Financial Services Guide

Before seeking our advice, you probably have a number of questions you would like to ask about Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd. You have the right to ask us about our charges, the type of advice we will give you and what you can do if you have a complaint about our services. Key information is set out in answer to the questions below. If you need more information or clarification, please ask us.

You should also be aware that you are entitled to receive a Statement of Advice whenever we provide you with any advice which takes into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. The Statement of Advice will contain the advice, the basis on which it is given and information about fees, commissions and associations which may have influenced the provision of the advice.

In the event we make a recommendation to acquire a particular financial product (other than securities) or offer to issue or arrange the issue of a financial product, we must also provide you with a Product Disclosure Statement containing information about the particular product which will enable you to make an informed decision in relation to the acquisition of that product.

If our representative provides further advice to you, and that further advice is related to the advice we provided in a previous Statement of Advice and we do not give any further advice to you in writing you may request a copy of the record of that further advice at any time up to 7 years from the date our representative gave that further advice to you.

If you decide to use Strategic Financial Solutions’ limited Managed Discretionary Account (MDA) services you must first enter into an MDA contract with Strategic Financial Solutions. You are also entitled to receive an Investment Programme that must comply with the Corporations Act, Part 7.7 Division 3. The Investment Programme will explain the discretions Strategic Financial Solutions will be authorised and required to exercise, the basis on which Strategic Financial Solutions considers the suitability of the MDA, when warnings will be provided to you, and who will be responsible for reviewing the programme. The Investment Programme will be included in the Statement of Advice or in the MDA Contract titled ‘Statement of Advice’. Strategic Financial Solutions will comply with the conditions of relief given by ASIC in class order 04/194, including the content of this FSG as amended under the ASIC No Action Letter. Our MDA service is limited to investments held in a regulated platform, i.e. a managed investment scheme which means that the assets are held by the custodian of the regulated platform.

Before You Get Our Advice...

Who is Strategic Financial Solutions?

We are an adviser owned financial services firm who have built our practise on four key principles over the last 25 years – honesty, clarity, empathy and experience. We are dedicated to helping clients realise their financial aspirations of better financial health and wellbeing, across all stages of life.

Every path laid out before a client is based on a deep appreciation of that client’s past experience, current circumstances and future goals.

We hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) that authorises us to operate a financial services business and provide you with financial advice and services. Strategic Financial Solutions AFSL number with ASIC is 222828.

We are also an accredited Financial Planning Association (FPA) Professional Practice.

Who will be responsible for the advice given to me?

Your primary adviser will be acting on behalf of Strategic Financial Solutions. Further information about your primary adviser and other advisers who are licensed through Strategic Financial Solutions can be found attached to this Guide headed “Who is my Financial Adviser?”

As the Licensee, Strategic Financial Solutions is responsible to you for any dealing or advisory services our Representatives provide.

Strategic Financial Solutions holds an Australian Financial Services Licence No. 222828.

What advisory services are available to me?
  • Personal financial planning and strategic advice
  • Superannuation, rollovers and redundancy packages
  • Self managed superannuation fund establishment and strategies
  • Portfolio Management including Limited Managed Discretionary Account Services
  • Tax planning advice
  • Budgeting and personal cash flow management
  • Retirement Planning
  • Centrelink advice
  • Aged Care advice
  • Risk management and Insurance
  • Estate planning advice
  • Business succession and exit planning services and strategies

Strategic Financial Solutions provides advice, and dealing services, on the full range of investments available including shares, debentures, life insurance, superannuation and unit trust products.

Please note, Strategic Financial Solutions’ current preferred platform for investing client funds is netwealth Investment Ltd.

At Strategic Financial Solutions, your advisor will only recommend a financial planning strategy or specific investment to you after considering its suitability for your individual investment objectives, financial situation and needs. This is a highly personalised service focused clearly on your needs as you have stated them to us.

Strategic Financial Solutions can provide discretionary services for the switching and rebalancing of investments held within a regulated platform, i.e. a WRAP, Superwrap, Master Fund, if you provide us and the platform administrator with the necessary documentation. Strategic Financial Solutions cannot make additional contributions or make withdrawals from the platform. Strategic Financial Solutions can provide this service under Class Order 04/194 and a No Action letter issued by ASIC dated 5 November 2004. If this letter is withdrawn we will notify you promptly of the alternatives available.

