Services

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Superannuation

Talk to us today on how to consolidate your funds and grow your portfolio


The smartest way of growing your super is to consolidate your funds. It can provide you with a number of benefits not the least of which are; cost savings, reduced paperwork and the ability to finally keep track of your super.


  • How many superannuation statements did you receive this year?
  • Do you find it difficult to keep track of your super accounts?
  • Do you even know how many super funds you have?
  • Do you know which one of your existing funds is best?

We provide bespoke and considered advice, by researching the country's largest Superannuation. This ensures we get a broad understanding of the funds available and in turn allows us to identify the one that will best suit our client’s individual needs.

What do you need to consider before consolidating your funds?

  • Are there any termination / exit fees?
  • Do I have any insurance benefits and will I lose these?
  • Will the new fund have all the choice, services and insurance option I need?
  • Can my employer pay into the new chosen fund?

Sounds confusing? Contact us today and let us guide you.

Investment

ASCOT Wealth Management Custom Portfolios – combining skill and insight


All ASCOT Wealth Management clients receive portfolio construction and management advice that combines the skill and insight of their ASCOT Wealth Management adviser and our specialist team of portfolio construction experts. Once your portfolio has been agreed there are choices as to how portfolios are implemented and maintained.

What We Do

What is it?

ASCOT Wealth Management Custom Portfolios is a service that establishes an agreement with you to manage your portfolio to a defined strategy. The strategy establishes the range of allowable market exposure and your particular preferences. Thereafter ASCOT Wealth Management manages the portfolio in accordance with that strategy (i.e. using its discretion to re-balance as needed). The great advantage of ASCOT Wealth Management Custom Portfolios is that portfolio adjustments are implemented quickly and cost effectively, whilst still providing the benefit of personalized advice and portfolio customization. In our view that is likely to lead to better investment outcomes for you over the longer term.

Are custom portfolios just for share investments?

Absolutely not. ASCOT Wealth Management Custom Portfolios cover all asset classes and are designed to provide a highly efficient and dynamic way to manage asset allocation and investment selection / blending. In addition to covering asset classes including domestic and international shares, property, and fixed income, ASCOT Wealth Management Custom Portfolios can include listed securities, managed funds and fixed interest allowing your portfolio to be constructed to meet your requirements, whether they are active or passive in nature.

Is asset allocation important?

Over the long term, the decision as to how much to allocate to different asset classes (asset allocation) will have a greater bearing on investors' total returns than decisions as to which investments to buy within that asset class. Past academic studies have suggested that up to 90% of a portfolio's return is ultimately explained by asset allocation.*

Markets can be inefficient for prolonged periods. This means that market valuations can remain irrationally influenced by emotions such as fear or greed for extended time frames, rather than reflect true underlying fundamental value. This is both an opportunity and a threat for investors.

Over the long term the Australian equity market has delivered an "equity risk premium" of 4 to 5 per cent per annum. This is the return above a "risk free" rate such as the cash rate. This return is attractive and is the reason for investing rather than simply saving. However, the equity risk premium does not come evenly over time. Equity markets can potentially deliver much lower premiums or no premium at all for long periods. This is a risk that needs to be carefully managed. Asset allocation must be matched to investor time frame and profiles.

Even when the likely future direction of market trends is clear, the time frame over which these trends play out can be far longer or shorter than anticipated. Therefore it is critical that investors and their advisers have access to historical perspectives on how long inefficiencies can take to correct and that the investment strategy for any given investor is developed with a clear understanding of time frame. Mismatching of market and investor time frames is to be avoided at all costs. Asset allocation is about avoiding losses too.

*Source: Roger G. Ibbotson and Paul D. Kaplan, "Does Asset Allocation Policy Explain 40%, 90%, or 100% of Performance?", The Financial Analysts Journal, January/February 2000

How does it work?

You, and your ASCOT Wealth Management adviser, agree upon your investment strategy.

Your Investment Strategy

  • Governs your risk exposure
  • Is agreed by you and your adviser
  • Will be adhered to when recommending you portfolio
  • Can be tailored to exclude certain investments – according to your preferences.

