About Us

Portfolio Planners is a privately owned firm specialising in private wealth management for successful people and their families.

Our investment philosophies and strategic advice are based on academic research and evidence that will enable you to achieve your financial goals, by making the market your friend rather than treating it as an adversary.

Further, we provide our wealth management solutions and advice on a fee-for-service basis, free from the constraints inherent in institutional ownership.

The above attributes set us apart in an industry all too often characterised by hysteria, short-term thinking and conflicts of interest. We are free to focus solely on the implementation of financial solutions and strategies based on preserving capital, building wealth and avoiding the myriad risks embedded in today’s investment landscape.

Who we are

Our Promise

We combine informed strategic advice with a results-driven investment philosophy to provide you with the security of knowing you can retire whenever you want to, with enough money to support your desired lifestyle for the rest of your life.

We achieve this through the delivery of our core capabilities:

  • We leverage our knowledge, experience and technical resources to provide you with intelligent strategic advice, with the educational framework to enable you to make intelligent decisions about money.
  • We implement a results-driven investment philosophy based on academic research and evidence,
    to ensure you enjoy a successful investment experience.
  • We apply strategic processes to ensure you are organised and in control of your financial destiny.
  • We commit to high levels of professional care, trust and integrity to foster long-term relationships,
    and to provide ongoing counsel when you need it most.
Who we are

Making Positive Change

“The idea that any single individual without extra information or extra market power can beat the market is extraordinarily unlikely. Yet the market is full of people who think they can do it and full of other people who believe them… why do people believe they can do the impossible? And why do other people believe them?”

– Daniel H Kahneman, 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics

Many successful people lack the time, resources and expertise to negotiate today’s complex and unpredictable financial markets. This leaves them at the mercy of bankers, brokers and planners for their ‘sales advice’. Unfortunately, our research has revealed that much of this exposes them to financial traps and to creating investment portfolios that significantly underperform market benchmarks.

In contrast, at Portfolio Planners we understand that successful people desire financial independence, underpinned by the knowledge that their investments will deliver them certainty into the future. Our private wealth management service uses a sophisticated planning process that enables them to satisfy this desire. And for those who are unsure if their current strategies are sound, our processes assist them to make positive changes to their planning endeavours and so place them firmly back on the path to prosperity.

Who we are

Our Background

Portfolio Planners is a privately owned firm specialising in private wealth management for successful people and their families.

Portfolio Planners holds Australian Financial Services Licence No 339044.

Our private wealth advisers hold university degrees and professional qualifications that complement the successful strategic application of our leading edge investment philosophies.

We co-ordinate our advice to complement that of your accounting and legal advisers and so ensure the
cohesive management and organisation of your financial affairs, to further strengthen your ability to achieve your desired objectives.

“To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insight, or inside information. What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework.
Warren Buffett in the foreword to Benjamin Graham’s 1974 classic, The Intelligent Investor

What We Believe

Beware the Distractions

There is a common perception that the biggest influence on investors’ returns is the return from the markets they invest in. In reality, the biggest influence on investors’ returns is their own investment behaviour.

The multi-trillion-dollar global financial services industry creates distractions that prevent investors from receiving the returns they are entitled to. In today’s modern world, the ‘market noise’ is deafening.

The ‘noise’ aims to whip up your greed and fear emotions so you will chase returns. It wants you to buy hot stocks, buy hot managers, and believe countless financial gurus who say they can predict the future. And time constraints and lack of knowledge mean that many people do believe and are led astray.

The consequence is that most investors do much worse than the standard market indices.

What remains clear and concerning is the fact that most investors around the world continue to persevere with investment strategies that simply do not work over time.

Their portfolios often lack adequate diversification, structure and take on far more risk than is necessary.

They predominantly invest near the end of every boom, and are there for the brunt of every bust.

A Refreshing Solution

Our private wealth management service provides you with a sound intellectual framework for making intelligent decisions about money.

This relieves stress, avoids you becoming a slave to ‘market noise’ and distractions, and gives you freedom to enjoy the things in life that you value most.

What We Believe

In our experience, there is a misplaced notion that there are economists, analysts, fund managers and ‘guru’ advisers who can accurately predict the future.

Many of these financial seers would have you believe  that it’s better forecasting of the unknown that provides the value add to their business.

The truth is very different – no-one can consistently or accurately predict the future. In fact, our research shows it’s when forecasters reach consensus that bubbles form, investors are drawn like magnets – and the inevitable bust and widespread heartache follow.

The good news is that you do not need to be able to predict the future to have a successful investment experience.

Our investment philosophy and processes have been formulated to ensure you make smart decisions about money, decisions that best suit your investment objectives, risk tolerance and financial goals.

