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The role of an adviser in regional communities

February 28, 2022  |  #Should I See An Adviser

Invest Blue’s Managing Director, David Stephen sits down with AMP’s CEO, Alexis George to discuss how the role of an adviser differs between rural and city regions, what the industry can do better to support financial advice in regional areas, and the main concerns expressed by our clients.

Invest Blue’s journey and point of difference

Invest Blue started from humble beginnings in Armidale 25 years ago, and now spans 23 locations across the east coast of Australia from Hobart all the way up to Rockhampton. Being a company that works largely in regional communities we have heightened accountability in the way we show up and contribute within our communities. “One of the biggest points of difference between a regional and city-based adviser is that regional advisers need to be a generalist, you need to be able to work with a broad range of clients with different needs and at different stages compared to be a specialist with one client type,” says David.

 

What can be done better to support advice in regional areas?

As the financial industry has evolved and educational standards have lifted, there are still opportunities to do better. David believes the industry needs to work with the government to lower the cost of advice, without lowering the standards we have worked so hard for. “High regulatory settings have resulted in a large subset of clients we are no longer able to service; we need to allow for greater trust and professional judgement, particularly when it comes to documentation and considering the best interest of our clients,” says David.

Additionally, as COVID-19 has forced us to interact remotely with our clients, we have noticed how much our regional clients value in-person meetings and are disappointed with the lack of face-to-face time across the whole financial industry.

 

What are the needs of our rural clients?

As information is now so easily accessible, one of the most important things we do is help our clients filter through all of the information out there to help them better understand what options are available to them and what that might mean for them now and in the future.

When it comes to the needs of regional clients, debt is often lower than those in the city regions which give us more room to play with and implement different strategies such as debt recycling, cashflow modelling and investing.

 

What Invest Blue Advisers are hearing from our clients

Themes we see around our rural clients’ needs include concerns around the cost of living, wanting to buy a house or pay down the mortgage and understanding precisely how much they will need to retire, at what age they will be able to retire, and finding the balance between what they want now and what they want for the future.

A big part of what we do is helping clients understand what their ideal future looks like and ensuring our clients are tracking towards living their best possible life. Helping our clients with their financial wellbeing, showing up for and contributing to our local communities, and having a holistic approach to everything we do is key to delivering valued advice in regional communities.

 

Speak with one of our advisers today.

What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Limited (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.