We can’t be the only ones feeling like this year just flew by – yet here we are! With the silly season now upon us, the Ipswich office at Dobbrick Financial Services have been reflecting on the past 12 months and thinking ahead to what 2020 holds for us, our business, and our clients. It’s been a refreshing exercise – to take time out and take note of the wins we’ve achieved both as a business, and for our clients – and as the year comes to a close, we’d encourage you to do the same.
For our team
For our team, in June we bid a fond farewell to Jenny Wilson, who retired after 30 years with us; Ryan welcomed bub number 3, Otis, while also managing to juggle the release of several new music tracks to the public; Nat competed in multiple sporting events and studies – getting across the finish line for 2 more subjects towards his graduate diploma of Financial Planning, the Bridge to Brisbane and Noosa Triathlon; and David enjoyed time on the road travelling Australia and spending some extra time with his grandchildren.
We also enjoyed participating in a range of community and charity events, including sponsoring the recent Ipswich Hospice Golf Day, and the MS Brissie to Bay bike ride. Community is an important part of our business, and again this year we’ve been actively involved with the Fortnum Foundation, who raise funds for a variety of organisations focusing on children in need in Australia and overseas.
As a business
But as you may have seen in the news this year, it has been an interesting time for the financial planning industry in Australia in the wake of the Royal Commission. The Commission shone a light on the systemic issues within the banking sector and financial planning industry alike. However, as we aren’t associated with a bank, and operate our practice in line with the stringent processes and procedures of our dealer group, Fortnum Private Wealth, we were not directly impacted by the issues the Commission presented. Coupled with the ethics and morals we hold within the business, we’ve been happy to be able to assist others seeking holistic, institutionally independent advice in transitioning from banking advisers.
If there is one thing the Royal Commission has taught us, and that we think is applicable to all industries, it’s that client focus is key to your business’s success. Be responsive, aim for same-day turn around, and don’t shy away from going above and beyond for clients. Little things add up and make a real difference in creating strong, meaningful, and understanding client relationships – and ones that are mutually beneficial to both the client and the business.
When it comes to lessons learnt this year, it would be remiss of us not to mention vigilance with personal insurances held within industry funds. You need to be careful as everything is not as seems: there are many loopholes, flimsy definitions, and hidden wording which may reduce your ability to claim. If you’re circumstances have changed, feel free to get in touch with us so we can review your coverage and ensure you’re protected. Likewise, encourage your friends and family to regularly review theirs (we are happy to assist them with a complimentary review also).
While insurance can present a minefield, one of our biggest client wins for the year was a reminder of its importance: we recently helped a family with their claim to gain benefits whilst the father is terminally ill, relieving the stress and pressure on the family so they can focus on supporting each other and spending quality time together.
A crystal ball (we wish we had one!)
Turning our thoughts to 2020, we’re also looking further afield, and we’d encourage you to do the same. In particular, in light of continued market volatility, the low interest rate environment, low wages growth, Brexit and the looming US election, we’d recommend being cautious and diversifying investments – as there is no doubt more volatility ahead. As Buffet says ‘be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful’.
If you have capacity – it may be beneficial to borrow now given the low interest rate environment, however due diligence is required. If you’re thinking of increasing your debt, ensure repayment capability, and always consider the impacts of interest rate rises in the future. Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to kick around your plans and we may be able to assist you in implementing an effective strategy.
If there is one thing we can be certain of, it’s that 2020 will no doubt also pass quickly. So we’re looking forward to making the most of the new year continuing to help our clients realise and achieve their goals, and implementing some new internal systems to do so efficiently and effectively.
You might also see and hear a little more from us – as we implement more business and marketing initiatives to assist others in achieving their financial success.
Big changes ahead?
No matter what 2020 has in store for you, we are here to help ensure your finances are working as hard as you do. If you are planning significant personal or professional milestones – get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you reach your new year goals.
Thank you for your support in 2019, we look forward to connecting with you in 2020 – if not before!