In This Issue
Navigating Westpac brand confusion
Many of our eGrow readers may be aware of yet more negative media publicity relating to BT Super funds and the poor performance scorecard handed down by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA).
These BT ‘My Super’ products, which are 100% administered and invested in-house by BT, were until recently, part of a stable of products wholly owned by Westpac, and have now been taken over by Mercer.
At this point it is important to be quite clear:
Marinis Financial Group does not recommend any ‘My Super’ (essentially ‘one size fits all’ super products – be they branded BT or otherwise) for any of our clients.
The superannuation and investment portfolios we recommend to you are structured within an investment platform*, which is essentially an administration service for investments (both super and non-super).
At Marinis, we recommend investment platforms to provide our clients with the ability to gain access to a wide range of asset sector investments, including ‘index’ and ‘active’ managers, using wholesale and specialist funds – often outside the reach of retail investors.
In addition to cost efficiencies, investing within a platform allows us to spread risk by investing across different fund managers, asset classes and management styles, but with the advantage that your investments are all managed and reported on in one place, via a single administration facility.
Importantly, you retain control over where your money is invested, and in conjunction with your adviser, changes to the investments held within the platform can be made at any time. The platform also provides us with the flexibility to create the investment strategy that is best suited to your financial needs and goals.
BT branded ‘My Super’ products, therefore, should not be confused with BT Panorama, a premium investment platform.
As one of a number of platforms my investment committee has approved to manage our clients’ investments, BT Panorama continues to meet our rigorous selection criteria; these include low-cost administration, and the availability of an extensive range of best-of-breed fund managers and investment options (with no relationship to the platform). Importantly, in our current cyber vulnerable environment, BT Panorama’s offer also includes advanced Cyber Security features, including some two factor ID authentication, systems.
You pay us to ‘look’ through all the noise, and to recommend the best options for you – a pursuit we will continue diligently. It can only be hoped that Westpac has learned a lesson from the damage that poor performing sub-brands can inflict on their premium services.
In the meanwhile, my team and I are constantly on the lookout for a better mouse trap!
And one more thing:
Today is the 25th anniversary of the formation of Marinis Financial Group.
Thank you to all of our clients, past and present, who have trusted us to help you to protect and grow your financial assets. I am immensely humbled by your trust – a privilege we never take for granted.
Some 20 years ago I adopted the ‘Distinctly Different’ slogan following a description of our service by a happy client. At Marinis today, I continue to be blessed to have a wonderful team around me. Together, we continue to measure ourselves by this motto, which has at its heart respect, integrity and results!
And if you would like to know what really drives Theo Marinis, you can click here to read the back story.
If you would like to read my latest contribution to the national retirement and wealth creation debate, please click here.
As always, if I or any of the staff can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (08) 8130 5130 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Theo Marinis B.A., B.Ec., CPA., FPA®
*In simple terms, a platform is an administration service for your investments.
The benefits of investing through a platform
Diversity and choice: platforms allow you to spread the risk, investing in a range of asset classes through a variety of managed funds – with some platforms also offering direct shares and margin lending (gearing). Depending on the complexity of the platform, this could give you access to a number of different fund managers, each providing a range of different investment options.
Your investments are in one place without compromising on diversity, platforms can combine your investments under a single administration facility. You receive consolidated reports (simplifying your tax reporting), regular updates, and often 24-hour online access to your portfolio. In addition, the use of a consistent reporting style enables you to compare 'apples with apples' when analysing the performance of your investments.
Access to specialist and/or wholesale funds which would otherwise be outside your reach. For example, many wholesale funds have lower management fees but higher entry levels, such as a minimum investment of $500,000. While this puts the fund out of the reach for most individual investors, by using a platform, the minimum investment amount is generally a lot lower – even as low as $1,000 in some cases.
Flexible fees: some platforms provide flexible fee structures and certain fees may even be tax deductible.
You retain control: over where your money is invested and, in consultation with your financial adviser, you can create the investment strategy that is best suited to your financial needs and goals.