Strategic Financial Solutions strongly believe that successful investing is an ongoing process reflective of your needs and objectives. Therefore, your advisor will tailor for you an ongoing service package designed specifically to meet your goals and objectives.

We do not provide custodial or depository services. Your portfolio interests in the regulated platform are held by the custodian for the platform or the Managed Funds.

Will the advice I receive be appropriate to my circumstances?

In order for us to provide personalised advice you need to provide us with a list of your personal objectives, details of your current financial situation and any relevant information, so that we can offer you the most appropriate advice possible.

You have the right not to tell us, if you do not wish to. However, if you do not, we may not be able to provide you with personal advice or the advice you receive may not be appropriate to your needs, objectives and financial situation.

You should read the warnings contained in the Statement of Advice or listen to any oral warnings carefully before making any decision relating to a Financial Product.

What should I know about any risks of the investment strategies you recommend to me?

Your advisor will explain to you any significant risks of investments and strategies which we recommend to you. If we do not do so, you should ask us to explain those risks to you.

In particular you should be aware that investing through our MDA service has significant risks including, the fact that discretionary ‘trading’ of Financial Products may be speculative and carries with it the risk of loss of some or all of the amount traded and that under extreme circumstances the liability may not be limited to your initial investment or account balance.

Additionally, when investing through the Strategic Financial Solutions service you are relying on Strategic Financial Solutions and its representatives to buy and sell financial products based on its expertise to; (a) operate an MDA service, and (b) trade in financial products profitably.

It is unlikely that every trade we enter into will result in a profit. The significant risks associated with investing through the MDA service will be explained in our Investment Programme that must be provided to you if you choose to use the service.

Strategic Financial Solutions, any related or associated persons or bodies corporate do not guarantee or make representations about the future performance of investments, return of capital or success or tax effectiveness of any strategy used or the discretion exercised.

How are the Fees and Commissions Calculated and Deducted?

Initial Fees

When you receive personal financial advice from us, we will tell you about any commissions, fees and any other benefits, in actual dollar amounts where possible, initially in the Statement of Advice and when providing further advice if there are changes these will be disclosed orally.

Depending on your specific circumstances we will invoice you with a fee when you receive our written recommendations. The fee we charge will reflect the breadth and complexity of your strategy.

Ongoing Advice Fees

Our clients insist that we ensure that the plans we develop continue to meet their objectives in future years. Accordingly, we charge an ongoing advice fee based on the level of service required.

Depending on the complexity of the advice required, advice fees may range from $1,650 to $20,000 including GST. This fee will be agreed with you before work commences.

Ongoing review fees for each of our packages are charged on a monthly basis. The ongoing review fee can be paid via bank direct debit, credit card or from any portfolio account, including superannuation or Pension that you hold through Strategic Financial Solutions. Such fees may be

  • Dollar based retainer fee paid monthly or annually
  • Asset based percentage fees; or
  • A combination of the above

We may also charge you an investment management fee either annually or in monthly instalments.

Other Fees

Strategic Financial Solutions may also receive ongoing service fees from investment managers. These fees are not rebated to the client and are used by Strategic Financial Solutions to further offset the costs of our ongoing services to clients. These fees are fully disclosed in the Statement of Advice and accompanying product disclosure statement.

Your advisor is required to provide you with an annual Fee Disclosure Statement which will set out the fees paid, and the services offered and taken in the previous 12 months.

All fees and commissions generated by your adviser are paid to Strategic Financial Solutions. Any cheques you write to pay for fees should be made payable to Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd and not to your advisor.

How will I pay for the services provided?

Operating a financial services firm involves substantial costs and correctly priced fees assist us to afford the appropriate infrastructure, personnel and systems required to provide you with professional advice. We have a transparent fee structure, which allows you to choose the payment option that suits you best.

