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‘Richer than you could ever imagine’: The value of advising young clients

Working with younger clients is easier and has a greater long-term impact, but the high cost of access makes it unattainable, according to an adviser.

Speaking on a recent episode of the ifa podcast, Ben Neilson, financial adviser at Complete Wealth, explained how reaching clients at an earlier age allows them to reap the full benefits of advice, leaving them financially better off later in life.

Neilson said that reducing the time it takes to deliver advice would, hypothetically, bring down the cost of advice, making it more financially accessible and allow advisers to reach those for whom they could make the greatest impact.

“We can right wrongs and if we can reduce the time, we hypothetically reduce the cost and then we can see far more people. I’m talking about, say, young Australians, 20 to 25,” he said.

“If you think about what you would need to charge them now and how long that would take versus what’s the actual impact, and if we could reassess that, do it faster, do it cleaner, it’s highly likely that they wouldn’t need us as much and we can service more people.

“But also, we’d start addressing the perception of financial advice as well, so there’s a lot of benefit. We can get things off our chest faster; we can see more people and we can have a material impact right across the country.”

Discussing the benefits of servicing younger clients, Neilson explained that making advice accessible to younger clients allows them to benefit more from the service and sets them up for greater financial security later in life.


“It’s significantly different advice. Retirement planning is all about putting money into super and early-stage financial advice is all about setting these clients up. Now, when we do even conservative modelling, if you can get these clients right at 20 or 25, they’re going to be richer than you could ever imagine,” he said.

“The longer we can bang on the compounding interest benefits for each one of these clients, the significantly better off they’re going to be. So, we try and get them early and we try and do it for as low cost as possible, and we try and set them up so that they won’t need us for quite some time.”

He argued that on top of there being greater potential for impact, advising younger clients is easier as they are usually less complex cases.

“What we found with the advice as well is it’s quite easy, so if you look at the complicated needs of, say, a multi-blended family with a million bucks each who are about to move into retirement or pre-retirement, their needs are quite complicated,” Neilson said.

“If you’ve got a kid who’s 20 or 25, they haven’t really made any bad decisions yet and all you’ve got to do is explain to them the power of doing something continuously.”

Giving a theoretical example of the potential benefits of reaching younger clients, he said that these clients are more likely to share what they learn with others, allowing the advice given to make a greater impact on the wider community.

“The material impact is that they’ll tell, I’m making this up, but 50 of their friends, whereas with your complicated client, it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to tell three or four of their friends, so we want to have the most material impact that we possibly can and also at the lowest cost to us,” he said.

“If we can bang out these SOAs for $100 or $200 and put a 40 or 50 per cent premium on it, we would much rather do that than have big old boring heavy cases where you don’t actually have much profit or realised profit.”