About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find an advisor? Top

As one of our clients recommends, it is important to firstly visit at least three financial planners before you make your decision. Most planners do not charge for an initial appointment.

My advice for others is to visit two or three non-aligned financial planners and then to choose the one that you are most happy with. Your plan can be structured to suit the degree of risk you are happy with - It can be all "money in the bank" or any risk level the client is comfortable with.

For young people, I advise them to start their financial planning early. It works for retired people too: I have found that some people my age don’t seem to have the taxation benefits that we have, so I am very happy to recommend Capricorn Investment Partners Limited.

Retired Beef Producer

The questions below can help you to decide which financial planner to engage.

Who owns Capricorn Investment Partners (CIPL)? Top

Capricorn Investment Partners is a part of the CIPL (Holding) Group, an independently owned public company. The CIPL (Holding) Group has more than 60 shareholders and operates as Capricorn Investment Partners in Rockhampton and The Pentad Group in Melbourne. Financial services are provided under the wholly owned subsidiary CIP Licensing Limited, Australian Financial Services Licence No. 471728.

Capricorn Investment Partners Limited was initially established in 2001 as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Rock Investment Planning Limited. Capricorn Investment Partners Limited acquired The Pentad Group in September 2013 and until 2014 both Capricorn Investment Partners and Pentad operated completely independently under their own Financial Services Licences. A restructure of the company occurred in March 2015 and this resulted in the formation of CIPL (Holding) Limited and CIP Licensing Limited. All financial services for the group are now undertaken by CIP Licensing Limited.

More information on CIPL’s Directors can be found here.

Why is it important to select a Financial Planner who is not aligned with any financial product or institution? Top

Selecting a Financial Planner who is not aligned with any financial product or service will help to minimise any conflicts of interest. The construction of your portfolio and its performance can sometimes be compromised by recommendations of "in-house" investments. Identifying the owners may sometimes take some investigative ability!

One effective way of identifying if Financial Planners are aligned is to ask them whose Financial Services Licence they are authorised to use. If the business is owned by an organisation which, in turn is owned by a financial institution which promotes their own branded investment products then they are likely to explain that they operate under XYZ’s Financial Licence. If you are not satisfied with the answer ask them if they are a boutique financial planning firm. Some financial planning firms who are independently owned described themselves as "Boutique Financial Planners".

If the business is independently owned, they are more likely to operate under their own Financial Services Licence. In that case then, the Financial Planners are more likely to be free to recommend investments that are in your best interests.

The biggest issue in finding a financial planner is to find someone who is competent, whom you can trust.

As one of CIPL's clients has recommended:

Having a Financial Planner who is not aligned with any financial product gives me the confidence that my Financial Advisor has my best interests at heart.

Who is responsible for researching the investment products that are recommended to clients? Top

We have an Asset Selection Committee whose members include professional fund managers, investment analysts and members of our advising team Further information on their experience and qualifications can be found here.

Our research process is underpinned by the objective to build portfolios that meet the following requirements:

  • Matching client risk profile to portfolio risk
  • Meeting clients needs to balance income versus growth
  • Achieving generally accepted financial standards for diversity with respect to modern portfolio theory (related to risk)
  • Lowering overall cost of management for clients, and
  • Enhancing after cost returns

We utilise a panel of brokers who provide us with a wide range of independent research. Research reports and market and investment news are received daily from the broker panel. In addition other information sources include:

  • Broker web site research reports
  • IRESS real-time market data access
  • Lonsec web site research reports
  • The Economist journal and other media sources
  • Company visits if necessary

The Asset Selection Committee meets regularly to review the current investment environment and to asses any changes to the Select Portfolio. The Select Portfolio is a list of current investments that the Asset Selection Committee believes are suitable investments for new or existing clients, subject to each client’s risk profile and income or growth needs.

How are our advisors paid? Top

We are not tied to any financial institution or expected to promote any particular financial product. Our advisors do not receive any commission related to financial products. Our advisors are paid a salary and in some cases may receive an annual bonus which is related to the company’s profit for that year.

How is CIPL remunerated? Top

Fees and charges are negotiated between you and your advisor. Your first consultation is free.

