Questions our clients often ask about our initial meeting process

Due to increased demand for our services, we are typically fully booked 1-2 weeks in advance. Please contact our team to start this process – phone 0361730070 or by our contact form

Meetings are held in our Hobart office, Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

We ask potential clients to complete a brief questionnaire. This questionnaire enables us to better understand your situation; to ensure we understand the key issues you face; and for us to ensure we can add more value than the fees we will charge you. Where we believe there is strong potential for an ongoing relationship we will let you know. If you are in Melbourne or Sydney we regularly travel to meet existing clients in these locations. We have clients living in regional Australia and working overseas and offer online meetings via Skype.

Yes, we have clients throughout Australia and also overseas which means we conduct meetings via Skype / Zoom / Facetime and phone depending upon their location and time zone. We also have clients based in Tasmania who due to work and family reasons can’t always make it to our Hobart office. Ideally we like to conduct your Initial Meeting and Strategy Meetings face-to-face so we can get to know each other better but we are very flexible on this. At the end of the day what is important to us is what works best for you.

You can arrange a 45 minute to 1 hour meeting with one of our experts by phone 03 61730070 or by our contact form

The initial meeting will be at our cost. Choosing a financial planner is a big decision and the initial meeting will give you an opportunity to meet us, and get an insight into how we work as a business with our clients. It will also give us an opportunity to meet you and see whether we can actually provide you with the advice and outcomes you are after. As a business we are conscious that we are unable to assist everyone and we aim to work with clients who value advice as part of on an ongoing relationship . Unfortunately with the recent regulatory changes in financial services we generally do not act for new clients on a off basis for example Aged Care Advice. Where an existing client requires these services we provide these but from a compliance point of view a one off transactional relationship is simply not worth the risk in the current environment.
Before you meet our team will ask you to complete and return our questionnaire. This enables us to have a better understanding of your most important issues before we meet. If you have the information already collated in another format just send that through – no need to recreate the wheel! In your Initial Meeting we focus on your concerns and the services and characteristics of your desired advisor rather than collecting basic information. This is why completing and returning your questionnaire is so important. Our team will confirm your Initial Meeting once we have received your completed questionnaire.
If we don’t know anything about you before our initial meeting, we cannot judge whether we can add more value in your circumstances than the fees we will charge you. So, if you are unable to return this completed questionnaire prior to your meeting, please let us know and we will reschedule your meeting.

Following the initial meeting, if we believe that we can assist you with your financial objectives we will provide you with a “Terms of Engagement Letter” generally within 5 business days. The “Terms of Engagement Letter” will set out what we believe the key issues are that you would like to work through and outline the initial cost for that advice.

Our minimum initial advice fee is $5,500, and as to what your fee would be would really depend on the complexity of the matter and work involved. We endeavour to provide our clients with a general estimate of the initial fee at the initial meeting.

To move forward with the advice process all you will need to do is simply return the completed Acknowledgement to Proceed and we will welcome you as an important new client to the business.

Unfortunately we are not able to assist everyone, and in  the event that we are unable to assist you we will advise you of this at either the pre meeting telephone discussion or at the initial meeting at our offices.

After your initial meeting, we will undertake a highly structured process in which we assess your personal circumstances, the complexity of your situation, our assessment of our professional time and any additional risk factors. We will then provide you with a completely transparent fixed fee in our initial “Terms of Engagement Agreement” and once the strategy has been finalised the “Ongoing Engagement Agreement”.  You will know to the dollar how much you will pay before you commit to anything at every stage in the process.

Main Street’s minimum annual fee for a basic client situation is $5,500. Your fee will be calculated based on your circumstances. This one agreed, fixed fee is the only fee Main Street receives for providing your services.

We know that Main Street are not the cheapest financial planners in the market. For clients we partner with, we know that we will add more value than the fees you will pay.

About our initial meeting process

The business was founded by award winning advisers Charles Badenach and Rebecca Fergusson. The business was established through a shared desire to create a financial planning business that was aligned with the founders goals and values.

For more information on what Charles and Rebecca founded Main Street please click here to watch the video

We have made a conscious decision to remain a boutique business which means that we are able to adapt quickly to industry changes and client needs. We believe the world is changing like never before and we need to be able to respond to those changes without the inherent legacy issues associated with the large financial services institutions. We have 3 Certified Financial Planners within the business and they are supported by a team of 5 to 7 support staff. All staff are highly qualified and have been involved in financial services for a long period, and to ensure that each client achieves an optimal outcome we work as a team with each client. What this means is that each staff member is able to specialise in their particular area. For a client this means that they have multiple contact points within the office in the event that one staff member is unavailable at any particular time. Whilst we will grow organically over time our objectives are not to be the biggest financial planning business in Australia but rather be nationally recognised as a high quality boutique financial planning business delivering first class solutions to our clients.

