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WPS financial - any opinions?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Roaster, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. I've recently had some fairly aggressive cold calling from WPS financial, a financial planning / fund management firm.

    I'd been contemplating getting a financial plan done for a few years, so I figured I'd give them a chance to explain their products.

    The guy who came over seemed nice and fairly straightforward, and pitched what seemed to be a fairly comprehensive financial plan. I was pretty much ready to commit as the plan was only $650 (which if it does what it says would pay itself off fairly soon anyway - good investment IMHO). But the missus was a bit hesitant / suspicious so I told the guy we'd talk it over.

    Anyway I got into work today to do a quick google to see whether there was much in the ether about their services, but I found very little supporting their work. I did find this yahoo thread, however, which seemed very suspicious. A few years old now, but it did not do wonders for my confidence in the company.

    There was one post on this whirlpool forum which plugged their services, but plenty of others which hinted at dodgy operation back in 07/08.

    Anyway, just wondering whether anyone has used them / heard of them and whether they have any experience to share (both good and bad). Right now my inclination is to walk away because nothing I see in my research fills me with confidence.
  2. I've never heard of them and I would say trust your instincts.
  3. Been doing a little further digging - seems the dodgy operator who used to run the show has resigned and it is now owned by Propel Consolidated Holdings.

    Anyone know about them?
  4. Personally I'd avoid any company that uses aggressive cold calling as a marketing technique, just on general principles.
  5. +1 Make your own enquiries and speak to a good handful of advisors before commiting any of your money to it. Seek recommendations from family and speak with your accountant first. A lot of my money went to my mortgage rather than investments and that has saved me plenty recently.

    There are plenty of services out there ready to take your money. I went for a bit of a search and ended up sticking with one from my bank that has served me well.
  6. Go looking for them, don't let them look for you, means they are desperate, go see your banks financial manager for advice
  7. I was very surprised when he suggested that I might be better off getting a managed fund than just paying off my mortgage. It would have to be a fairly risk-free and solid rate of return to be better than reducing the mortgage interest liability.

    My current plan is to just smash the mortgage as hard as I possibly can and worry about investments when there is a solid amount of equity behind me.
  8. The managed fund would want to be giving you more interest than the home load PLUS the tax difference. Getting that and risk free together I dare say is impossible.

    If you are in the first few years of your home loan then that is by far the best place for your money. It only takes 10s of dollars a week in the first few years to get years ahead on your loan.

    Later on in the loan it takes thousands of dollars a week to gain a year and at that point investment in other areas can be more attractive.
  9. Yeah a mate of mine, who had in fact paid off his home took a small mortgage prior to the GFC to invest. That has bit him the arse. Unless you are handed a really good prospect or just looking to invest a very small amount (like the $650 you mentioned) the mortgage is a safe and easy way to go.

    Still get some independant advice at least from your bank to start with - its normally free and even if you don't do anything now it will still help with sort of plan EG hit mortgage hard for the next three years then salary sacrifice super, then invest in managed fund etc etc, its really dependant on your income/tax, family circumstance etc. Having a plan before you have the money is the key, it might change overtime but you need a starting point.
  10. The main reason I wanted the plan was to see whether there was anything I could be doing better (particularly in terms of more tax effective strategies re super / rental etc).

    I'm still quite keen to get some sort of financial plan, but I'm getting more and more concerned that there are so few positive reports of a company this size, or indeed so few people who have used / heard of them.
  11. I dare say you would be right.
  12. do you mean the tax difference as a result of being able to claim interest expense on repayments for rental properties, or something else (as I am owner-occupier at the moment)
  13. No quite simply if you earn income from interest you have to pay tax on it. So a home loan is about 7.5%?

    The top marginal rate for income is 40%?

    This means you would have to get at least 12.5% on an investment for it to be better than paying off your loan. Of course I am ignoring the fact that the investment may be tax deductible, depending on it's nature.
  14. ah - thanks for the clarification.

    I had been informed that in order to get an equivalent return on investment from shares as compared to smashing a mortgage, the rate of return on the shares would have to be 12-15%, but I did not have a solid understanding of why.

    Your post explains it very nicely. Much appreciated.
  15. I've declined the WPS services - I just didn't have any brand confidence based on the negative reviews from 2008 and the lack of any impartial presence in online discussion in the last 2 years.

    So does anyone have any financial planning recomendations (ie highly regarded service providers, not a suggestion to invest in ostrich farms).
  16. I heard a bit of advice ages ago that went something like: investing while you're in debt is the same as borrowing money to invest. I was told to always get out of the red first, starting with the highest interest debts first.

    Smashing the mortgage is what I'd do.
  17. I would agree if most of your debts are credit cards and it is probably the best advice for most but it depends on the individuals circumstances.

    Sometimes directing some of your money to other investments, changing loan types and other measures can lead to tax savings - effectively meaning that money you are currently sending to the ATO can fund your own purchases/investments. Admittedly I've only been to this when I was self employed but understand there are other ways.

    For anyone starting out stump up a couple hundred to speak with an accountant. Then from there you'll either get some advice to act on yourself or a referral to a financial planner/advisor. Most financial advisors are really just salesmen for various funds and are paid once you invest. Accountants generally don't (and if I recall correctly aren't allowed to) sell products and so their impartial advice can be worth paying for.
  18. Wasn't there a study done 4-5 years ago that concluded that the quality of financial advisers was pretty patchy and the performance of investments they recommended was, on average deeply ordinary? IOW, ISTR the conclusion being that any averagely intelligent bod with a penchant for reading the small print and some basic mathematical ability was likely to get as good a return on investments they'd chosen themselves as by taking the advice of a randomly chosen FA.

    Sorry, can't remember details. It was reported in the media at the time.
  19. I'm starting to get the distinct impression that "financial advisor" is synonymous with "managed fund salesman". I thought they looked at your financial situation (debt / wage / tax / super etc) and looked to make improvements, but the more I hear people talk about it, the more they sound like salesmen.

    I'd say an accountant is probably what I am after, and maybe some sort of tax advisor.
  20. I'm not against borrowing to invest (mortgage) or even borrowing in hard times (low interest finance, shares take a hammering so buy cheap), but I think having personal debt and looking to invest is definately not wise, especially since personal debt interest is usually into double figures.