Blueprint Wealth adviser says planners should be able to service Australian citizens working abroad

AT THE COAL FACE: David Baruffi

Article originally published in The West Australian YOUR MONEY special insert on 19/10/2015

Q. Why did you enter financial services?

A. I have had an interest in macro-economics since my undergraduate days at the University of WA. Over my working life, I have had the opportunity to work with people to set and achieve (business) objectives; these two interests came together and drew me to personal financial planning. With the explosion of information available to investors there is also a growing need for assistance in navigating the white noise that we are all faced with to ensure we make good investment decisions.

Q. What is your favourite part of the job?

A. I derive a great deal of satisfaction when we show a client that they can achieve something that is really important to them; whether that is an international holiday, buying a new home, providing for their children’s education or achieving a level of financial security. Building wealth through knowledge is our catchcry. The toughest part of the job is dealing with clients who are in desperate financial straits when they are suffering personal tragedy, as is often the case when we deal with clients referred to us by the Cancer Council pro-bono program.

Q. What is your investment approach?

A. We are conservative investors. I work on two principles: ensure you have sufficient diversification in your portfolio to manage risk and invest client’s money as if it is your own. Academic research into investing has continually shown that the best way to reduce your investment risk is to diversify. I invest my client’s money in the same investments I invest my own. We take realistic timeframes and develop our investment portfolios based on maximising the chances that the funds will be there when the client needs them.

Q. Name one regulation you would change?

A. I would change the regulation that prohibits Australian financial planners from providing the advice to non-resident citizens. We have a number of clients who work for large international organisations which require that some of their career will be spent offshore. However, when they are offshore we cannot advise them on their Australian investments, including Australian superannuation.

David Baruffi is a Director at Blueprint Wealth