If you ask us to continue to work for you details of charges are as follows:

  • A fee relating to the development of the financial plan formally known as a Statement of Advice. This fee is due when you agree to have us write your Statement of Advice and is payable after the Statement of Advice is presented to you;
  • A set-up fee over invested assets covers set-up costs including brokerage payable to third parties. Invested assets exclude those that you already own or assets held in cash. This fee is due when you agree to have the plan implemented and is payable as part of the implementation process. We may deduct payment in instalments (half now, half later for example) if implementation is expected to be a lengthy process.
  • An ongoing retainer is paid if you engage with us to provide selected additional services in accordance with an individually tailored agreement.
  • A portfolio administration fee is paid when you elect to have Capricorn Investment Partners administer and manage your investment portfolio. The fee is based on a sliding scale and is paid in monthly instalments. The fee is paid monthly with money deducted from your Cash Management Account.

If you are comparing our fees, make sure our competition has told you all their fees.

Are there entry fees for investments? Top

There are no entry fees charged on investments. Where stock market-listed investments are recommended, standard brokerage will be charged on a purchase or sale of the investment. This is charged at 0.55% of the transaction value (with a minimum fee of $55).

Are the fees transparent? Top

Our approach regarding fees is to disclose all direct and incidental fees in a clear and easy to understand format in your financial plan. Our fee quotes include all advisor, administrative and set-up costs that you are likely to incur. The only exceptions are stamp duty on certain asset purchases and specialist consulting services. All fees quoted include GST.

What online tools are available to clients? Top

For clients who invest using our proprietary Portfolio Administration Service, we have a web based client portal which enables clients to view their portfolios online. Clients are able to run taxation, income and performance reports that are required for management and taxation purposes. These reports show the original purchase price of each investment and the current price and are available for downloading at the end of each quarter.

Clients who invest using our preferred external investment platform (Asgard) are able to access similar reporting via Asgard’s own client portal.

How is the performance of the portfolios measured and reported? Top

Set out below are general details of the nature of portfolio reports for our proprietary Portfolio Administration Service. Additional information would be outlined in your personal financial plan.

Quarterly reports are produced which show the valuation of each portfolio. These reports include the Internal Rate of Return (a standard measure for showing the time-weighted performance of an investment) for the last rolling 12 months and since the portfolio's inception. These and other reports are available at any time via the Client Portal for our internal Portfolio Administration service or via our preferred external investment platform’s (Asgard) own client portal.

How do I view my investment portfolio? Top

Our clients who invest using our proprietary Portfolio Administration Service, can view their portfolio over the internet using the secure Client Portal. Using a unique username and password, clients are able to view current and historical portfolio valuations and run a range of reports.

Clients who invest using our preferred external investment platform (Asgard) are able to access similar reporting via Asgard’s own client portal.

The reports include distribution reports, income and expenses reports, investment transactions, realised gains/losses, mark-to-market and income summaries.

What if I don’t like the investments you recommend? Top

Prior to purchasing or selling any investment, each client is sent an Authority to Proceed (ATP). The ATP is a document containing our investment recommendation, details on the investment and our reasons for making the recommendation. The ATPs are provided in either electronic or hard-copy form.

If you do not wish to take the recommended investment you can simply inform us of your wishes.

What performance reports can I expect from CIPL? Top

This depends on the nature of the services you engage us to provide.

At a minimum you will have access to both quarterly and annual reports on your investment portfolio. These reports can be generated at any time through your online portfolio reporting system, or on request by your advisor.

Reports are available in both electronic and hard copy formats.

Who gives me financial advice and what conflicts of interest do they have? Top

After we collect all your financial data including your objectives and establish your risk profile, our Advisors develop your Statement of Advice. Our Advisors are not paid on commission and do not receive commission on the products that they recommend. Our Advisors do not receive “soft dollar” benefits such as cash gifts, travel and other benefits.

Are there gifts, benefits or rewards for clients? Top

From time to time, we may invite clients to social events, seminars, or market updates.

How safe are my investments? Top

When engaging our proprietary Portfolio Administration Service you are the beneficial owner of any investments that we hold on your behalf. Each client is allocated a unique Holder Identification Number (HIN) by CHESS (a registry tool operated by the Australian Stock Exchange), under which all your investments are recorded.

We cannot offer your investments as security or make any claim on the assets.

Portfolios are always constructed with your risk profile in mind. We cannot guarantee individual investments, but we always endeavour to build a portfolio that meets your requirements for capital gain, income and risk. We do this by constructing diversified portfolios with a focus on income generating investments.

Can I see your Financial Services Guide? Top

Our Financial Services Guide is available here.

How long have you been a financial planner? Top

Our Advisors are all highly experienced and educated. We have included some brief details below of six of our experienced advisors.