Your portfolio will be managed on a discretionary basis and investments will be bought and sold in line with your investment strategy. That is, a professional portfolio manager is employed to buy and sell securities for clients on their behalf, avoiding the need to continually refer back to the client to approve and confirm transactions in their portfolio, thus streamlining the management process

Key benefits
  • Outsource the stress involved in portfolio management
  • Access to a professional adviser and expertly managed portfolios / funds
  • Your ASCOT Wealth Management adviser, who knows you, your risk profile and in most cases your tax position, oversees your investments.
  • Dynamic asset allocation matched with timely execution by Fund Managers, minimizes your risk and takes advantage of market opportunities
  • The administration function is taken care of by expert providers such as MLC, Bt and PLUM.
Other important things you need to know
  • We have deep insights
  • We Identify a sustainable competitive edge
  • Access exclusive managers
  • Diversification through blending
  • We 'trust but verify'

Insurance

Bringing insurance and technology together to help you find affordable cover with little compromise.


Our advice has helped generations of families and businesses, today, tomorrow and over the long term.



Types of insurance offered

Life Insurance

Provides a lump sum payment to a beneficiary, third party or an estate in event of death. It would also be normal for all or part of the benefit to be paid should the diagnoses be one of terminal illness.

Total & Permanent Disablement Insurance

Provides a lump sum payment if you become Totally & Permanently Disabled. The meaning of Total & Permanent Disability is defined in each policy document. Some occupations have an option as to which meaning of Total & Permanent Disability can be insured. The benefit is normally provided as an advance payment of a death benefit or on a stand-alone basis.

Trauma Insurance

This provides a lump sum payment in the event of you being diagnosed with one of a specified range of critical illness or injuries. The list of conditions covered is often optional and varies between companies, as do the definitions of those conditions. The benefit can be provided as either an advance payment of a death benefit or on a stand-alone basis.

Income Protection

Income Protection provides you with a regular source of income should you be unable to work for a period due to injury or illness. You can generally insure for up to 75% of your normal income and there are a number of options available relating to waiting periods and benefit periods.

Business Succession Insurance / Buy /Sell Insurance

This covers a business for the costs associated with the departure of a co-owner / partner by either death and / or illness. This is one of the most insurance covers any business owner that is engaged in business with a partner/s. It make certain that the business continues to operate on its own terms rather than be forced into accepting terms from a deceased partners estate.

How is the cost of insurance calculated?

Not everyone pays the same rate for the same life insurance policy. The process by which the insurance company determines who is eligible for a policy, and what they will pay for it is called "underwriting. There are various factors in underwriting an individual insurance policy, these include, but are not limited to:

  • Age
  • General Health
  • Medical History
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Agreed or Indemnity style policy
  • Waiting period – the time you choose to wait before receiving payment.
  • Benefit period – how long you will receive payments in the event of a claim.
  • Lifestyle, i.e. alcohol, tobacco use, sports and hobbies

If the results of the underwriting evaluation determine that the person is insurable, they will then usually be issued a risk rating. Individuals applying for insurance that are considered a "low risk", receive the lowest rate. How the rating is assigned differs from company to company, and this is why it is recommended that appropriate advice is considered.

Self Managed Super Funds

Control your super funds and invest in the things you want



Self-managed super funds can allow people more control over their own super investments.

With changes to superannuation legislation a few years ago, SMSF's can now borrow money to invest in real estate. This is proving to be a real draw-card, mainly for the potential tax benefits but it's not for everyone and the right advice is essential.

Like other superannuation (super) funds, SMSF's are a way of saving for your retirement. The difference between an SMSF and other types of funds is, generally, that members of an SMSF are the trustees. This means the members of the SMSF run it for their own benefit.

As a trustee you'll have a number of administrative obligations - for example, you'll need to arrange an annual audit of your fund, keep appropriate records and report to us on the fund's operation.