Technology is an important part of what we do and we understand that what worked in the past is not necessarily going to work going forward. As a business we are constantly looking at ways in which we can improve the outcome for our clients and we work on an ongoing basis with an asset consultant, a business coach, accountants, lawyers and global thought leaders to assist us in this process.

Our investment philosophy is underpinned by a set of seven investment principles that guide every investment decision that we make in conjunction with our asset consultant. These principles are ingrained in our culture and capture the latest research in behavioural finance to deliver a rational and sustainable approach to investing for our clients. We are delighted to share them with you and explain why they matter below.

1.We put investors first.
We believe firms that put investors first win in the long term because their investors win.

Why it’s important: Firms that allow conflicts of interest to hijack their actions do not have investors’ best interests in mind. Their actions could have detrimental effects on clients’ portfolios.

What we do: We know that generating long-term benefit for clients will ultimately lead to long-term benefits for both Main Street Financial Solutions and asset consultants as well. We also align our portfolio managers’ incentives with the long-term performance (after fees) that investors experience.

2. We’re independent-minded.
To deliver results, we think it’s necessary to invest with conviction, even when it means standing apart from the crowd.

Why it’s important: Herding is commonplace in investing, often leading to volatile booms and busts. Meeting your investment goals may often mean acting independently from the crowd.

What we do: We’re mindful of our emotions and test our assumptions to help determine whether they are simply consensus views or instead driven by objective estimation of intrinsic value. Taking outcomes for granted or falling prey to dangerous biases can derail even the best-intentioned investment team.

3. We invest for the long term.
A patient, long-term view helps us stay the course during the market’s ups and downs and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

Why it’s important: Investors often overemphasise the importance of recent events, rushing into hot stocks near the peak and fleeing from market downturns just as the outlook for returns improves.

What we do: We avoid arbitrary trading activity and measure holding periods in years rather than months. This keeps costs down and focuses our minds on valuation rather than market noise.

4. We’re valuation-driven investors.
We anchor on an investment’s underlying intrinsic value, rather than fleeting news, sentiment or momentum. Much of the market’s daily volatility is meaningless noise.

Why it’s important: Most human minds are hard-wired to find patterns even when there are none. Our experience and that of investors we respect have demonstrated that in the long-run the underlying value of a company relative to the price paid drives performance and preserves capital.

What we do: When markets are falling and pessimism is high, herd behaviour or decision paralysis can be very detrimental. Instead we try to be disciplined investors that invest at lower prices based on valuation (when many market participants are selling) to generate higher returns.

5. We take a fundamental approach.
Powerful research is behind each decision we take, and we invest significant time and resources to truly understand what we own and why we own it.

Why it’s important: Researchers find that investors base decisions on dangerous shortcuts; from the spelling of fund managers’ names, to whether friends have mentioned the company before. Investors use these tenuous characteristics to judge whether an investment is worthy and then often selectively seek out data that confirms those potentially biased conclusions.

What we do: We structure our analysis around the fundamental characteristics of each company, including its cash flow, balance sheet, and potential for a sustainable competitive advantage. Our research, screening, and portfolio construction processes keep our focus on facts that really matter.

6. We strive to minimise costs.
Controlling costs helps investors build wealth by letting them keep more of what they earn.

Why it’s important: Investors face a barrage of information, and human minds tend to focus on just one or two narrow characteristics, sometimes ignoring fees. While returns are volatile and uncertain, fees aren’t.

What we do: Total fees to the investor are a key consideration in our portfolio construction process – be it management fees, taxes or transaction costs. Whilst not always the lowest cost provider, we aim to be the best value for money asset manager and are committed to charging clients fair and reasonable fees for our services while delivering on our investment principles.

7. We build portfolios holistically.
To help manage risk and deliver better returns, truly diversified portfolios combine investments with different underlying drivers, improving stability and total returns over time.

Why it’s important: Human minds are drawn to compelling stories, like new and popular companies, strategies, and managers. These stories seem to help tune out overwhelming details, but can also leave investors overexposed to narrow unsustainable themes.

What we do: We embrace diversification that’s driven by both historical and forward-looking fundamental analysis. Careful selection of a range of investments that aim to minimise collective portfolio risk helps to generate stability of capital while pursuing return objectives

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