David French, one of our Senior Financial Advisors, has worked in finance since 1994. David worked initially in stockbroking and funds management and prior to that worked as a business analyst, an industrial analyst and a consultant economist. Other professional experience includes two years as an Analyst with Portfolio Partners Limited (a very successful fund manager), and prior to that, two years with Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS Warburg).

In 2001, David established The Rock Investment Planning as a subsidiary of The Rock Building Society. After five years of significant growth the company was purchased by employees and other investors. David has continued in his role as Senior Financial Advisor and so has worked as a Financial Planner since 2001.

Bob Stewart’s knowledge of the financial markets was developed through a career spanning 36 years in the securities industry working as a Stock Broker, Securities Dealer, Branch Manager and Client Adviser for several brokerages including C. J. Edwards & Co., Lance Jones Limited and Credit Suisse First Boston Australian Equities Private Limited. Bob is our Senior Investment Adviser (Equities Dealing). He is qualified and accredited through the Securities and Derivatives Industry Association.

Sue Dunne holds a Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) and has undertaken further study in financial and technical analysis and superannuation. Sue has over 25 years’ experience in small business and is an experienced investor in her own right. Sue has worked as a Financial Planner since June 2007.

Chris Heyworth was the founder of Quintain Advisory Services, a predecessor organisation to Pentad and Capricorn Investment Partners, and has in excess of 20 years experience providing personal financial planning and investment advice.

Lance Livermore is a Certified Financial Planner and also a Certified Practicing Accountant. He attained his original qualifications in Albury, prior to establishing himself in a financial controller role with Potter Warburg in Melbourne. He has in excess of 30 years experience in both stockbroking and financial planning, and was a founding partner of Bailey Livermore Financial Services, a predecessor organisation of Pentad and Capricorn Investment Partners.

Russell Warmington has worked extensively in marketing and commercial management, and became interested in the financial planning industry when he was Compensation and Benefits Manager at Hewlett Packard Australia. Russell began providing personal financial planning advice in 1997, and was previously a principal of Bailey Livermore Financial Services and director of Pentad.

Click here for more information about our financial planners.

What do we specialise in? Top

We are a national independently owned boutique financial planning firm which specialises in providing tailored financial and investment advice for individuals and small business.

Our strengths lie in the quality of our personalised service and in the expertise of our professional staff. We work in partnership with our clients and we manage their affairs diligently, and with integrity. After a careful analysis of each client’s financial situation our professional staff work with the client to develop strategies to meet their current and future needs.

After the Financial Plan (Statement of Advice) has been drawn up, who implements the plan? Top

We are able to take the necessary steps to implement your Financial Plan or Statement of Advice. After we present you with the draft and when you are happy with the plan, you will be asked to sign an Authority to Proceed (ATP). This authorises us to take the steps necessary to implement your plan, including purchase of any investments or investment structures.

We invest your money only after careful thought. That may mean not purchasing investments that appear too expensive. We may contact you if large alterations to the plan are necessary. While this can cause delays, our experience is that careful purchasing is well rewarded.

What kinds of clients do you mostly see? Top

Our advisors see a range of clients including:

  • young people wanting to save for their first home
  • professionals and small business owners wanting to develop an investment portfolio and to prepare for retirement
  • retired people who value our ongoing and high quality advice.

Our clients include employees of government departments, business owners, primary producers and sports enthusiasts. About 60% of our clients have a Self-managed Superannuation Fund.

Will I receive written advice? Top

After you decide to go ahead with the development of a plan that meets your needs, we ask you to collect all the relevant data. It is useful to bring your tax returns, superannuation statements, and investment details with you. If your data is in a mess, just give us the pile and we can sort it out.

Our Financial Planners then develop your Statement of Advice (SOA). This written document can take anywhere between one and six weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of your situation.

We will often call you to collect further information, and we may, when authorised, contact your accountant or your solicitor. Often we seek permission to contact the Australian Taxation Office or Centrelink, and getting the right information can take time.

Once the plan is complete we will present it to you as a draft. This is your opportunity to comment on the contents and have it changed. It is also an opportunity for us to test what we have written against what you require. We will make changes as necessary so that you are happy with what we are doing. We encourage you to take the plan away and read it after the presentation. In addition to the SOA you will receive research and product disclosure statements (PDS) relating to any investments or financial products we recommend. These documents contain information on which we have based our recommendations, and in the case of a PDS, more detailed information about product costs. This information is summarised in the SOA.

