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Services


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Services


Our Services

To support clients in their personal and businesses endeavours, Snowgum Financial Services provides advice in the following areas;

* Comprehensive financial planning
* Investment services – portfolio construction and asset allocation
* Superannuation – retail and self managed superannuation funds
* Personal insurance – life insurances and income protection insurance
* Business insurance – key person cover and share (buy /sell) insurance cover
* Group insurance – employer life and income protection insurance plan
* Financial Modelling – analytical modelling and data analysis for existing clients

Advice Process

All advice begins with a thorough analysis of your circumstances, where we work together to understand your situation, goals and objectives, and define the scope of work you require. If the scope of work is comprehensive, we will issue a terms of engagement.

If in agreement, a statement of advice will be prepared, detailing recommended strategies. A statement of advice is the formal document that outlines what asset ownership structures will best serve your wealth needs and how to best take advantage of these. Structural considerations may involve a combination of personal, trust, company or superannuation asset ownership. After appropriate asset ownership arrangements have been outlined, in conjunction with your accountant if required, we will develop cash flow, debt, insurance and investment strategies to optimise your circumstances.

With agreement from you, Snowgum Financial Services will then proceed with the implementation of advice, engaging with other professionals when required, and managing and regularly reviewing your circumstances. We believe it is important to make sure your wealth strategies remain on-track and appropriate to your changing lifestyle needs. 

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Wealth


Wealth

Wealth


Wealth

Being your private wealth adviser is a responsibility that we take very seriously.

Successful wealth creation requires the formulation of a realistic and robust plan, having the discipline and patience to follow your planned strategies and knowing when to review and modify this plan to accommodate your changing circumstances - both those within your control and outside it. It is our job to assist you in all the stages of your wealth creation, from planning to implementation, regular monitoring and review. Irrespective of your stage in life, the prudent management of your financial affairs will provide you with peace of mind, while affording you greater opportunity to focus on personal and business ambitions.

Investment Philosophy

Our philosophy to your investment considerations is as follows;

We put investors first

We believe when a firm puts investors first, they win in the long term because their investors win.

WHY IT MATTERS: Financial services companies that promote their own high-cost funds over cheaper alternatives or allow conflicts of interest to hijack their actions, for example, do not have investors’ best interests in mind.

Snowgum Financial Services doesn’t have any in-house funds, so we avoid this trap. We also align some of our portfolio managers’ incentives with the long-term performance (after fees) that investors experience.


We are independent-minded

To deliver results, we think it’s necessary to pursue our research conclusions, investing with conviction even when it means standing apart from the crowd.

WHY IT MATTERS: Herding is commonplace in investing. It generally delivers average results in normal times and can drive destructive booms and busts. Meeting your investment goals may often mean acting independently from the herd.


We invest for the long term

Taking a patient, long-term view helps people ride out the market’s ups and downs and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

WHY IT MATTERS: Investors often overemphasize the importance of recent events, rushing into hot stocks when they’re overpriced and fleeing from market downturns. Investors can fight this common error by focusing on long term lessons and long-term performance. Our investment decisions concentrate on fundamental, long-term value drivers, selecting investments or asset managers we believe we can and should hold for the long haul, then measuring how long we hold them in practice.


We are value and investment thematic investors

Anchoring decisions to an investment’s fair value—or what it’s really worth—can lead to greater potential for returns. Doing this within industries that have positive macro-drivers makes this even more meaningful.

WHY IT MATTERS: Our minds are hard-wired to find patterns in everything, but much of the market’s daily volatility is just meaningless noise. Researchers have found that in the long term, the underlying value of a company, relative to its price, drives performance.

Snowgum Financial Services uses an assessesment of an investments relationship between current price and intrinsic value, to help minimize the cognitive impact of short-term fads and noise. We will often use concentrated, active management that emloys a value investment philosophy within our portfolio construction process. We rely on external, independant research houses to provide this service.

Finally, we prefer to take overweight positions in long term opportunistic industries. Key themes of note are the rise of A.I., the convergence of technology and health sciences, healthier living, an ageing population and renewable energy.


We take a fundamental approach

Powerful research is behind each decision we make, and we understand what drives each investment we select.

