​Five minutes with…Chris Black, Fortress Financial Solutions

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Why financial advice?
I have a strong passion for the financial services industry, which I see is a vital part of the economy and more importantly, the wellbeing of the community. We have a position of responsibility with our clients who trust us and our advice to reach their financial dreams, protect their family and live a desirable lifestyle. 

How would you sum up advisers in three words?
Entrusted, motivated and empowered

How would you change the industry?
I would like to see more consistent and holistic advice given to clients. I also believe the complicated rules, laws and changes in the super and tax system means that the average punter switches off when facing financial questions and changes.  If these systems were simplified, clients would become engaged and take more ownership of their circumstances, which is in everyone’s best interests. 

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
You need to know something about everything, and everything about something to succeed professionally.

What’s the most important thing an adviser can do to develop their business?
Simply provide better service and customer experience.  Developing a loyal and engaged client base means retention and overall profitability should improve. 

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
That’s a tough one. I really struggle with how little the community supports our lower socio-economic groups, including some indigenous communities.  The mortality, living conditions and unemployment of some of these groups needs to be addressed by the Government in particular to break the intergenerational issues that these children will repeat without additional support.

What has been the highlight of your career?
I provided holistic advice to a pre-retiree client, which included life cover which they said they didn’t need.  Unfortunately the client was diagnosed as terminal and the money was used for them to quit work, buy a caravan and spend time together travelling around Australia.  Handing that cheque to him was the most emotional, yet satisfying moment in my career, because it unequivocally changed their lives at a desperate point.

NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
I will watch and play anything.  Cricket and golf have to be the favourites and must say I love seeing us rip through the English once again in the Ashes. Additionally I love motorsport and rally Datsuns with my brother which is exhilarating, but certainly not a ‘sound’ financial investment.

What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Not much of a coffee drinker, but very impartial to a frosty XXXX Gold.

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Will Ferrell because I think he is the funniest man alive and would be great entertainment.

Kerry Packer. He’s an interesting person and I’m sure he’d be forthcoming with business advice and some great stories.

Nelson Mandela, because he’s an inspirational and courageous leader who stands up for his personal beliefs through his actions, not just his words.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in advice, I would be… 
A school teacher like my Mum.  Education is a cornerstone of society and I try to educate my clients with the same vigour. Education creates opportunities and gives people the ability to make more informed decisions. 

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