Your first meeting can take up to two hours. In this time we address your goals and objectives, current financial position and personal situation. It is an opportunity for us to get to know you and you to assess whether we are the right fit for you. If you have brought your financial documents or copies of them, this will speed up the process. This investment of time ensures we understand you and what you are looking for.
During your first appointment, we will establish why you are seeking financial advice, what your goals are and what you expect from us. To assist us, we ask that you bring in as many documents as you can, such as photo ID, tax returns, superannuation, loan and bank statements, copies of wills, insurance details, and/or a budget.
Your initial appointment with Benchmark Strategic is provided free of charge. If you decide to precede, we will prepare an Initial Statement of Advice and an annual invoice for you, which will cover all advice, implementation, appointments, phone calls and any other requirements you might have for the first twelve months.
Ongoing annual costs differ from person to person, depending on the complexity of your situation and the amount of work involved. You will be provided with a written quote prior to appointing Benchmark Strategic as your financial planner.
After your initial appointment we will send you a client agreement which outlines the services we will be providing and our fees. You should take the time to read and consider your client agreement before signing and returning it to us. There is no rush to make a decision and typically clients take one to two weeks to consider our agreement and make a decision. We commence work once a signed client agreement is received.
Yes we have on-site secure parking spaces which we can reserve for you upon making your appointment. Ask us to book a carpark when making appointments, and simply ring as you approach the building for us to let you in.
We do not offer accounting services. We are happy to work with your existing accountant or we can provide a referral to an accountant if you do not have one. Similarly we are not solicitors and do not do legal work. We will happily work with your existing solicitor or refer you to one if you don’t already have one.
Yes. We offer comprehensive advice and can certainly cover advice on SMSFs. Benchmark Strategic assist clients to set-up or close down SMSFs where appropriate, as well as their ongoing management. We also offer advice on retail superannuation funds, industry super funds and small APRA funds as well.
There are restrictions on when you can access your super for a lump sum withdrawal or to start a retirement income stream.
Generally, you can access your superannuation once you have:
- Reached your preservation age and retired from the work force
- Reach your preservation age and commence a transition to retirement pension
- Termination of employment after turning 60 years of age
- Reached 65 years of age
The Australian Government has set limits on the amount that can be contributed into superannuation each year. The Government has imposed limits on both personal contributions (which are made with your after tax income and known as non-concessional contributions) and concessional contributions (such as contributions from your pre-tax salary).
The Aged Pension was put in place to support older Australians who are in need of income support and other concessions during their retirement years. Benefits are offered to Australian residents who are age 65 or over and meet the income and asset test requirements. The aged pension system provides a wide range of support for older residents during retirement.
|Date of Birth||Qualifying Age (Male)||Qualifying Age (Female)|
|1/1/1949 to 30/6/1952||65||65|
|1/7/1952 to 31/12/1953||65.5||65.5|
|1/1/1954 to 30/6/1955||66||66|
|1/7/1955 to 31/12/1956||66.5||65.5|
NOTE: Women who were born prior to 31 December 1948 have already reached their qualifying age.
Our investment consultation component involves providing information about the types of investment vehicles available, advice on stock options, investment analysis and strategies, asset selection and portfolio design, as well as assisting you with your investment account if it is maintained at another broker/dealer or custodian.
After a thorough and detailed analysis of the client’s specific circumstances, an Investment Policy and detailed Implementation Plan is constructed for the client’s review, consideration and approval. Benchmark Strategic primary goal is to be thoughtful, detailed and consistent when dealing with the client’s legacy of wealth.
We use index funds to invest in efficient markets, where the probability of consistent outperformance is close to zero (especially after taxes and fees). However, we will utilize actively-managed funds in inefficient markets, if we are confident that the manager has the potential to profitably exploit the inefficiencies (again, net of taxes and fees). Consequently, we use index funds to invest in equity and active funds to invest in bonds (although we will sometimes use passive funds to invest in bonds too, depending on the market environment).
We deduct the fees directly from your account on a quarterly basis. We bill in arrears, which means that we only bill you for services at the end of the quarter.
Benchmark Strategic’s philosophy is founded in historical perspective and market knowledge. History has shown that investment cycles repeat themselves, providing a range of expected performance, however, it is not reasonable that one can “time” buying or selling within a market cycle. We believe that a diversified portfolio that is thoughtfully structured and implemented will provide an investor with a greater likelihood of better, more stabilized performance through these market cycles.