After 10 years working for a number of ‘conflicted’ financial planning firms, Matthew Ross decided to take a leap of faith and started Roskow Independent Advisory in 2006, which has since grown into a busy, successful firm.
Why did you get into financial planning?
If I wasn’t in financial planning I reckon I’d be a school teacher, education’s always been important to me. I’ve also been a football coach and coaching’s really been part of my life and I’ve always mentored people in footy and other areas of life. So financial planning, I see, as a lot of educating our clients on options, and it had a lot to do with numbers as well, so combining numbers and education for me. I did an accounting degree as well, always been good at math like many people in financial planning.
Best bit of advice you’ve ever given?
Something we do on a regular basis and that’s always to get our clients to make decisions based on what’s best for them, not being influenced by what’s in the media, in the paper or a lot of friends and family saying ‘you ought to do this’ or ‘you ought to do that’.
Worst advice you’ve ever received?
I can’t say the worst I’ve ever received, it’s probably the worst I’ve ever witnessed. The worst was when I worked for people who provided conflicted advice. I’d just sit there and shake my head and say how can you provide that to the client and other people when I can hear you pushing down a certain route to maximise your income. It irritated me for many, many years and that’s what prompted me to start my own business.
What three words best describe financial planners?
Strategy, Confidence and Independence (or objective)
If you only had $50 left, what would you do with it?
I’d buy $50 of food and take it to the park and have a picnic with my family… And then break the bad news to them. Get some bread and meat from the deli. Why not, a bottle of wine for me and my wife…Not much else you can do.
What three things would you like to have in your suitcase on a deserted island?
A footy, my wedding ring (until reminded this would already be on his finger, so he gets another choice), a thick, fleecy jumper and a frisbee – (Who is he going to play with?) Oh, I’d better take a water bottle then.
Any Indian curry cooked by my wife, Sarah. Sarah’s an amazing cook so whatever she’s cooking…She gets creative so we never have the same thing twice.
What would you like to have the final word on?
I believe the product providers are a virus in our profession and I think the link between product providers and financial advice needs to be broken...I’d encourage any financial planner who’s employed by a product provider to change direction before it’s too late. I’m getting two referrals a day; I’m in big trouble – good trouble.
Independence is just the biggest secret out there at the moment and our people are just calling us up non-stop looking for someone who’s genuine.
I think there are a lot of people [planners] out there that are lost and go and do something else because they just can’t see a way of doing it the right way.