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For 25 years, QSuper has been providing members access to financial advice via QInvest.1 We talk to some of QInvest’s longest-serving advisers to find out how financial advice has changed over time and why – a quarter of a century on – helping clients build and maintain wealth through all stages of life is more important than ever.
Launched in 1994 to look after the interests of QSuper’s retiring members, QInvest has grown from a Brisbane office with three employees to a statewide business with more than 50 financial advisers across 9 offices.
As a QSuper member, access to financial advice is as close as your phone.
Today, QInvest advisers help around 12,000 clients every year – anything from over the phone advice on specific topics related to a member’s QSuper account to face-to-face comprehensive and ongoing advice for clients with more complex needs.
QInvest’s longest-serving financial adviser, Brisbane-based Scott Campbell has worked for the business for almost 18 years and wears his title of ‘QInvest’s oldest adviser’ proudly.
In his role, Scott primarily serves clients who want comprehensive, ongoing financial advice.
“By the time I started at QInvest in 2001 the business had grown to 12 advisers and over 20 staff. Back then our base was in southeast Queensland, but the call for advice in the regions was growing. We would travel to the regional cities for a week at a time to meet the demand until we opened our first regional office in 2004.”
Scott says one of the biggest changes in the financial advice landscape over the past 25 years has been the broadening of the scope and complexity of advice.
“When I first started it was very transactional. Clients would come to see me to talk about a particular aspect of superannuation, most usually at the retirement planning phase.
“Now, people’s financial needs at all life stages are more complex. So depending on their needs we might be discussing budgeting, debt management, tax, Centrelink entitlements or aged care living, among other things.
“While the core of our business is still dealing with people actively planning for retirement and in retirement, it is now a much broader and more complex scope of advice that clients are looking for.”
“The financial services landscape has changed a lot since I first started, and that’s why our clients want the reassurance of professional, ongoing advice they can trust and of knowing they are on the right track.”
Townsville-based adviser Jayne Bawden has worked for QInvest for 13 years and has been a financial adviser for over two decades.
She played a key role in establishing the Cairns and Townsville offices of QInvest and says the business has thrived in the regional centres, based on the trust and relationships the advisers have built as locals.
“We live in the communities we work in, so word of mouth and good relationships are very important,” she says.
Jayne says that during her time with QInvest, she has seen an encouraging increase in female clients looking for financial advice.
“While we have a lot of couples coming in, I am also seeing a lot of single women in their later years looking for comprehensive advice ahead of retirement. They may be single due to widowhood or choice, but there is definitely more of an awareness out there now that they do need advice.”
In 2018 58% of QInvest clients were female, a figure that has grown by 7% over the past five years.
Latest analysis of QSuper’s member data shows that, on average, Queensland women retiring between 56 and 70 years of age have 30 per cent less superannuation than men. Jayne says while the gap may be a generational issue, and that it is slowly closing, the earlier you start getting quality advice the better.
Brisbane-based financial adviser Sonia Muller has been with QInvest for almost 9 years and says that colleagues are seeing an increase in younger clients, both over the phone and face to face.
In 2018, almost a quarter (24%) of QInvest clients were aged 50 or under. This was up from only 9% five years ago.
“Everyone is different. Some younger clients may come in for one off advice as a checkpoint for where they are at during that stage of their life, whereas for the older clients who see me for comprehensive and ongoing advice it is more about having that regular conversation to make sure they are on track.
“I think there is a greater realisation now that quality advice is important and that the sooner you get it, the better. It is not a ‘set and forget’, and the advice will change depending on your stage of life.
“I stress to anyone thinking about financial advice that protecting your wealth is as equally important as building it to ensure you achieve the retirement you want.”
Scott Campbell says that while the evolving regulatory environment, the increasing availability and complexity of products and demographic changes in attitude mean the specific reasons for seeking advice have changed over the
25 years, the reason for QInvest’s existence has remained the same.
“Our role is to provide professional advice to our clients. Advice that is in their best interest, to help guide them to make decisions so they can reach their financial goals at their various stages of life. That has not changed and it never will.”
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The views of the QInvest representative are not necessarily the views of QInvest Limited. This is general information only and you should get professional advice before relying on it.
1 QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580, AFSL 238274) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. When you receive personal advice from QInvest, the QSuper Board may pay for some or all the advice fee for advice related to your QSuper benefit. Eligibility conditions and advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.
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