FRUSTRATED with the financial-advisory sector, Catherine Smith dedicated over 20 years of study so she could confidently benefit people’s financial needs as a “whole”.
She dreamt up a business called Wholistic Financial Solutions at the age of 21 and, 10 years later, established the unique business, which combines all financial fields into one business model.
With knowledge as a tax accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner, real estate agent, justice of the peace in the ACT, life coach, and masters graduate in the taxation field, Catherine has the ability to develop a wholistic strategy for any client.
Initially based in Dickson, Wholistic Financial Solutions merged with the well-established RAW Accountants in May so it could offer financial services to more clients from its new office based in Mitchell.
“Wholistic Financial Solutions aims to be the future of the financial service industry,” Catherine says.
The industry is plagued with unethical and dodgy advisers and corrupt non-disclosure of commissions, which have been highlighted in the recent Royal Commission, she says.
“It’s fundamentally flawed,” she says.
“Who’s in the middle doing it all? No one except for us.”
Catherine says accountants and tax advisers, financial planners, finance advisers (mortgage) and property advisers, are all separate professions, governed by separate laws, monitored by separate governing bodies and operate as silos, which is why the financial-advice system prohibits the average person from obtaining quality advice.
“Very often a client will get differing opinions on the same topic from these different professional advisers and this is often because each adviser is tainted by where they are receiving their revenue from,” she says.
“For example, if you want to invest in property the accountant can only tell you the tax consequences.
“The financial planner is likely to say ‘don’t do it’ as he or she gets no commission. The mortgage broker can only get you a mortgage and give no other advice and the property adviser may be a spruiker in disguise and advise you to invest in property so that he or she gets a big fat commission.
“Property is a fundamental investment for the average Australian and a very big financial decision, yet there are no advisers that can advise a client across all aspects of the transaction.”
But, Catherine says Wholistic Financial Solutions was founded to overcome these fundamental flaws.
“Wholistic Financial Solutions offers services in tax returns, tax planning, business establishment and advice, financial planning, superannuation, SMSF, mortgage broking, insurance, property investment advice, property management and more,” she says.
“At Wholistic Financial Solutions we are able to advise across all of the above fields.
“There are currently no other financial firms in Australia licensed, insured and qualified in all the financial fields that Wholistic Financial Solutions offers.
“The government, with its constant enquiries and reviews, is forcing accountants and financial planners to work more closely together and mortgage brokers will be next.
“When they finally crack down on ‘property spruikers’ and introduce rules about property advisers having to have qualifications and ‘ethics’, property advice will be moved into the financial advice professions, [too].”
“A financial adviser should be someone you can trust. Someone you can turn to for help. Someone who has your best interest at heart.
“Wholistic Financial Solutions aims to be that type of adviser. We also aim to level the playing field between the haves and the have-nots by providing affordable, easy-to-understand financial advice to help clients build and protect wealth at all stages of their life.
“Our unique combination of financial services allows us to do just that as we rebate commissions received to reduce the cost of the advice.
“We aim to have the wholistic model pave the way for the future direction of financial advice and have our model available to all Australians across the nation.”
And, Wholistic Financial Solutions is already being recognised on a national level as finalists in award categories such as the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Women in Finance Awards, the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Optus Business Awards, the 2017 and 2018 Telstra Business Awards, and the 2017 and 2018 SMSF & Accounting Awards and more, making Wholistic Financial Solutions the most-awarded financial services firm in Canberra.
Wholistic Financial Solutions, Level 1, 83-101 Lysaght Street, Mitchell. Call 6162 4546 or visit wfscanberra.com.au