Strategic Financial Solutions is remunerated for the services you receive by the following methods:

  • fee for service (means any of the following: a fee for providing a Statement of Advice, a management fee, an ongoing advice or services fee, or any fee that you will pay for the service);
  • receipt of commissions from credit providers;
  • receipt of commissions if we have an existing arrangement with the product/platform/insurance provider
  • receipt of commissions for certain life insurance products;
  • a combination of any of the above.

Strategic Financial Solutions recommend you pay a ‘fee for service’ which is based on the breadth and complexity of the advice and ongoing management of your affairs. Your advisor will discuss with you what remuneration structure is appropriate.

Fees are paid by you directly and are based on your advisor’s fee scale. However, in the case of investment IDPS platforms or wrap accounts, the fee agreed on by your advisor and you may be deducted from your investment account on a monthly basis.

Commissions are paid to us by the Financial Product or Credit Provider. The commissions may be initial (upfront) and ongoing or ongoing only. Your advisor will tell you what commissions will be received.

We can only continue to receive commissions for superannuation, investment and certain insurance products if we had an existing agreement with the insurance, product or platform provider prior to 1 July 2013.

If you pay for our financial services through the product provider, the product provider deducts the fee from your original investment amount (initial) and from your account balance monthly at a minimum (ongoing) rate.

In the case of Life Insurance risk products we receive a commission based on the amount of premium you pay each year, which is determined by, among other things, the amount of insurance you take out. We receive both initial and ongoing commissions from life insurance companies.

With respect to insurance products, commissions can vary between 11% and 125% of your initial annual premiums. For example:

Initial Commission
Ongoing Commission
10% pa
$100 pa

In the case of Margin Lending products, we do not receive any commission, either upfront or ongoing on any new applications from 1 July 2014.

The amount of commissions paid by product issuers and credit providers varies from company to company.

When you receive personal advice from us, we will tell you about any fees, commissions and any other benefits, where possible in actual dollar amounts, in the Statement of Advice or orally when providing further advice to you. Your advisor will give you this Statement of Advice or Record of Advice, before we proceed to act on your instructions.

Where Time Critical Advice is given (where you instruct that the transaction takes place before the Statement of Advice is given to you) we will advise you orally of the fees, commissions and any other benefits applicable and these will be restated in our Statement of Advice to you.

Do you have any relationships or associations with Financial Product issuers or Credit providers which could influence your advice?

No bank, credit provider, fund manager, insurance company or other licensee has any influence over Strategic Financial Solutions’ approved product list or your advisor. However we may receive commission and other benefits from product providers if we have an existing arrangement in place with them (which are disclosed in this Guide, your Statement of Advice or Records of Advice).

Strategic Financial Solutions is an independently owned company which has no financial interest in any Product Manufacturer.

Do you have any special remuneration arrangements or conflicts of interest?

You may be referred to an external service provider to assist you in specialist areas. Strategic Financial Solutions do not accept referral fees from professional service providers including accountants and solicitors.

Mortgage Finance is arranged by referral to ‘Capital Growth’, a credit aggregator. Strategic Financial Solutions receives upfront commission in the range of 0.11% to 0.22% of any loan approved and drawn.

Our preferred administration platform, netwealth Investment Ltd, provides us with a volume bonus depending on the amount of business we have placed. This bonus is provided in addition to any commissions received. It is paid by the provider and does not come out of your account.

The volume bonus is calculated at a maximum 0.08% including GST of funds invested either through the investment, superannuation and pension platforms. These fees will not be paid to SFS on new accounts established after 1 July 2014.

As with our fees, all commissions are fully disclosed in writing in your Statement of Advice. For example:

Invested Amount
% pa
$ pa

Strategic Financial Solutions is independently owned and has no Financial interests in any product manufacturer.

Will anyone be paid for referring you to me?

Where you are referred to us or our advisors by another person, that person may be paid a fee in relation to that referral. Any such referral fees will be disclosed in your Statement of Advice.

Currently, Strategic Financial Solutions do not have any such arrangements in place.

When You Get Our Advice ....

Do I get detailed information about actual commissions and other benefits my adviser gets from making the recommendations?

Yes. You have the right to know about details of commissions and other benefits SFS receives for recommending investments. All advisers are employees of SFS and receive a salary.

SFS advisers do not receive commissions from making recommendations to you.