Our investment philosophy is based on the following fundamental beliefs:

  • You are entitled to your fair share of returns when you invest in capital markets
  • Markets work
  • Risk and return are related
  • Asset allocation explains performance
  • Broad diversification is essential
  • Money makes money
  • Market timing is risky

What We Do

Our Strategic Advice

  • The returns and lifestyle rewards that should result from your chosen investment strategy can be sabotaged unless you also equip yourself with the right strategic advice, structural implementation
    and ongoing management.
  • At Portfolio Planners, we have the knowledge, experience and technical resources to provide you with the right strategic advice to complement the successful application of our results-driven
    investment philosophy.
We Plan For You To Succeed

One of our core competencies is our ability to develop a comprehensive wealth management plan that provides intelligent strategic advice to ensure the successful achievement of your defined objectives.

Our decision-making framework and processes deliver a comprehensive action plan that guides you through the steps you should take in the following areas:

  • defining financial objectives
  • defining lifestyle objectives
  • cashflow management
  • debt management
  • taxation planning
  • investment strategy options
  • superannuation strategy options
  • retirement strategy options
  • risk management planning
Your Value

“Planning to Succeed” is the strategic report that provides you with greater certainty that you can retire when you want to, with enough money to support your desired lifestyle, for the rest of your life.

We believe this to be the key objective of every financial plan.

Your “Planning to Succeed” wealth management plan ensures you are financially organised and in control.
This reduces stress levels and allows you to focus on the things in life you find most enjoyable.

We Plan For Investment Success

Our results-driven investment philosophy is based on scientific evidence and academic research and provides the basis for achieving superior risk-adjusted long-term returns. Our enhanced asset class investing and strategic asset allocation philosophies provide a simple yet sophisticated foundation for investment success.

Your Value

You receive the returns you’re entitled to and enjoy a successful investment experience.

We Plan For Peace of Mind

We understand the psychological challenges of investing can be greater than the challenges delivered by the market.

The greed and fear inspired by industry noise and media sensationalism feed the desire to chase returns in booms. This is replaced by the desire to switch into cash when the inevitable downturn occurs.

These distractions (and poor advice from advisers, suggesting you switch to past winners) lead many investors into making poor choices.

Your Value

We provide you with a disciplined decision-making framework and an in-depth education process to help you make rational, informed and intelligent decisions during changing market cycles.

This protects you from the stress and anxiety felt by the many investors who remain hostage to the relentless daily media frenzy and distractions from product manufacturers trying to entice them to take up their latest offers.

You remain in control of your emotions and avoid making irrational decisions that can destroy wealth over time.

We Plan For Changes

Our goal is to ensure you achieve yours.

We value and actively foster long-term relationships founded on integrity, trust and a high level of care. We understand that as your life changes, so to can your priorities and objectives.

Our ongoing services will be there to adapt your strategic wealth management plan when your needs change or circumstances alter.

Your Value

We plan to be there for you when you need us most.

We solve your problems and dilemmas and provide ongoing counsel, motivation and discipline to drive the achievement of your financial and lifestyle objectives.

We remain exclusive, providing services to a fortunate few, ensuring you have open access to an adviser familiar with your personal circumstances.

Our Strategic Application

The strategic application of our investment philosophy provides investors with greater certainty they will receive the returns they are entitled to. This allows them to structure their financial plans with greater precision and focus.

We achieve this certainty and precision by embracing more than 100 years of academic research and evidence and applying a scientific methodology to investing – just as science has been applied in other fields.

We have labeled the application of our investment philosophies ‘enhanced asset class investing’.

Enhanced asset class investing is a results-driven strategy based on the measurable risk/return attributes of an asset class, or sub asset class. The principles underlying the strategy are well documented, measurable, and supported by the work of Nobel Laureates in economics and other world-renowned academics in the fields of finance and investment. The strategy provides a framework for a sophisticated investment solution that identifies sources of risk within an asset class, and then compensates investors with premium risk-adjusted returns.

The strategic application of our investment philosophy is embraced within the following framework and processes:

  • Our strategic advice guides you through the complex maze of taxation and regulatory requirements,
    to ensure the net (after tax) returns from your chosen portfolio are maximised. This enhances our endeavours to ensure you receive the returns you are entitled to.
  • We educate you on the relationship between risk and return, and advise on realistic return expectations after understanding your risk tolerance, investment objectives and financial goals. We won’t speculate, forecast or attempt to guess future market directions, the latest hot stock, or construct concentrated portfolios that can provide potential for large windfalls, yet at the same time, potential for large losses.
  • We keep operating expenses and costs low. We aim to avoid the higher fees and high portfolio turnover of inefficient trading models practised by most active managers and brokers. These practices often trigger unnecessary taxes and trading costs, further undermining the returns you are entitled to over time.
  • We ensure our chosen managers implement, construct and manage portfolios driven by leading edge investment information, academic research and technology. Our chosen portfolio managers use an enhanced approach to funds management.
  • We apply strategic asset allocation reweighting disciplines to ensure portfolios remain ‘true to label’.
    This maintains the precision and greater certainty in achieving targeted financial objectives.
  • We overlay selected portfolios with leverage and protection strategies to potentially enhance returns
    and tax benefits, whilst being mindful of downside risks.
  • We remain cognisant of the diversification benefits direct property holdings provide when designing
    a holistic asset allocation plan.
  • We believe the primary role of adding fixed interest allocations to a portfolio should be to decrease risk and provide secure and reliable income streams. We believe there should be no major bets on long-term movements in rates, or leaving yourself open to higher default risk. Defensive assets should remain ‘true to label’.
  • We deliver efficient administration and comprehensive reporting capabilities to ensure you remain financially organised and in control. This provides the ability to actively monitor the progression towards the achievement of your defined goals, and enables you to access updated reports as you desire.

