We recently introduced you to one of our valued clients, Colin Hyett of Colin Hyett Design. This time we turn our focus to one of our team, James Stephen.
James is a Certified Financial Planner and small business expert. He has been helping clients and their families with their financial affairs for over 15 years.
James enjoys guiding clients on their financial journey, helping them articulate their dreams and goals and setting them on the path to achieving those goals while meeting the financial challenges along the way. Goals and challenges such as achieving a comfortable retirement, educating the kids, saving for holidays, paying off the mortgage, budgeting and debt management, caring for elderly parents. James’ reward is the obvious difference made to people lives and the long-term relationships he builds with clients.
James also has a strong understanding of the needs of business owners and entrepreneurs having run his own business. He helps clients grow, protect and exit their business when the time comes.
James considers small business to be the “engine room of the economy” but lacking the resources of larger companies, small business owners tend to be always working, often sacrificing time with family. James seeks to take some pressure off his clients and help them make good business decisions. He advises them on how to build business value while ensuring they and their family are protected from the associated financial challenges.
Small business owners often think their business is their “retirement nest egg”. The truth is the business may not be worth as much as the owner thinks and may not be enough to provide for a comfortable retirement. James not only assists clients to build their business’ value so that it is saleable when it comes time to exit but advises on the need to invest in other assets such as superannuation along the way.
You can see that James loves to help people make smart decisions about their business and their money. That’s evident also in his generous sharing of knowledge across a number of forums. James was a lecturer in financial planning for small business at Monash University and in 2017 published a book The Retirement Myth – Why most small business owners can’t afford to retire and what to do about it.
James also hosts the Money Show on 3WBC Melbourne. Here he interviews financial experts on a wide range of topics designed to educate people about making smart money decisions whether it be buying a car or boat, budgeting and debt management, investing in property or shares, landing a good job, saving for a holiday or navigating aged care services.
With all that going on, you wonder where James finds the time for interests outside work. He has three kids all under age 6 as well as being a bit of a “fitness and health nut” regularly attending the gym and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He also likes to travel, read and watch his mighty Hawks in the AFL.
When asked why he works at Strategic Wealth Services and what sets it apart from other financial advisory businesses, James replied: “It’s about making a difference in people’s lives. Strategic Wealth Services’ focus is not on selling financial products. Our core service is lifelong cash flow modelling. We use CALM (Cashflow Asset Liability Modelling) software to show what your future looks like under varying assumptions. For example, if want to buy a car, you can see exactly what the impact is on your long-term financial outcome. It allows us to advise on what adjustments can be made to achieve your financial health goals. Products aren’t a significant part of the equation”.
James is the trusted advisor to a wide range of clients across all walks of life. He can assist you to achieve and keep the life you want. Give James a call on (03) 9896 5100.