Meet Joel Bateman

Financial adviser, Fennell West Warrnambool

Fennell West’s Warrnambool presence has recently been strengthened by financial adviser Joel Bateman, who is now working from the Warrnambool office and meeting with clients in the local area.

Joel’s been with Fennell West for five years, and prior to that was a client of the company, so knows only too well the impact that sound financial advice can have.

We caught up with Joel to discover what clients can expect from him, and from Fennell West.

It’s interesting that you were actually a client of Fennell West’s a few years ago, before joining the company. What was that experience like?

It was great, and at the time it taught me some really strong financial habits. Before I talked to the team here I was like most other people – money comes in, money goes out. You don’t really take the time to understand where it goes, and you don’t work to longer term goals you might have. On a day-to-day level, my wife and I never worry about bills – we pay money towards our bills every month, so when the bill lands it’s never for very much at all. That prevents us from that ‘bill dread’ that I certainly used to have!

What’s the process for someone who’s interested in what you might be able to do for them?

Just get in touch and we’ll arrange a meeting either in the office here in Warrnambool, at your home or we can grab a coffee somewhere! It’s been really nice to get back to face-to-face meetings but, of course, we’re always very happy to do an online meeting as we understand some people are still a bit hesitant about Covid. We don’t charge for those first meetings, they’re purely for potential clients to discover how we can help.

What do those first meetings look like?

We offer a fact-finding session, where we’ll have a look at your cash flow, super and insurances, and then we’ll have a follow-up session to discuss strategies to help you achieve whatever financial goals you might have – maybe buying a home, having enough money to have a child, buy an investment property, invest in the share market. From there, you can decide whether you’d like to work with us or not!

What’s the typical starting point in a new client relationship?

It is getting into good cash flow habits, and we do that by tracking all incomings and outgoings via Xero. It’s almost like taking your personal finances and looking at it like a business. Where’s the money going, and are you getting value from it? From there, we help clients structure their bank accounts to make cash flow more manageable – many of our clients use our GPS program, which is our proven method of helping you get in control of your cash flow, and that’s hugely successful.

What’s the biggest surprise that people tend to get when they analyse where their money goes?

Believe it or not, the thing that surprises people usually is the amount of money they’re spending on presents for other people. When you ask them to estimate it they say ‘$50 per month’, but in reality it’s a lot more than that!

What other things do you work with clients on?

We’ll also look at whether you’ve got adequate insurances in place – many people only have the insurances that come with their super, and often that may not be enough for their current lifestyle and situation. We also work with people who want to invest in shares but maybe don’t have the time or experience to do so themselves.

What happens when you get those initial things sorted out?

It really depends on the client and what their situation is. We’ll meet at least once a year depending on their circumstance, but for most clients it’s three-four times per year. It’s good to meet at least annually as goals change; different things take priority so we can reassess the strategy to ensure it’s on course. Naturally, we’re here for anything that crops up in between meetings, too.

Super is a topic that many people don’t pay too much attention to until they are approaching retirement age, but how important is it to focus on it in those early years?

It’s incredibly important. Most people have just gone with the first super fund they were given with their first job, but the reality is that every super fund is different – fees are different, the investment options are different and how it gets managed is different. It’s good to be able to compare different funds, look at their performance and the client’s risk profile to ensure the client is in the right super fund for their needs right now. Over time, it can make a significant difference.

As a financial adviser, what can people expect from you?

It’s difficult to talk about yourself, isn’t it! I’ll be there to help them take control of their finances and achieve their goals – I hopefully make it easy and enjoyable, and ultimately I’m working for you, and just want the best possible outcome for you. I’m always contactable, and always ready to help.

If you’d like to book a fact-finding session with Joel, call (03) 5557 3355, email [email protected], or fill in our contact form online.