A new team of financial advisers on the Hibiscus Coast is hoping to dispel the myth that financial advice is only for “the rich and famous”.
Brothers-in-law Mathew Sturge and Baffin Wong are the directors of Kiwi Assist, formerly located in Albany, but now based at Tindalls Bay.
They head a team of 10 advisers, spread around the country between Auckland and Dunedin, with another two advisers joining the company soon.
“We believe most people have very little understanding of what financial advisers do, so they don’t know how some sound financial advice can save them money and take a lot of stress out of their lives,” Mat says. “Plus, our service is free.”
Mat sharpened his financial skills while working in Australia for five years, mainly in the high-end corporate market. On the other hand, Baffin studied finance and minor economics, but then worked a range of jobs from importing to hospitality – he owned the Ra Cafe & Bar in Dunedin for a number of years.
What they have in common is a shared interest in helping everyday kiwis make smarter financial choices.
As an example, they say a couple with a $460,000 mortgage over 30 years, whose combined income is around $135,000 gross, could potentially save $220,700 in interest and pay the loan off in 16 years with proper loan structuring.
“You start with a budget and proper restructuring of their financial affairs including KiwiSaver and insurance, and it is absolutely achievable. Even a one per cent increase in KiwiSaver returns will net a 30-year-old on $55,000 a year, $100,000 more when they reach 65.”
Mat says it is not uncommon to come across people who have good resources, but who feel like they don’t earn enough.
“It’s not until you start working on a financial plan that you can identify where the money is going and how to best optimise it. It is often a real surprise to the client – especially if they find they are spending $2000 a month on takeaways!”