Taking five at The Promenade with… Ben and Brendan from Invest Blue

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Taking five at The Promenade with… Ben and Brendan from Invest Blue

Firstly, who is behind Invest Blue

Ben Warren and Brendan Biddle

Tell me a little bit about you and your business

Invest Blue was established in Armidale in 1996. It has now expanded to 11 other locations across NSW and QLD with over 80 people. Ben and Brendan are shareholders of Invest Blue and directly manage the daily running of the Coffs Harbour & Grafton offices. Our local team is also made up of Tom Merrick, Financial Planner; Karen Martin & Sally Power, Client Support Managers.

What do you specialise in

Helping people realise their goals and dreams by providing financial advice that works for them. We are very focused on helping people achieve the outcomes that matter most to them, and that starts with helping our clients to articulate their goals and values. Often that is a conversation that hasn’t been had, so it is a great place to start.

What do you most enjoy about your work

Ben: The dynamics of the financial services industry really appeal to me. Helping the mums & dads of Australia achieve their goals & objectives whilst supporting them through the complexities of ever-changing legislation is very rewarding.

Brendan: My goal is to make the financial planning process a smooth transition for my clients so that as their life evolves so does their financial plan. I aim to make the process as simple as possible with my priority being to understand my clients and what they want to achieve.

What keeps you going through the day

With Shearwater Restaurant coffees close by, we are always well caffeinated.

How long have you been at The Promenade

Invest Blue moved to The Promenade in June 2008.

What do you like most about being based here at The Promenade

What a place to work! Overlooking the Coffs Creek with the fresh aroma of coffee…where else would you want to be!?

What trends are you seeing in the investing sector

Once upon a time, the Financial Planning Industry was heavily focused on the financial product and very little else. Invest Blue is very much leading the way in offering an experience. We aim to better understand our client’s unique lives and discovering what is important to them. Once this has been achieved we can empower them to make the right decisions and live their best possible lives.

How does Invest Blue help their customers reach their goals

When you become a client of Invest Blue, you can rest assured that we have your back. You will develop a lasting relationship with a dedicated Financial Planner as well as a Client Support Manager. You have direct access to the team when you need it. Our offices are also assisted by a team of Advice, Support & Lending experts to ensure that Financial Planners and Client Support Managers are available to do what they do best, work closely with you.

By first understanding what our clients value most, we are able to put together a plan that will help them achieve that. We then work together over time to ensure the plans change and grow with the client and the financial & legislative environment around them. None of what we do is ‘set and forget’, we stay with you along to help you realise those most important goals and dreams.

Can anyone make an appointment with you, or is there criteria to be eligible for your business

The first steps of the Invest Blue process are to:

a) understand what is important to you – your plans and dreams

b) understand where you are today

c) understand the fundamental steps to achieve your plans and dreams

This meeting is cost and obligation free and is a chance for both the potential client and Invest Blue to determine if we are the right fit for each other. If we don’t think we can add value to a person’s life, we won’t continue. And similarly, if a person is after a different kind of support or advice than we offer, they will know early on. We don’t have specific eligibility criteria and routinely work with clients of all ages and stages of life. We do encourage new clients to come prepared with some questions and basic information so we are able to get a good understanding of where they are at straight away.

What are the best tips for those looking to invest

Don’t go it alone: There are always changes to legislation & markets, never mind personal life changes impacting what was once a great plan. As advisers, we spend our full-time lives staying on top of broader financial advice. It is very difficult for an individual who has their own passions or work, to stay on top of their financial strategies or investments as well. It is also very difficult to remove personal emotion from financial decisions, so having someone else on your team to talk through tough decisions can save you a lot of money.

Have a Long-Term Timeframe: the most reliable and consistent way to achieve goals is to be working towards it consistently over time. The sooner you start, the easier it will be.

Diversify: Ensuring your investment mix is balanced and ready for the bumps that occur over time will provide you with peace-of-mind.

Make regular investments: Putting money into investments a bit at a time, consistently, over time means that you don’t have to worry so much about what the market is doing. If you are buying in all the time, you will grow over time.

Be empowered: Keep in mind that ‘no action’ is just as much of a decision as taking action. So often we see people paralysed by the fear of the unknown, or living in a bit of denial (i.e. “retirement is ages away, I don’t need to worry”). By ignoring your financial future now you are only making it harder for yourself later. If you are in the earlier stages of your financial life, a few small decisions made well now can mean all the difference to the future you want. If you aren’t sure where you are at, we can help you figure it out.

What do you like to do on your days off

Ben: I love spending time with my wife and three daughters, and I recently completed the Future2 Wheel Classic from Melbourne to Adelaide – helping raise funds for kids in need. I’m passionate about all sports, in particular, rugby & cycling. One day I’d like to complete the New York Marathon.

Brendan: I was once an avid sportsman, now I support Coffs Rugby from the sidelines but I enjoy playing social Oztag in the local competition.

 

Thanks, Ben and Brendan.

Find out more about Ben and Brendan’s business via the website or visit the team at The Promenade.

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