The strategic application of our investment philosophies provides a superior investment solution for successful people. When such application is combined with intelligent ongoing strategic advice, the value created becomes even greater.

A Clear Way Forward

Our private wealth management service provides you with a clear direction for advancing your prosperity. Importantly, our services are customised to your unique circumstances, after we fully understand your personal objectives.

To assist you to better understand our services, we provide a confidential, obligation-free, initial discussion where we explore, amongst other issues, your answers to the following questions:

  • Do you feel certain your current investments and wealth strategies will allow you to retire when you want to, with enough money to support your desired lifestyle for the rest of your life?
  • Do you have proof your current investments are performing in line with their risk-adjusted benchmarks, both on a before and after-cost basis (ie after fees and taxes)? Are you receiving your fair share of returns?
  • Do you feel complete peace of mind about your investments, oblivious to the daily ‘industry noise’ and enjoying the benefits of a holistic, comprehensive financial plan that ensures you remain financially organised and in control?
  • Do you feel completely satisfied your cash flow is going where it should, into the right tax structure and the right investments?
  • Do you feel confident you have taken full advantage of current tax laws, investment strategies and structures, to legally minimise your tax?
  • Do you fully understand the consequences of having inadequate estate planning or over-simple wills?
  • Do you feel convinced that you have adequately protected your assets should your business sour, you be personally sued, or any of your personal guarantees be called upon?
  • Do you benefit from the services of a motivated adviser who will help you overcome procrastination, provide a disciplined framework for making intelligent decisions about money, provide a clear direction forward, and help you to understand complex financial issues?
  • If you have been able to answer a confident ‘yes’ to all of the above, it is unlikely our private wealth management service would be of value to you.

Otherwise, our obligation-free meeting may well be one of the best investments of time you will ever make.

Our team

Mark George

Founder

In designing our private wealth management service, Mark George has harnessed the intellectual property and experience garnered from more
than 25 years’ involvement in the investment sector.

Mark has been a Certified Financial Planner since 1996, holds a Bachelor
of Education degree, a Diploma of Financial Planning and has completed thousands of hours of specialist industry courses and studies.

Never complacent, Mark remains a highly motivated student committed to the ongoing learning that will ensure the private wealth management services we provide remain at the frontier of investment excellence.

Mark has a strong focus on motivating people to achieve their lifestyle objectives, and is able to use the successful achievement of his own lifestyle adventures to add further value in helping people achieve their own lifestyle goals.

Simon Forer

Simon has worked in the financial services sector for over 20 years, and has extensive experience in portfolio construction, wealth creation strategies, retirement planning, superannuation, personal insurances and mortgages.
Simon has completed a Bachelor of Business degree (Economics and Finance), a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment and an Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning). In addition, Simon regularly participates in specialist industry courses covering superannuation strategies, taxation, trusts and portfolio construction.
Simon places an extremely strong emphasis in research and analytics when constructing strategies and investment portfolios. He has a strong background in financial modelling and uses these skills to illustrate and compare investment concepts and benchmark performance.

Michael Forer

Michael joined Portfolio Planners in July 2018 bringing over 15 years of experience in the Financial Services industry.

Committed to ongoing learning, Michael was awarded the Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award in November 2017 for being the highest achieving student in the Australian Certified Financial Planner Program. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce form Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning.

Michael is experienced in the development of strategic comprehensive advice and enjoys the challenge of navigating the ever changing superannuation rules to get the best outcomes for his clients.

Gary Trevenen

Gary Trevenen is a Chartered Accountant with 40 years of experience in Financial Management and has practised as a Financial Planner since 1992.
Gary is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia as a Financial Planning Specialist, and holds the international Certified Financial Planner TM accreditation under the auspices of the Financial Planning Association.

Stuart McRae

Stuart joined the Portfolio Planners team in December 2014. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Accounting (Majoring in Financial Planning) and a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking.
Outside of work, Stuart enjoys all sports in particular tennis, golf and AFL. In addition, Stuart relishes the chance to get back to his home town of Horsham and help out at his family’s vineyard and winery.

Ella Ledgar

Ella joined the Portfolio Planners team in February 2017. Ella’s background is in Banking and Financial Services and through natural progression is now in the role of Client Services and Paraplanning. Ella holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Majoring in Management), Diploma of Management and a Diploma of Financial Planning.

Aside from her work, Ella enjoys training for endurance events and is currently training for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.