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  • Writer's pictureF.B.I

WealthDesign - 10 Minutes

Who are we?

WealthDesign - We are a little firm but have a long history. There is a reason I'm grey and old.

WealthDesign was established in 2001 by my wife Kris and I. At the time, our goal was simple – we wanted to establish a boutique financial planning firm. It had to based on the best business practices in the market place and had to be independent of any product provider or insurance company. Almost 20 years later, we still have the same goal.

We wanted to be a one stop shop and we wanted to be the best. We wanted to be a business that lasts. To be fair there are bugger all firms that can say they have been around for 20 years in sector.

I had started in the financial services industry in 1987 thinking I'd work in town for a year or so and go back farming. You may not know but the late 80's was a shit time for NZ farmers. There was lot of changes in the rural sector and interest rates ran at around 24%. Hard to imagine given that today 3.99% mortgage rates are common.

I had been through Lincoln studying farm management and had been over seas bumming around for a while and then had come home, got married. The family farm was being sold at the time and I thought I'd go share milking but the pay out that year was around only around $2.40 KgMS. The idea of getting up at 4.30 to earn next to nothing didn't sound so smart to me.

Anyway I walked into AMP thinking I was applying for a rural lending job and ended up selling insurance – I must be a bit slow because I'm still selling insurance.

In 1987, the financial services industry was very young. In those days, you only sold one companies product and the retirement plans where an absolute rip off. I was working for AMP and was disillusioned. After about 4 years I started looking for external training and after going to number of industry course, started at Massey studying personal financial planning. I finished both the diploma and the requirements to obtain the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) badge.

By 1996, I had worked my way out of AMP and had set up a company with a partner. This turned out to be a financial mistake and it took 4 years to work this out.

By this stage I had also been giving advice for while. We had the Russian credit default, NZ dairy Board had to swap Lada's for milk powder in those days

At Wealth Design our focus has always been client first. This holistic approach is the heart and sole of our business. I'm proud of the fact that we deal with a number of second and third generation. We have lots of clients that have been part of our history for over 20 years. I'm also proud of the fact that most of our new clients are referred by existing clients.

As a little business we keep on growing – thank god for technology as this is why we have been able to achieve this without more staff.

Today we are a small team. Our team is made up of Uvana. My EA. Uvana has worked for me for 11 years and is an administration machine.

There is Kris, she does our marketing and is responsible for our blogs and newsletter.

Leonie is our latest cog in the machine and she is a lending whizz. Lending is an important part of peoples lives and it's great to have Leonie as part of the team.

Over the years we have had people come and go and that is just life. Funny but our business is running as well as it ever has but without any major hassles. We have a great team and work is fun.

What do we do?

Like I said we are a one stop shop. When I come here I'm only talking about insurance. That's the rules but that is only part of what we do as financial planner. I compete with Jason and with Ann at times and I refer business to both of them at other times. It's what is best for the client.

I find referring them business is easy as I respect them.

Insurance - Every one hates insurance. I know, it's boring and it's costly and everyone has a war story about insurance that doesn't pay.

Simply insurance supplies cash when bad things happen. Yes, there are stories about insurance companies not paying. It's half true – for example most of the trouble with claims comes back to the product and how it's underwritten. For example – travel insurance and short form applications.

Insurance does pay. I know because I've seen the cheques and I've seen the impact of those cheques when disasters have happened. I've had farming clients killed in road accidents, I've had clients drop dead in the kitchen, I've had clients die of heart attacks and cancer. I've had clients claim on trauma and income protection. To this day, I've never had a claim that should have been paid, not paid.


What is in it for me! From your point of view, insurance , who cares? But you need a plan B because things sometime just don't work out right.

You need to ask yourself the following;

· What happens financially if you can't work due to illness or injury?

· What happens financially if you can never continue in your usual occupation again due to illness or injury?

· What happens financially if you suffer a stroke or a heart attack?

· Who pays if you need to go to hospital for an operation?

· Ask yourself who should get the money if a disaster strikes.

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