Our Financial Services Guide

Date of preparation: 30 June 2021

Important Definitions

In this Financial Services Guide (FSG): ‘Ashford Financial Planning’ means Ashford Financial Planning Pty Ltd ACN 130 354 997 (AFSL No. 325404).

We’, ‘our’ or ‘us’ means Ashford Financial Planning and an employee who is a financial planner of Ashford Financial Planning.

Purpose of the Financial Services Guide

This Financial Services Guide is an important document that Ashford Financial Planning as an Australian Financial Services Licensee is required to give you. This FSG is intended to inform you of certain matters relating to our relationship, prior to providing you with a financial service. The matters covered by the FSG include:

  • who we are and how we can be contacted;

  • what services and types of products we are authorised to provide you;

  • how we (and any other relevant parties) are remunerated;

  • details of any potential conflicts of interest; and

  • details of the internal and external dispute resolution procedures and how you can access them.

It is intended that this FSG should assist you in determining whether to use any of our services. If you choose to use any of our services, you may also receive other documents which you should read carefully. These documents may include the following:

Statement of Advice

When we give you personal advice (that takes into account your personal objectives, financial situation and needs) we will generally be required to provide you with a Statement of Advice (“SOA”).

The SOA will include:

  • the personal advice in accordance with our duty to act in your best interests;

  • the basis on which the advice is given;

  • information about remuneration;

  • other interests that may have influenced the provision of the advice;

  • information about any fees, charges or other benefits; and

  • any other significant consequences for you in following the advice.

Record of Advice

We may prepare a Record of Advice (“ROA”) instead of an SOA in cases where minor recommendations are provided to you. An ROA performs a similar function as an SOA except than an ROA is a shorter and less formal document. An ROA is generally used in the following cases:

  • When we provide additional recommendations to you after preparing an earlier SOA for you and the basis of our further advice and your circumstances have not changed significantly.

  • When we provide personal advice on certain financial products such as basic deposit products, cash management trusts and non-cash payment facility in relation to a basic deposit product.

  • When we do not recommend any changes to financial products or investment strategy, and we do not receive any remuneration for this advice.

We may not be required to give you a copy of an ROA. However, you can request a copy of your ROA from us, and we will provide it to you free of charge.

Product Disclosure Statement

When we give personal advice that recommends a particular financial product, other than securities, we will usually provide you with a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for that financial product. This document is produced and made available by the issuer of the financial products, who determine the content.

The PDS is intended to provide sufficient information to enable you to make an informed decision about whether to acquire, hold or dispose of a particular financial product. It will include information such as:

  • fees payable;

  • risks associated with the financial product;

  • benefits of the financial product; and

  • significant characteristics of the financial product.

Prospectus

This will usually be provided when we make a recommendation to you to acquire securities under a new issue prior to quotation of the securities on a prescribed financial market (such as the ASX). The Prospectus will contain information about the securities and the issuer necessary for you to make an informed decision about whether to acquire the securities.

Who is responsible for the financial services provided?

Ashford Financial Planning, as holder of an Australian Financial Services licence, is responsible for the financial services provided to you. Your financial planner is an employee and acts on behalf of Ashford Financial Planning when providing financial planning services.

Ashford Financial Planning is a proprietary limited company. Ashford Financial Planning was founded in April 2008 and commenced trading in June 2008 (under the former name of Austock Financial Planning). Austock Financial Planning formally changed its name to Ashford Financial Planning in October 2010.

Ashford Financial Planning contact details

You can contact us in person, by manual or electronic mail or by phone.

Office Address: Level 10, 10 – 16 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Postal Address: Level 10, 10 – 16 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone Number: 03 8681 3600

Email Address: info@ashfordfp.com.au

Your financial planner

The financial planning services you receive from our financial planners are provided in their capacity as employees of Ashford Financial Planning.

What Financial Services are we authorised to provide you?

Ashford Financial Planning holds an Australian financial services licence to provide financial product advice and to deal in the following classes of financial products to retail and wholesale clients:

  • deposit and payment products limited to basic deposit products;

  • deposit products other than basic deposit products;

  • debentures, stock, or bonds issued or proposed to be issued by a government;

  • investment life insurance products as well as any products issued by a registered life insurance company that are backed by one or more of its statutory funds;

  • life risk insurance products as well as any products that are backed by one or more of statutory funds of a registered life insurance company;

  • interests in managed investment schemes including investor directed portfolio services;

  • retirement savings accounts products;

  • securities;

  • standard margin lending facility and

  • interests in superannuation funds.