WHY IT MATTERS: Researchers find that investors base decisions on dangerous shortcuts: from the spelling of fund managers’ names, to whether friends have mentioned a particular company before. Investors use these meaningless characteristics to judge whether an investment is worthy and then concoct convincing stories about why these investments are good, and subtly seek out data that confirms those conclusions.

Snowgum Financial Services structures analysis around fundamental characteristics of each company, including its cash flow, balance sheet, and potential for a sustainable competitive advantage—to keep our focus on facts that really matter.

We leverage research houses to provide this capacity and will employ suitable asset managers that abide by these principles.


We strive to minimise costs

Controlling costs helps investors build wealth by keeping more of what they earn.

WHY IT MATTERS: Investors face a barrage of information, and our minds tend to focus on one or two narrow characteristics. So, investment companies rarely highlight their fees to avoid investor scrutiny. But, while returns are volatile and uncertain, fees aren’t: they will eat away at an investor’s money.

Snowgum Financial Services targets funds for investments that have fees in the least-expensive quartile of their respective categories, and purchases wholesale lower-fee versions of funds where possible. Where portfolio scale allows, we will recommend high conviction positions in direct international and domestic equities as well as facilitating direct bond and property exposures.


We build portfolios holistically

To help manage risk and deliver better returns, we combine investments with different underlying drivers into truly diversified portfolios.

WHY IT MATTERS: Diversify what you cannot see. Nobody has reliably predicted short term market movements. Diversification, or the careful selection of a range of investments that aim to minimize risk, helps manage company specific risk and when amongst asset classes market noise. Although our minds like compelling stories—stories about companies, strategies, and managers. Stories often only serve to make us more comfortable without addressing risk. Managing risk effectively, with realistic expectations, is the only way to ensure you achieve your goals.

Snowgum Financial Services embraces diversification. By taking the story out of the equation, we can create portfolios designed to lower risk for individual investors


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Insurance


Personal Risk Insurance

Insurance


Personal Risk Insurance

Managing Risk

Good financial planning means taking measures to safeguard you and your family in the face of unanticipated events such as illness, accident/s or premature death. For most people, protecting the livelihood and lifestyle they have worked hard to create for themselves and their family is of paramount concern. Life and income protection insurance provides a mechanism that has the potential to mitigate much of this financial risk. There are a range of life and income protection insurance covers available that can be implemented to manage financial risks, providing you with greater certainty of fulfilling your personal and your family’s financial obligations.

Snowgum Financial Services can provide comprehensive risk management advice, canvassing the full suite of personal insurances available. When determining a custom solution for your specific needs, there is far more involved than simply ascertaining the type and level of cover required and comparing premiums. Insurance products can have multiple definitions and there can be a great deal of complexity in product design. Additionally, consideration needs to be given to insurance ownership structure and the tax impact of premiums, as well as the estate planning and tax implications of any potential benefit payment. 

Once your policy is in place we will continue to review your circumstances to ensure that your cover remains appropriate for your needs. Should a claim arise, we will manage the claim and liaise with the insurance company directly on your behalf, as part of our ongoing service.

Insurance Considerations

Our insurance advice is guided by your needs, without external influences, allowing our advice to be structured in your best interest. By retaining our independence from external stakeholders like insurance product providers, we are afforded greater flexibility to consider a breadth of insurance providers, allowing us to more effectively manage your personal risks. 

We will consider the following range of insurances to manage your risks:

* Life cover
* Income protection cover
* Total and permanent disability cover
* Trauma cover
* Business expense cover
* Key person income cover

We only work with well rated and highly regarded insurance companies.

The implications for poorly implemented risk management plans can be significant, especially when they are designed to protect what you value most. 

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Philanthropy


Philanthropic Advice

Philanthropy


Philanthropic Advice

Philanthropy is a fantastic way to bring your most valuable assets, your time, experience and capital to address a societal issue that has special meaning to you. Structuring this process in a controlled, tax effective and meaningful way will enhance the reach, impact and longevity of your philanthropic pursuits. Establishing a charitable vehicle is also a terrific way to foster strong relationships with friends and family, as you work together in the shared pursuit of making society better.

