after seeing you than before seeing you. It’s a really important concept to have that every advisor should have and should continue to have moving forward. As long as you use that as your guiding principle, I think you’ll be fine. I think starting in the industry, making sure you’re aligned to again a licensee or a practice that shares similar values to what you’re trying to achieve and why you got in the industry yourself.
Fraser Jack: [01:02:00] Good, good. Like you said, putting the client first, absolutely. A lot of the experienced advisors I talk to around and even on the podcast, it’s all about helping clients. The first thing they think about is helping clients, how do they help? If you’re talking to an advisor ... Obviously, there’s a lot of planners and advisors making some big changes or being forced to make some changes and decisions right now. What tips do you give to those planners?
Kerry Ong: [01:02:31] I think don’t lose focus again on the client. I think these changes are going to have to happen. I think it’s about putting time aside to make sure that they can happen. Making sure you putting that time aside is not as a disadvantage to your clients and understanding that these changes are a short-term pain I’d say for a long-term gain for our industry and the clients that we’re looking after. I’d say align yourself with people who are there to help whether that be your AFSL or other financial advisors within the industry.
Kerry Ong: [01:03:11] There’s a lot of people in the same boat as what we’re all going through. We should be supporting each other through this. Whether it’s through peer groups, etc, or your AFSL, I think we need to make sure that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re supporting each other through that. Let’s seek out and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need help as well.
Fraser Jack: [01:03:33] Yeah, the support networks are definitely there as you mentioned. I think a lot of advisors know that I think, but like you said before, the time thing is really important. To actually plan and put some time in your diaries every week to do this planning and to make these decisions I think is a really good point that you’ve just made.
Kerry Ong: [01:03:52] Yeah, it’s all about working on your business, not in your business occasionally. I think over the next year and a half, there’s going to have to be time put aside to work on your business. I think we’ve got to make that allocation now whether it’s half a day a week or half a day, a fortnight or half day a month. Whatever it might be that is required, we’re going to have to actually make sure we put that aside.
Fraser Jack: [01:04:12] Now, Kerry, the final question, a bit of self reflection, if you could go back in time and give yourself some tips and advice, what would you do and where would you go and what would you say to yourself?
Kerry Ong: [01:04:21] It’s a good question, Fraser. I love the path that I’ve taken in regards to my career as a financial planner to where I’m sitting now in business coaching and business consulting. I don’t think I’d actually go back in time and tell myself anything because I think I might actually relive that experience again. I still don’t put going back into advice and helping clients as something that I’ll never go back to. I’d like to say that I’ve learned on everything that I’ve picked up along the way including I guess the latest [inaudible 01:04:57] with IOOF and really say as long as we focus on the client and what matters to the client, as long as we focus on I guess building ourselves to be better people in delivering what matters to the client, I think that’s the important thing.
Kerry Ong: [01:05:12] I think everyone can have that as a takeaway to say as long as you put the client first and as long as everything we’re doing is leading to putting that client first and the betterment of ourselves and the client and the industry, then I think that’s the only advice I’d give. I might relive my advice journey again at some point Fraser.
Fraser Jack: [01:05:34] Fantastic.
Kerry Ong: [01:05:37] It might be that Fraser-Kerry [crosstalk 01:05:39].
Fraser Jack: [01:05:38] The Fraser-Kerry brand, yeah.
Kerry Ong: [01:05:40] [inaudible 01:05:40].
Fraser Jack: [01:05:42] Thank you so much, Kerry, for coming on the show and some amazing advice, amazing technical content there as well, which was really, really great. Appreciate it a lot. If somebody wants to continue the conversation with you, how can they get hold of you?
Kerry Ong: [01:05:57] The best way is to jump on IOOF.com.au/academy. You can send us an email there or connect with me on LinkedIn of course. I’m more than happy to have a chat with anyone in the industry. I like connecting with people in our industry who are like minded to I guess myself and what we’re actually trying to achieve. If you’re ever down in Melbourne where I’m based ... I’m up in Sydney quite a bit as well. Reach out. I’m happy to have a coffee and a chat about the industry or about what we do here at IOOF or what we do here at the academy. Reach out.
Fraser Jack: [01:06:30] Brilliant. Thanks Kerry.
Kerry Ong: [01:06:32] No worries. Thank you Fraser.
Fraser Jack: [01:06:33] If you haven’t already, I’d love you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice. To continue the conversation, head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.
Disclaimer: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document, and divergence from the audio file are to be expected. As a transcription, this is not a legal document in itself, and should not be considered binding to advice intelligence, but merely a convenience for reference.