Services we provide

We can provide you with the following financial planning services:

  • strategy development (e.g., cashflow, wealth management, retirement planning, aged care);

  • investment structures (e.g., individual, superannuation, trusts, companies, endowment funds, life insurance bond);

  • taxation planning (e.g., advice on personal, superannuation, capital gains, company, life insurance bond);

  • asset allocation (e.g., strategic asset allocation, risk profile analysis, investment time horizon)

  • investment planning (e.g., cash, fixed interest, property and shares; direct and/or managed funds; domestic and/or global; risk and return trade-offs),

  • risk management (e.g., life insurance, income protection, disability insurance), and

  • estate planning (e.g., advice on the drafting of wills, enduring powers of attorney, superannuation beneficiaries and reversionary pensioners, testamentary trusts, life insurance bond beneficiaries).

We recommend that our clients take advice from a registered tax agent and qualified solicitor before relying on advice that may impact their taxation position or legal and estate planning position, respectively. We can arrange a referral to taxation and legal specialists for this purpose as required.

We have in place relationships with preferred stockbroking companies for the execution of listed security transactions given that Ashford Financial Planning is not a licensed stockbroker.

Our relationships

Ashford Financial Planning is not aware of any relationships between Ashford Financial Planning and any product issuers that might reasonably be expected to be capable of influencing Ashford Financial Planning in providing any of the authorised services.

How are we remunerated for the services we provide you?

Ashford Financial Planning will receive financial planning advice fees and/or commissions in respect of the services we provide you. Commissions may be received from clients of the firm in relation to certain life insurance products.

Ashford Financial Planning employees and directors receive salaries, bonuses, and other benefits from Ashford Financial Planning. Employees and directors may also receive contributions by Ashford Financial Planning towards their costs of attendance at seminars, conferences, training and education events.

The fees we receive are explained below and the actual costs will be shown in our written advice to you. In addition, you will receive an annual Fee Disclosure Statement (FDS). The purpose of the FDS is to outline in a single document:

  • the financial planning services to which you were entitled for a given 12-month period;

  • the services you have received and the ongoing fee paid for those services;

  • the services you are entitled to receive under the ongoing fee arrangement;

  • the amount of each ongoing fee that you will be required to pay, including any fees payable after the end of the upcoming year.

The FDS will also provide you with the following statements in relation to renewing the agreement:

  • a statement that you may renew the arrangement by giving Ashford Financial Planning notice in writing;

  • a statement that the arrangement terminates and no further advice will be provided and no further fees will be charged if you do not renew the arrangement;

  • a statement that you are deemed not to have renewed the arrangement if you do not give notice in writing before the end of the renewal period; and

  • a statement that the renewal period is a period of 120 days beginning on the anniversary day.

Financial Planning Advice Fees

Upfront

  • a Statement of Advice fee which ranges from $1,900 to $5,500 (inclusive of GST), depending on the complexity of your situation.

Ongoing adviser fees

  • an ongoing review fee of up to 1.1% per annum (inclusive of GST) of assets under management or a fixed dollar amount which ranges from $2,500 to $33,000 (inclusive of GST) indexed to the Consumer Price Index; or

  • a consultation fee charged at an hourly rate of $385 per hour or part thereof (inclusive of GST) indexed to the Consumer Price Index.

This fee for service takes into account the value of our strategic financial planning advice, the preparation of a financial planning review at least on an annual basis and work required during the course of the year in providing personalised advice to you.

Commission

Ashford Financial Planning may receive commissions to offset the cost of providing clients with life insurance services.

The commission is usually calculated as a percentage of the premium, which can be up to 66% (inclusive of GST) for initial commissions and up to 22% (inclusive of GST) for ongoing commissions.

For example, if your first year’s premium was $500 and the initial commission was 66% (inclusive of GST), Ashford Financial Planning will receive $330 (inclusive of GST). If your premium for the second and subsequent years was $500, and the ongoing commission was 22% (inclusive of GST) we will receive $110 per annum.