If your philanthropic ambition is significant, it is likely you will want to establish your own charitable venture to pursue this. For less significant capital values (<$500,000), you will better placed to establish your own sub fund within a public ancillary fund provider.

For more material philanthropic endeavors, there are a number of steps in the process to setting up your own personal charitable vehicle.


Establihsment

Establishment

You will need to engage a suitable philanthropic legal service (or we can do this on your behalf) to draft a legal deed that broadly governs the charitable actions of your private ancillary fund (PAF). A private ancillary fund is the specific not-for-profit vehicle that can house philanthropic proceeds in a tax free manner. You will also need to establish a corporate trustee which is responsible for controlling and managing the PAF. You and other family/related parties can be directors of this company, but you are required to nominate an independent director of suitable standing to act as a responsible entity. This independent director cannot be a related party or family member and generally needs to be someone of good standing within the community.


Investment Policy Statement

Investment policy statement

You will need to begin formulating a robust investment policy statement that provides clear guidelines on governance, roles and responsibilities with clear articulation on investment expectations, reporting obligations, allowable distributions, allowable investments and investment selection process (among much more). This is critically important, especially when significant assets are to be managed or the philanthropic vehicle is of public significance.

This can be done in conjunction with an experienced asset manager or financial adviser. A draft example of what this document covers is available here (credit: The CFA Institute).


Implementation

Implement investment structures

Prior to receipt of any proceeds, the investment policy statement will guide the establishment of cash management account and investment administration service structures required to administer charitable capital. Typically, you would expect a clearing account (like a cash management account) to act as the central point for reconciling all investment sales, contributions, distributions and new donations.


Founding Donation

Founding donation

A donation to a PAF is not revocable. Once contributed, the only way for capital to exit the PAF is via a charitable donation to a suitably aligned philanthropic endevour. All contributions to a PAF are tax deductible donations. This provides significant scope to time future contributions with significant capital gains tax events. A donation offsetting an assessable capital gain essentially doubles the capital base available for philanthropic pursuits for most natural persons running PAFs in Australia. the tax deductibility of your donation can be carried forward over the following five years.

Ongoing investment returns from asset management within the PAF are tax exempt.


Ongoing Reporting

Ongoing reporting

There are two primary ongoing reporting obligations;

  • Lodgement of returns to the ATO (although no tax is payable), tax refunds will be payable on tax paid income like franking credits. The philanthropic vehicle will receive a payment from the ATO on any tax-paid income.
  • Maintaining compliance with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) governance requirements.

Education

Director and community education

It is important to regularly report investment management, charitable activity and community impact back to director's, donor's and the community broadly. Depending on the stakeholders involved this may be an opportunity to engage with external consultants to convey financial data in a meaningful way or further educate potential recipients on best practice activites to make your charitable activities more meaningful.

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Wellness


Wellness

Wellness


Wellness

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Wellness & Group Insurance

At Snowgum, we like being active and feeling happy. It’s even better if we can have a positive impact on those around us. Improving the health and happiness of your employees might be the most productive improvement a business can make.

There is a unique opportunity for employers to leverage their existing, or introduce a new, employee insurance program which incorporates a health and wellness ecosystem. Engaged employees will not only build on a positive work culture, but be provided with tangible rewards for doing so.

This ecosystem is provided through a program called Vitality, which is provided by AIA.

As your broker and adviser on implementing and managing this employee benefits scheme, we provide project management and professional guidance on how to make the most from the wellness program. We are passionate about achieving financial and health outcomes that extend well beyond the traditional group insurance service. We provide:

  • All the traditional services of ongoing plan administration and management, contract review, employee movement management and personalised communication to each employee on their benefits
  • Face to face consultations when sensitivity is required around uplifting employee benefits
  • Offer seminars on topics of interest to you and your staff. Seminar topics can be targeted at millennials, general financial matters, economic updates or less formal and invigorating discussions on future industry trends
  • Provide each new member a Fitbit to enable everyone to get the most out of the Vitality rewards ecosystem
  • Build a tailored employee benefits website and relinquish control of this to you whilst continuing to provide ongoing support

We work collaboratively with the HR and Finance team of your business from project managing the tender, implementation and administration of the group insurance benefits schemes. 

We are excited to transform how we partner with businesses to deliver an amazing employee experience.