9th July 2008

Dear Investor,

Have you thought of using a financial adviser?

The investment landscape has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and we all need to consider whether we need professional financial advice to guide us through the increasingly complex investment world.

In today’s environment it is extremely important to make the best use of your financial resources.  By managing your financial affairs effectively you are securing your future.  Throughout your financial journey it’s important to ensure you remain informed and up to date.

Financial advisers – more professional, qualified and regulated

As the investment landscape has changed, so too has the demand for quality financial advice.  This has resulted from both the complexity of investment markets and the growing demand for advice flowing from an ageing population.

In response, there has been greater regulation by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (“ASIC”) which has resulted in financial advisers becoming more professional and qualified.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia is the peak body for financial advisers in Australia, and it has played a key role in improving the professionalism and qualifications of its members.  Through appropriate tertiary education courses, many financial advisers are now qualified Certified Financial Planners or “CFPs” and the level of professionalism continues to improve.

ASIC has also played an important role in the licensing, regulation and monitoring of financial advisers.  Financial advisers will either hold their own Australian Financial Services Licence (“AFSL”) or, more often, they are Authorised Representatives of “Dealer Groups”, who will hold their own AFSL.  To obtain an AFSL, the Dealer Group or financial adviser must satisfy ASIC that it has the appropriate resources, expertise, and systems to provide financial product advice.  The Dealer Group also has the responsibility for monitoring the activities of its financial advisers, and ensuring that the financial advice provided is appropriate.

What should you expect from a financial adviser?

You should expect a financial adviser to provide you with relevant and appropriate financial advice, tailored to your personal needs.  Your financial adviser should make a diligent effort to know your situation, they should know your financial objectives and needs, your personal requirements, and most importantly your tolerance to risk.

Your financial adviser should, in fact, become your personal trainer for your wealth management, and should offer advice about the fundamental protections for your financial well being, now and for the future.

A financial adviser should not only provide you with financial product advice but also advise you in relation to a range of other matters not directly related to investments.  These matters include ensuring that you have a current and valid power of attorney, whereby you appoint someone to handle your affairs if you become unable to do so, and a current and legal will.  These documents should be prepared by a qualified solicitor and are vitally important in a comprehensive financial plan.  Your financial adviser should also give you advice in relation to income protection insurance, in the event that you are unable to work, and life insurance, to protect your family in the event of your death.

All these are necessary for your financial wellbeing and protection.

How much will you have to pay for the financial advice?

How much you have to pay will depend on the complexity of your financial affairs and the amount of work that your financial adviser has to do in preparing a comprehensive financial plan for you.

The important point is that you understand the basis upon which your financial adviser will charge for the advice.  Financial advisers are paid either on a commission basis or on a fee-for-service basis.  You should make sure that you understand how you are going to be charged, and be prepared to negotiate with your financial adviser.  You should receive a “Financial Services Guide” from your financial adviser, outlining the basis upon which you will be charged.

As a client of a financial adviser, it is imperative that you understand the fees and commissions structures that go hand in hand with the service being provided.

Can La Trobe provide you with financial product advice?

La Trobe holds an AFSL that authorises it to operate managed investment schemes that invest in mortgages.  We operate the La Trobe Australian Mortgage Fund, which offers four different investment options from which you, as an investor, can choose, according to your attitudes towards risk and return.

However, La Trobe does not provide any financial product advice; so, for example, we cannot advise you in which of the four investment options you should invest.

Your financial adviser would be the person to look to for advice in relation to investing in our Mortgage Fund, and selecting the appropriate investment option for you.

Best regards,
Chris Andrews


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Chris Andrews
Head of Funds Management

t  +61 3 8610 2811
e  candrews@latrobefinancial.com.au

Chris Andrews is the Head of Funds Management for the La Trobe Group and has responsibility for the La Trobe Australian Mortgage Fund.
Read full profile here.

La Trobe is one of Australia's leading independent specialist mortgage Financiers. Its business includes residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, and investment services operating one of Australia's largest Mortgage Funds under AFSL 222213. It employs over 115 staff and has raised over AUD$10Billion to assist over 100,000 customers since inception in 1952.

Copyright 2010 La Trobe Financial. All rights reserved. No portion of this may be reproduced, copied, or in any way reused without written permission from La Trobe Financial. Disclaimer

* La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited ABN: 27 007 332 363 and AFSL No: 222213 is the issuer and manager of the La Trobe Australian Mortgage Fund. It is important for you to read the Product Disclosure Statement for the Fund before you make any investment decision. You can get a copy of the PDS by calling 1800 818 818. You should consider carefully whether or not investing in the Fund is appropriate for you.
(1) The rates of return from the Fund are not guaranteed and are determined by future revenue of the Fund, and may achieve lower than expected returns. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Investors risk losing some or all of their principal investment.
(2) Withdrawal rights are subject to liquidity and may be delayed or suspended.
(3) As at 30/11/10 the La Trobe Australian Mortgage Fund had received a Morningstar RatingTM of 5 stars. The Morningstar Rating is an assessment of a fund's past performance - based on both return and risk - which shows how similar investments compare with their competitors. A high rating alone is insufficient basis for an investment decision. © 2010 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither Morningstar, nor its affiliates nor their content providers guarantee the above data or content to be accurate, complete or timely nor will they have any liability for its use or distribution. Any general advice has been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892 (a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc.), without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the advice in light of these matters and, if applicable, the relevant product disclosure statement, before making any decision. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information at www.morningstar.com.au/fsg.pdf
(4) 3.75 star rating out of a possible 5 star rating indicates that Adviser Edge believes that La Trobe has performed in line with its peers and exceeded its peers on some fronts.
(5) The Standard and Poors rating of 4 out of 5 stars indicates that S + P has high conviction that La Trobe Financial will consistently generate risk-adjusted fund returns in excess of its relevant investment objectives and relative to its peers.
(6) The award was given to the La Trobe Australian Mortgage Fund, Pooled Mortgages Option.
Research Ratings are subject to change. To view the latest research information please visit www.adviseredge.com.au or www.standardandpoors.com.au. Ratings issued by Adviser Edge Investment Research AFS Licence No. 236783 and Standard & Poors Information Services (Australia) Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 258896 are solely statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or make any other investment decisions. The ratings are only one factor to be taken into account in deciding to invest. Research Houses receive a fee from La Trobe for rating the product. The Adviser Edge rating is generally a measure of the rated entity's capacity to meet its repayment obligations in all market circumstances.
IMPORTANT: This message, together with the La Trobe Financial website (www.latrobefinancial.com.au) and all its contents have been prepared for general information only and should not be taken as legal or financial advice, and as such the specific needs, investment objectives or financial situation of any particular user have not been taken into consideration. Individuals should therefore talk with their financial planner or advisor before acting on any information present on this message or the La Trobe website.