The process of development and implementation of a Financial Plan is summarised below:

  Advisor Client
1. First Meeting An opportunity for us to get to know each other. This meeting is free. If you decides to go ahead with the plan your advisor will ask you to bring in your financial data for your next visit.
2. Data Collection Your advisor will establish your risk profile. Decision to develop your financial plan.
3. Writing the Statement of Advice Your advisor will consult with our planners in the formulation of your SOA. It will take into account your individual financial circumstances. Contact us if your situation changes substantially.
4. Presenting the Statement of Advice (Initial Draft for comment) Your advisor will present the Draft SOA for your comment. Take the plan home for consideration.
5. Implementing the Plan If you decide to go ahead with the SOA, we will implement your plan. Contact us if your situation changes substantially.
6. Ongoing Care We undertakes to review your portfolio and your overall financial situation on an ongoing basis. Clients are free to visit or call to discuss their portfolio when undertaking an on-going service.

How often will you review my advice and what will it cost me? Top

We formally review each client’s portfolio regularly in accordance with their individual service level engaged, but at least once annually. Additional services included for those clients utilising CIPL’s proprietary portfolio administration service and paying the relevant fee include:

  • quarterly portfolio reports
  • portfolio assessments
  • buy and sell recommendations
  • meetings with advisors

As our clients lives change so do their plans. Our ongoing management service is designed to relieve our clients of the chores of looking after their investment portfolio, while still retaining maximum flexibility.

We encourage our clients to visit or contact us whenever they have a question. We will contact our clients if there is anything significant to discuss, particularly if we have a concern about their portfolio, or if there is a new investment we think should be considered.

Under our ongoing care service, when authorised, we undertake to work with our client’s accountant, and deal with tax and social security matters. Our ongoing service includes liaising with Centrelink and ensuring that clients operate within their guidelines.

Our goal is to meet your needs as a long-term client. Many of our clients have developed into “business friends”.

If I have any issues with the planner’s strategy how will they be resolved? Top

Our development and implementation of a Financial Plan is summarised above. Our advisors are employed because of their planning skills and for their high level communication skills. However, in some cases some clients may have some issues with our recommended strategy. In these cases we encourage our clients to visit or call to discuss their concerns. In most cases we are able to resolve the issues and meet the needs of the client.

Click here for a detailed description of our planning and implementation process.

If I have a complaint about the advice or another service what is the required procedure? Top

We recognise that complaints can be an opportunity to fine-tune our services. We do all we reasonably can to avoid having a complaint escalate into a dispute or litigation. We have an internal complaint handling procedure which meets the regulatory requirements.

If you have a complaint, contact your Advisor or our Compliance Manager to inform them of your complaint.

If you still do not obtain a satisfactory outcome, you have the right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited (member number 11108) on 1300 780 808 or in writing to:

Financial Ombudsman Service
GPO Box 3
Melbourne Vic 3001
Fax: 03 9613 6399

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission can also be contacted on 1300 300 630 if you have a complaint or wish to obtain information about your rights.

Please note that we have adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance as per ASIC’s regulation.

Who authorises us to give advice and are we licensed by ASIC? Top

We have an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL No 471728) and we are licensed by ASIC to give financial advice on the following:

  • Direct Equities
  • Income Tax planning
  • Managed Funds
  • Retirement income planning
  • Fixed interest
  • Eligible Termination Payments
  • International shares
  • Social Security Issues
  • Property
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Planning
  • Superannuation including Self Managed Super Funds
  • Life insurance
  • Government debentures, stocks or bonds

Always check that the company has a current financial services licence. You do this by conducting a search on the ASIC website (http://www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/flb.html) Find the search facility on the home page by following the links to Search ASIC registers, other registers, AFSL licensees. You will need the AFSL Number or the individual or company name.

Conducting this search will also help you identify if the company is tied to any financial institution or any particular investment product.

How do our planners keep up-to-date with everything that’s happening? Top

As a Financial Services provider we are in the business of assisting our clients to achieve their financial objectives. To do this we appoint staff who meet and exceed ASIC’s regulatory requirements. To ensure that our representatives continue to maintain the required level of skills and knowledge we have a monitoring and supervision program that meets our internal needs and our legislative and regulatory obligations. Ongoing training is mandatory for our Financial Planners and our key staff undergo ongoing professional development to ensure that our high level of professional expertise is maintained.

We are committed to employing staff whose attitudes, qualifications, skills and knowledge ensure that they meet our clients’ needs for high quality, independent financial advice.

Why choose us? Top

Our advisors have been providing sound financial advice since 2001. Please see our testimonials page to see what our clients think of us.