What information do you maintain in my file and can I examine my file?

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

If you wish to examine your file, you should ask us, and we will make arrangements for you to do so.

We are committed to implementing and promoting a privacy policy which will ensure the privacy and security of your personal information. A copy of our privacy policy is available on request.

Can I tell you how I wish to instruct you to buy or sell my investment?

Yes. You may specify how you would like to give us instructions. For example in writing, by telephone, fax, email or other means as requested.

If You Have Any Complaints ....

Do you have any compensation arrangements in place?

Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd holds Professional Indemnity Insurance ('PII') that meets the compensation requirements of the Corporations Act and ASIC's Regulatory Guide 126. The PII also provides cover for a period of time in relation to the conduct of past representatives/employees who may no longer work for Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd. If you have any questions about our compensation arrangements please ask your adviser.

Who can I complain to if I have a complaint about the advisory service?

If you have a complaint about the service provided to you, you should take the following steps:

  1. Contact your adviser about your complaint immediately. In most cases, complaints should be attended to within 24 hours.
  2. If your complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within 5 days put your complaint in writing and send to:
    The Responsible Manager
    Strategic Financial Solutions
    Level 7, 20-22 Albert Rd
    South Melbourne VIC 3205
  3. If, after providing details of your complaint in writing to Strategic Financial Solutions, you do not consider you have reached a satisfactory solution after 45 days, you can lodge your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service. They may be contacted by phone on 1300 78 08 08, post at GPO Box 3, Melbourne 3000 or email at Each complaint is handled in confidence at no financial cost to you. Any legal rights to take further action are not affected by your use of this Scheme.
  4. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also has a free call Infoline on 1300 300 630 which you may use to make a complaint and obtain information about your rights.
  5. If your concerns involve unethical conduct, you may wish to consider raising these concerns with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA). They can be contacted at PO Box 109 Collins Street West, Melbourne VIC 8007.

The SFS Team: Who Will Be My Adviser?

Kay Arrons, Director and Financial Adviser

Kay Aarons CFP® BEc DFP

Director & Financial Adviser

Employee Representative, Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, AFSL: 222828

With the vision of building a team that would assist people to achieve extraordinary results in the realm of financial independence, Kay established Strategic Financial Solutions in 1995, when she was granted an unrestricted dealer's licence. Now, with a background of over 20 years in financial planning, Kay is involved in the supervision of the financial planning processes for all SFS clients.

Paul Jones, Director and Financial Adviser

Paul Jones CFP® BSc GradDipFP MBA

Director & Financial Adviser

Employee Representative, Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, AFSL: 222828

After 20 years experience in Sales, Marketing and Business Management within the Chemical and Printing Industries, Paul became a Financial Planner in 2001. He specialises in the areas of Retirement Planning, including superannuation; Government Support and Benefits, including Centrelink and Aged Care; and Wealth Creation and Investment strategies.

Ben Walvisch, Senior Financial Adviser

Ben Walvisch CFP® B.Comm ADFS DFS

Senior Financial Adviser

Employee Representative, Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, AFSL: 222828

Ben has been in the financial planning profession since 2002 during which time he has worked for State Trustees and Mercer Wealth Solutions before joining Strategic Financial Solutions in 2010. In 2009, Ben won Victorian Paraplanner of the Year. At SFS, he provides excellent technical support to our other SFS advisers as well as directly to clients.

Peter Kenyon, Financial Adviser

Peter Kenyon

Financial Adviser

Employee Representative, Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, AFSL: 222828

Peter has been in the financial planning industry since 1986 and adviser since 1994. Peter has built a significant client base over many years with a focus on high quality client service. He provides advice in many areas including retirement planning, superannuation (including SMSF), Centrelink and Aged Care, Estate Planning plus wealth accumulation (savings plans, gearing, loans and debt management.

Click here to download the SFS Financial Services Guide

Strategic Financial Solutions Pty Ltd
ABN: 42 007 155 099
Level 7, 20-22 Albert Road, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Australian Financial Services Licensee 222828
Phone: (03) 9690 4622 Fax: (03) 9690 4922

Financial Services Guide Version 9.3 September 2017