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After deciding that you would like to engage ASCOT Wealth Management to set up your SMSF the following needs to be considered

Structures

You can choose one of the following structures for your fund:

  • up to four individual trustees
  • a corporate trustee (essentially, a company acts as trustee for the fund).

Your choice of trustee will make a difference to the way you administer your fund and the types of benefits it can pay, so you need to make sure it suits your circumstances. We recommend you discuss your trustee options with one of the SMSF professionals at ASCOT Wealth Management. If your fund has individual trustees, it's an SMSF if all of the following apply:

  • it has four or less members
  • each member is a trustee
  • no member is an employee of another member, unless they're related
  • no trustee is paid for their duties or services as a trustee.

If your fund has a corporate trustee, it's an SMSF if all of the following apply:

  • it has four or less members
  • each member of the fund is a director of the company
  • each director of the corporate trustee is a member of the fund
  • no member is an employee of another member, unless they're related
  • the corporate trustee is not paid for its services as a trustee
  • no director of the corporate trustee is paid for their duties or services as director in relation to the fund.

Single member funds

It's possible for you to set up your fund with only one member. If you have a corporate trustee for a single member fund. The member needs to be either:

  • the sole director of the trustee company
  • one of only two directors who is either related to the other director or not an employee of the other director
  • no director of the corporate trustee is paid for their duties or services as director in relation to the fund.
  • You can also have two individuals as trustees. One trustee needs to be the member and the other needs to be either:
  • a person related to the member
  • any other person who does not employ them.

No trustee is paid for their duties or services as a trustee.

Eligibility

In most cases, all members of the fund need to be trustees, so it's important to make sure all members are eligible to be a trustee. Generally, anyone 18 years or over can be a trustee of a super fund, as long as they're not under a legal disability (such as someone who is bankrupt or mentally impaired) or are a disqualified person.
A person is disqualified if they:

  • have ever been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty
  • have ever been subject to a civil penalty order under the super laws
  • are considered insolvent under administration
  • are an undischarged bankrupt
  • have been disqualified by a regulator (for example, by us or APRA).

Generally, members under 18 years of age can't be trustees of a super fund. A parent or guardian can be a trustee for a member who's under 18 years of age and does not have a legal personal representative. A company can't be a trustee if:

  • a responsible officer of the company (such as a director, secretary or executive officer) is a disqualified person
  • a receiver, official manager or provisional liquidator has been appointed to the company
  • action has started to wind up the company.

Penalties can apply if you act as a trustee while disqualified.

Residency

In order to be a complying super fund and receive tax concessions, your fund needs to be a resident regulated super fund at all times during the income year. This means your fund needs to meet the definition of an 'Australian superannuation fund' for tax purposes.

If your fund is a non-complying fund, its assets (less certain contributions) and its income are taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.

If a member moves or travels overseas for an extended period, this may affect the residency status of the fund

Trust and trust deed

A trust is an arrangement where a person or company (the trustee) holds assets (trust property) in trust for the benefit of others (the beneficiaries). A super fund is a special type of trust, set up and maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to its members (the beneficiaries). To create a trust, you need to have the following:

A trust deed is a legal document that sets out the rules for establishing and operating your fund - things like the fund's objectives, who can be a member and how benefits are paid. The trust deed and super laws together form the fund's 'governing rules'.

A trust deed is a legal document, so you need to have it prepared by someone qualified to do so.

If your fund has individual trustees, the trust deed needs to state that the fund's sole purpose is to pay retirement benefits.

All trustees need to understand, sign and date the trust deed and ensure it is properly executed according to state or territory laws.

  • trustees
  • property (assets) (commonly an initial nominal consideration takes place to give legal effect to the trust - for example, $10 held in trust)
  • identifiable beneficiaries
  • the intention to create a trust.
Trustees

New funds usually appoint trustees under the fund's trust deed.

All trustees and directors need to sign a declaration stating that they understand their duties and responsibilities. They need to do this within 21 days of becoming a trustee or director, and you need to keep the declaration for as long as it is relevant, or otherwise for at least 10 years.