Brokerage and other charges

Where we arrange dealings in financial products on your behalf, brokerage to third parties will be payable. A portion of the brokerage charged may be rebated to Ashford Financial Planning.

Brokerage is calculated as a percentage of the total dollar value of the financial products purchased or sold on your behalf. Brokerage rates are negotiable with each client and are subject to a minimum brokerage charge. The brokerage charge for listed security transactions can range from 0.55% to 1.65% with a minimum $110.00 per contract note (inclusive of GST).

The brokerage fee that may be rebated to Ashford Financial Planning can range from 0.00% to 0.66% (inclusive of GST).

For example, if the value of your transaction was $20,000 and the brokerage charge was 1.10% (inclusive of GST), your brokerage fee will be $220 (inclusive of GST). If the amount rebated to Ashford Financial Planning was 0.44% (inclusive of GST), we will receive $88 (inclusive of GST) of the brokerage fee.

For a purchase, the brokerage is added to the consideration payable for that transaction. For a sale, the brokerage is deducted from your gross proceeds. All these amounts are specified on the confirmation of sale or purchase.

Lack of Independence Disclosure

We are not permitted to use the terms “independent”, “unbiased”, “impartial” or similar words to describe our financial planning work in accordance with the restrictions set out in Section 923A of the Corporations Act. The most likely reason for this is because of commissions we may receive to offset the cost of providing clients with life insurance services.

Your rights

You have the right to know details of fees we receive for recommending investments. This information will be provided to you when or as soon as practicable after the recommendation is made if you have not been advised before that date. Ashford Financial Planning is obliged to inform you of the interests of the financial planner and/or Ashford Financial Planning that may reasonably be capable of influencing a recommendation made to you.

Fees that we pay for a referral to us

We pay no other fees to persons who refer clients to us.

Privacy – What information do we maintain about you?

We maintain a record of your personal profile, which includes details of your objectives, financial situation and needs. We also maintain records of any recommendations made to you.

Ashford Financial Planning respects and upholds your rights to privacy protection under the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Amendment Act 2017.

Ashford Financial Planning Privacy Policy describes how we manage any personal information we have about you. You may obtain a copy of that policy upon request.

If you wish to discuss these details you should contact your financial planner.

Instructing your financial planner

You may provide instructions to us by telephone, e-mail, fax or other means, as agreed with your financial planner.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Ashford Financial Planning has professional indemnity insurance in place which complies with section 912B of the Corporations Act and covers claims in relation to the conduct of representatives/employees who no longer work for Ashford Financial Planning (but who did at the time of the relevant conduct).

For further information regarding the professional indemnity insurance policy held by Ashford Financial Planning, please contact us by using the contact details on page 4 of this financial services guide.

Complaints handling

Ashford Financial Planning acknowledges that you have the right to complain if you are dissatisfied with the service you receive from Ashford Financial Planning. Ashford Financial Planning is committed to the efficient and fair resolution of complaints.

If you have any complaint about the service provided to you, you should take the following steps to resolve it:

  1. Contact your financial planner and tell your financial planner about your complaint.

  1. If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction within a reasonable time, please contact Ashford Financial Planning’s Complaints Officer on (03) 8681 3600 or put your complaint in writing and send it to:

The Complaints Officer

Ashford Financial Planning

Level 10, 10 – 16 Queen Street

MELBOURNE VIC 3000

www.Ashford.com

We will try to resolve your complaint promptly and fairly in accordance with our policy regarding complaints as outlined on the next page.

We will send an acknowledgement letter / email to you within 24 hours of receipt of the complaint.

  • A formal response will then be written and sent to you within 20 business days of receipt of the complaint.

  • If it is impossible to resolve the complaint within 20 working days a final response will be given to you within 45 business days.

You may also obtain a copy of this policy from our Complaints Officer.

  1. If you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint, you may raise the matter to our approved external dispute resolution provider, of which we are a member. This service is free.

Australian Financial Complaints Authority

Address: GPO Box 3, Melbourne, VIC 3001

Phone: Toll free: 1800 931 678

Website: www.afc.org.au

Email: info@afc.org.au

  1. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission also has a free call Infoline on 1300 300 630 which you may use to make a complaint and to obtain information about your rights.