In the latest instalment of our interview series with leading advisers, we caught up with Les McGuire of Future Proof Wealth.
Les is an alumnus of the very first AMP Horizons academy for financial advisers, where he passed with flying colours before joining an AMP licensee and quickly becoming director and part owner.
Some years – and many awards – later, he rebranded the practice as Future Proof Wealth and with offices in Brisbane and Ballina, Les now enjoys the best of both worlds – city and beach.
Away from the office, Les loves an adrenalin rush. And when he’s not negotiating moguls on his snowboard or dodging sharks on his surfboard, he’s a devoted husband to Carla and father to six daughters.
What was your first experience with North?
When I first joined the AMP network there were a bunch of platforms around, but I wasn’t a big fan. They were pretty clunky and expensive.
Then when North came along, I quickly realised what a massive difference the platform could make to clients strategically.
Everything should come back to clients’ best interests. And as part of our due diligence, we regularly compare North against similar platforms, and it’s always been very competitive.
What are the top reasons you use North?
- Strategic advice - North allows you to do things like capture losses in Australian dollars and reinvest quickly back into the market.
- Day one buy/sell - A powerful feature when it comes to working with clients’ money.
- Competitive fee structure - Lower fees mean happy days for clients.
What aspects of North have made the biggest difference to your business?
One of the biggest evolutions in Future Proof Wealth’s journey has been the Incrementum Managed Portfolios we’ve set up with Evidentia.1
The managed portfolio – or managed account – structure has completely transformed how we operate as a business.
It’s allowed us to deliver on our personal promise to clients that we’ll aim for the best possible investment outcomes. And over the past 12 months I'm pleased to say each of our managed portfolios have outperformed the index.
What's been your best client outcome with North?
Two of my clients, who have more sophisticated needs, made a significant capital gain in terms of private unlisted stock when their engineering company was sold.
When markets were down I was able to sell down their portfolio by 28 June and capture all capital losses in that tax year to offset against the capital gain. In the new financial year I then reinvested them straight back into the market in the managed portfolio structure, which was perfect for them.
Their accountants both rang me and said that was amazing – the amount we saved the clients through strategic advice using North was incredible.
What's North’s biggest timesaver?
Our investment board can change portfolios very quickly if we see there’s an opportunity or risk on the markets, whether here in Australia or around the world.
With MyNorth Managed Portfolios I can tell clients hand on heart their money is being actively managed.
It’s a big contrast with set-and-forget portfolios where weightings don’t change, other than a rebalance which can be quite ineffective in markets like the one we’re in today.
How do North’s support team help you get things done?
At all levels, the North team delivers on what they say. They’ve been very quick to understand and recognise any small teething issues we’ve had.
Our BDM is Dave Harris, who I’ve known for a long time. If we have an issue, we can call Dave and rest assured it’s going to be solved. And if there’s anything he’s not 100% sure of, he’ll always find out and get back to us.
State Manager Russ Hanlon also makes himself very available and goes above and beyond to solve issues.
And then you have Edwina Maloney, who’s a fantastic leader and very approachable.
What would you like to see from North in the future?
The next step for our business is using MyNorth Lifetime accounts, which I think are a game changer.
Put simply, with the income streams, the tax-effectiveness and the Centrelink benefits, they solve a lot of the issues that super was originally set up to deal with.
What advice would you give to newly qualified advisers using North?
Understand the nuances of how North works and the benefits for clients. And remember, North isn’t just for AMP advisers…it’s for all advisers and their clients.
North’s inhouse portfolios awarded 'Superior’ SQM Research rating21 February 2024 Independent research house, SQM Research, has reviewed North’s inhouse Managed Portfolios, Research Choice, Index Plus, and MyNorth Sustainable ratings and awarded a 4 stars ‘Superior’ rating. Read more
Latest enhancements to Activity Management19 February 2024 North's newest Activity Management enhancement, live from February 26th, will provide an unprecedented level of transparency relating to your client’s trades, helping you better manage your clients account and their expectations. Read more
New investment options added to North – February 202413 February 2024 At North, we’re committed to providing you and your clients with more choice. That’s why we continue to expand our menu to provide you with a broad range of investment options. Read more
What you need to know
This article has been provided by NMMT Limited ABN 42 058 835 573, AFSL No. 234653 (NMMT) for professional adviser use only. The comments expressed represent the personal views and opinions of the adviser. MyNorth Lifetime is a part of MyNorth Super and Pension which is issued by N. M. Superannuation Proprietary Limited (ABN 31 008 428 322, AFSL 234654) (NM Super) as trustee of the Wealth Personal Superannuation and Pension Fund (the Fund) ABN 92 381 911 598. It’s important a person considers their circumstances and reads the relevant product disclosure statement and/or investor directed portfolio services guide and target market determination, available from northonline.com.au or by contacting the North Service Centre on 1800 667 841, before deciding what’s right for them.
You can read NMMT’s Financial Services Guide online for more information, including the fees and benefits that companies related to NMMT, NM Super and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided. You can also ask us for a hard copy. North and MyNorth are trademarks registered to NMMT.
1 Les has established a Partnered Managed Portfolio series bespoke for his practice and these managed portfolios mentioned are not available more broadly. Talk to your BDM about how our managed portfolio offer might suit your business.