The declaration needs to be available for us to see if we request it as part of an audit or review.

If you don't sign and retain the declaration, or make it available to the ATO when we request it, penalties may be imposed. All trustees are bound by the trust deed and are equally responsible if its rules aren't followed.

Investment Strategies

Before you start making investments, you need to have a written investment strategy. Your investment strategy provides you and the other trustees with a framework for making investment decisions to increase members' benefits for their retirement. It should be in writing so you can show your investment decisions comply with it and the super laws. When preparing your investment strategy, you need to consider:

  • diversification (investing in a range of assets and asset classes)
  • the risk and likely return from investments, to maximise member returns
  • the liquidity of fund's assets (how easily they can be converted to cash to meet fund expenses)
  • the fund's ability to pay benefits when members retire and other costs the fund incurs
  • the members' needs and circumstances (for example, their age and retirement needs).
Tax File Numbers

When a member joins your fund, record their TFN. You'll need to provide each trustee's or director's TFN when you register the fund with us.

If a member hasn't quoted their TFN:

  • your fund can't accept certain contributions made on their behalf, including personal and eligible spouse contributions
  • your fund needs to pay extra tax on some contributions made to that member's account
  • the member may not be able to receive super co-contributions.
ATO

Once your fund is legally established and all trustees have signed a trustee declaration, you need to register your fund with us. When registering your fund, you can:

  • elect for it to be regulated
  • get a tax file number (TFN) and Australian business number (ABN)
  • register for GST.
Bank Account

To be legally established, your fund needs to hold assets. The trustees hold the fund's assets in trust for the benefit of the member.

An SMSF is usually established by making a contribution to the fund at the same time as the trust deed is executed. A contribution can be money or a transfer of certain assets, such as listed shares and securities.

You need to open a bank account in your fund's name to manage the fund's operations and accept cash contributions and rollovers of super benefits. The money is then invested according to the fund's investment strategy, and used to pay the fund's expenses and liabilities.

You don't have to open a separate bank account for each member, but you do need to keep a separate record of their entitlement (called a 'member account').

The fund's bank account needs to be kept separate from each of the trustees' individual bank accounts and any related employers' bank accounts.

Succession Planning

Plan the way your business transitions when you move on.


A good succession plan enables a smooth transition with less likelihood of disruption to a business or to any one business owner.

Nobody likes to think about it, but at one point or another, a person leaves a business. Whether you decide to sell, retire or need to exit the business due to ill health, it's important that you and your business plan accordingly.

By planning well in advance you can maximise the value of your business and enable it to meet future needs.

There are many considerations when it comes to succession planning with some of the most important being

  • Contract / legal documents
  • Buy / Sell agreements
  • Will / testaments

These and many other considerations are covered in our sample succession plan template below.

Estate Planning

Careful estate planning can help ensure the wealth you have built is transferred smoothly.


Estate planning is the process of arranging the disposal or 'passing on' an estate and it's assets by eliminating the uncertainties over the administration and maximising the value of the estate by reducing tax and other related expenses.

Quite often Estate Planning is much more complex than just drafting a simple Will. ASCOT Wealth Management will help you to decide whether you require the preparation of a more complex will incorporating testamentary discretionary trusts, amendments to your family trust deed or self-managed superannuation fund and a formal estate planning strategy document.

Most importantly, we are happy to be the conduit that liaises with all the professionals in your life from your Accountant to your Legal Professional. If you do not have a legal representative we have a panel of expert solicitor / lawyers that can assist.

Estate planning encompasses

Consideration of an estate plan depends upon whether:

  • you have sizeable assets and the personal circumstances of your beneficiaries require the creation of more complex trusts within your will
  • you have vulnerable beneficiaries with special needs
  • your investment or business structures are complex and may include a family discretionary trust, a self-managed superannuation fund or a private company
  • you wish to minimise the tax liability of your estate or your beneficiaries, for example via superannuation or testamentary trusts.

Other considerations

  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Joint Tenancy – rights of survivor-ship
  • Gifting
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