Do you have a minimum asset requirement?
The short answer is no. However, we do not believe the cost structures and benefits of portfolio management can be efficient below $500,000. As portfolios grow beyond this level, we find we can increasingly add value through our management and administration of client affairs.
For portfolios below this level, we’ll seek to add value through other means such as Strategic Advice and Wealth protection with the goal of growing client wealth and delivering an efficient service.
How long do your clients stay with you on average?
Many of our original clients and their families remain with us today, having been with us over 30 years. We seek to develop long term relationships, growing and evolving wealth over time and adapting to changing circumstances.
Guardian is owned and operated by staff and management who perform key roles within the business. While staff numbers have grown over the years to service client needs, it is tenure we are most proud. We are acutely aware of the value that comes with talking to someone who knows and understands your affairs.
For those seeking ad-hoc or once-off services, we are happy to provide most of our services at hourly rates.
Do I have a dedicated manager?
Yes. For ongoing clients, your Adviser is expected to be very familiar with your affairs.
Support staff can handle some of the day-to-day queries and will correspond with clients for some tasks.
Guardian has a long-standing policy requiring at least one additional adviser be familiar with your affairs to enable more complex tasks to be addressed in a timely manner and to cater for times where your adviser is not available.
The Adviser assigned to you is responsible for your relationship with us.
What is an MDA?
A Managed Discretionary Account (MDA) is a service where you, the investor, provide discretion to an investment manager to make decisions about your portfolio on your behalf. In this way, you delegate the day to day decision making about your investment portfolio.
Guardian is authorised to buy and sell securities without referring to the client for each transaction. A client must sign a Managed Discretionary Account agreement which details consent for the Guardian to act on their behalf within specified limits established in the agreement.
In practice, Guardian as a boutique advisory group, seek to work with clients in a manner that suits their individual needs and objects with their portfolios. We are acutely aware of the varying levels of involvement and communication clients require, so will adjust the operational limits of the MDA accordingly.
An important component of any MDA is the limitations we are required to work within. Advisers work closely with clients to develop the parameters of their MDA with Guardian in terms of:
- risk profile;
- goals & objectives;
- types of investments; and
- communication and decision making.
A feature of the Guardian MDA is it’s ‘non custodial’ nature. All investments remain in the name of the investor, allowing us to better control costs and the suite of available investments.
We are legally required to formally review the MDA with clients at least once every 13 months to ensure it remains appropriate or is adjusted to the evolving circumstances.
How does an MDA work?
To establish and operate your account, an MDA agreement is signed which sets out the terms and conditions of your agreement with Guardian. The agreement can be terminated by either party and is reviewed each year.
You give us specific and ongoing discretionary authority as part of the MDA agreement. We are obliged to manage your MDA portfolio in line with the agreed limitations.
As part of the MDA service agreement, we are required to report to the client every 3 months detailing any activity that has taken place on their account. We aim to exceed this minimum standard by working with the client on a regular basis to make changes to their portfolio as required.
Typically we would look to communicate any changes we’d like to make and discuss these with you before going ahead. In some time-critical circumstances, however, we do make decisions within the limits of the MDA in the interests of the client.
Of course, you may instruct us at any time regarding your MDA portfolio or particular holdings. This overrides the discretionary authority previously given to us. Guardian is licenced to provide Managed Discretionary Account (MDA) services to both wholesale and retail clients.
Can I have Guardian manage my existing portfolio?
Yes. We offer portfolio administration and tax reporting through to complete portfolio management.
How should I prepare for my first appointment?
The first appointment is a ‘get to know you’ exercise for the Adviser and Client. To get the most value out of the first appointment, we recommend potential clients have a clear idea of their affairs as they currently stand, both in terms of financial and non-financial items. Spend some time thinking about your goals, both financial and non-financial. Be aware of your assets, liabilities and your financial structures. If in doubt, bring some kind of proof along with you.
How often can I expect to hear from my Adviser?
Guardian staff are available to you as often as you feel the need to contact them. You can contact us by email, phone or you can arrange an appointment.
If you have an ongoing fee arrangement with us, you will not be charged every time you contact us.
We like to remain in regular contact with ongoing clients and regularly stay in touch. We see our role in your affairs as ongoing, so we’ll need to stay in contact to provide additional advice from time to time as your circumstances and economic conditions evolve.
Additionally, there are formal review obligations, typically our portfolio reviews are quarterly.
Can I refer a friend to Guardian?
We accept referrals from existing clients, accountants and legal professionals, however we do not get paid, nor do we pay anyone for a referral.
How do I choose an Advisory Firm?
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) publishes an excellent on-line guide on how to choose an Adviser. It is available here.
Generally speaking, you should follow these simple rules:
- Choose a financial planning professional who is a member of the FPA or the AFA
- Ask a friend for a referral
- Talk to a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) or a Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP)
- Do some background work on the firms you have in mind
- Visit several firms to help you compare service offerings