Making the Complex Simple

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Simplicity is something that most people crave but rarely achieve in their lives. Complexity is all around us. Whether it’s a pile of mail needing action, having to spend 30 minutes on the phone trying to navigate a call centre to sort out a problem or trying to operate a new television, we all encounter these things on a daily basis.

The world of personal finance is full of complexity. Take superannuation for instance. Really this is a straight forward concept. Save a regulated amount in a tax free environment until a set age. However superannuation has more complexity than a mission to the moon. I have sympathy with clients who glaze over when I try to explain things like concessional and non-concessional superannuation contributions, preservation ages, Centrelink benefits, retirement income streams and the like.  Even I find it frustrating and boring!

Apple, the ubiquitous technology company, has built its business on the concept of simplicity. Steve Jobs famously insisted that the iPhone should have only ONE button on the screen and that pressing that button would take the user back to the home page. Jobs had to fight hard for simplicity to win the day but in 20 years it helped him create one of the largest and most successful businesses of modern times.

Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.

At Alman Partners, we are strong advocates of making the complex simple. We are continually looking for ways to simplify our clients’ financial lives, the wealth planning advice that we give and the ways in which we interact with them.

When we build a client’s financial plan it is based on a lifetime financial projection and analysis which uses complex assumptions to provide us with a simplified, realistic and prudent outcome.

When we build our clients’ portfolios we remove the smoke and mirrors, which the main stream investment community dresses up as complexity. We implement a diversified portfolio designed to capture long term returns. ‘Simple.’

We set out to get our client’s financial house in order, in effect removing confusion about what is where, and what have I forgotten to do. Our consolidated reporting at tax time could not be simpler.

Clearly there will always be complexity around money and finances, particularly where there is significant wealth, not to mention the continued changes in the laws. Our job is to turn the complexity into simplicity. Your job, get on and enjoy life.

Stephen Lowry CFP, DFP, FAIM, is a representative of Alman Partners Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence No: 222107.

Note: This material is provided for information only. No account has been taken of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person or entity. Accordingly, to the extent that this material may constitute general financial product advice, investors should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs. This is not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial products, nor a solicitation for deposits or other business, whether directly or indirectly.