April 14, 2022

#300 Sam Perera – Transcript

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Jess Brady
Hello, Sam Perera.

Sam Perera
Hello, Jessica Brady.

Jess Brady
I’m so excited to have you as a guest.

Sam Perera
Finally, I was waiting.

Jess Brady
I know. Well, you know, it’s only been a few months now. So you are one of the first my first guests. Congratulations.

Sam Perera
I’ve heard you’re a great host.

Jess Brady
I’m paying lots of people lots of money to obviously working. I thought about this the other day, I think we have known each other for about 15 years.

Sam Perera
I reckon that’d be fairly close, Jess, when you’re a young whippersnapper,

Jess Brady
oh, my gosh, I was five,

Sam Perera
well look, in your, in your CommInsure BDM days, is that right? That’s probably

Jess Brady
Yeah. And you, my dear have gone on to do all of this amazing stuff, which we’re going to unpack today. But I wanted to have you as a guest. Because I think you’re great. Be I think it’s really nice to hear what’s going on from an association perspective. And also to be able to overlay sort of what you’re finding practically is happening in your business as well, I think you’re able to give such interesting, unique perspectives, because you are a practicing advisor, and you have a really big role in moving our profession into a exciting new direction. And so I’m keen to learn all about that. Because really, honestly, and frankly, I have been in my own little, let’s call it COVID bubble. I’m just blaming everything I can on COVID at this point. And I feel that I don’t have a good enough grasp of what’s happening out there in the bad wide world. And so if we can use our time today to help educate me and perhaps others on what you’re fighting, no doubt, that’s a good fight. I think that that would be very valuable. Before we get into that, though, can we just for people that don’t know you? Can we learn more about Sam, what is your story?

Sam Perera
Well, as I was thinking, before, before we get into that, I know you’re the fact that you’ve been in a COVID bubble and someone protected from some of the noise that’s been going on is probably a good thing. So let’s say by that drag you too far into some of that noise. Because other things striking a balance is important. But law and advisor run my own practice and have done so for the duration of you know, the best part of 16 years, started in the Sutherland Shire, which is essentially where our operations still remain and merged and purchased a few practices and have a presence in town as as well. So we’re mostly risk based and do some corporate superannuation and some group risk work, as well. So as over to boutique firm, we’ve got 910 staff. And yeah, it feels as though we’re, yeah, we’re really hitting our strips straps after about 15 years of hard work. So that’s really from a professional sense. Is that sort of what you want to Yeah, whenever you want. Shocks fed.

Jess Brady
Yeah, you’ve got small chip. Well, they’re probably not even small anymore. You’ve got a couple of years. Yeah,

Sam Perera
young families, kids that sort of keep you grounded. And I noticed that in terms of some of the preparation that he gave me much preparation that you said, one of the rapid fire questions is how, how, of course, and apologies. If you could do my phone, how Of course, do you de stress or laid off a bit of steam, but certainly sport is my thing, play some team sport and train and of course, massage and esteem whenever I get a chance to as well. So yeah, busy with work at a young family and trying to find some time for myself as well to de stress because obviously it’s Yeah, juggling a couple of roles at the moment, which I’m enjoying most of the time.

Jess Brady
I love that you’ve taken over this show. My rapid fire questions are for the very end, and we’ve been recording. And you’ve already gone topsy turvy,

Sam Perera
Herrera. We’ve known each other for 15 years. So surely I’ve got some latitude.

Jess Brady
You have lots and lots and lots just on that. So how do you manage all of that, like that’s a lot. You’ve got a busy practice that’s been established for a long time. And it sounds like you’ve got a number of staff members, and you’ve been through some m&a is and you’ve got kids and you’ve increasingly increased your roles or seniority within the association of financial advisors. Like do you sleep?

Sam Perera
Well, no, I’d love to say to you that I work 16 hour days that I’m extremely stressed in a day, seven days a week but frankly, the answer to that question is no, I think it’s not as good as you will know and starting a business that gets through the year. Uh, through through staffing and resourcing, I think brilliant teams help you equally. You know, the AFA, my good friend, Mike, when he hung up the boots in October, when I was contemplating taking over the presidency. You know, my, my team at work within the business said, Well, you know, when you’re running the show, you can organize things, how you want to organize them and call your own shots. So I think that autonomy, largely, obviously, rely on the executive directors and Phil Anderson is my very capable set of hands and see out the AFA. But I’ve got that similar sort of structure here at the office. So when you you run your own show, as you will notice, you can organize things to make it work and, you know, jobs and tasks that you enjoy that often not ensure. So great teams enjoy what I do, fairly ruthless, and say no to the ship most of the time. So sorry, I love to swim.

Jess Brady
Oh, everyone asked me every week, can I say yes, I don’t know what the official role is. But I like to so I say yes. And hope. The expat community embrace colloquial style. Coming back to what’s something that you said before, like, you would love to say that you work 16 hour, days, seven days a week, I will tell you, as someone who tried that, and then have burned myself out, it is not a very sustainable solution. And so it actually sounds like you have been able to continue to sort of, and I want to say this correctly, but almost like lift yourself up into a point within the business where you aren’t doing all of the things. So you’ve got the space to be able to take on these extra capabilities. Is that fair?

Sam Perera
Yeah, indeed, I think it was a perfect, whilst we’ve just undertaken a decent sized merger at the end of last year, and some people thought we were biting off more than I could chew. But I was fairly deliberate in terms of that particular strategy. It was scale as additional resourcing so it gave me the platform, you know, to expand what I’ve been doing over the last 15 years, and thereby giving me the time that I need to want rather to spend on my extracurricular activity activities, such as within the AFA. So, absolutely, I think 15 years of hard work, like all of us put in in terms of our businesses starting to pay off dividends by giving me the flexibility to live the life and do the things I want to do.

Jess Brady
Because isn’t that what we’re all about? Like, there’s just such a beautiful irony, often in our world where we don’t practice what we preach,

Sam Perera
indeed, and, you know, I take it one step further, and I’m talking about, you know, financial advisors advising their clients financially. But do you follow that? Those sorts of, you know, similar mantras in terms of scrutinizing your business and your business activities and the acquisition of clients. And, you know, just that financial prudence, if you like, absolutely. And the other part of that is, you know, financial independence and goals and objectives, money, you know, you exchange, exchange your time for money, but that ought to allow you to do what you need to do in life. Because as we know, life can be extremely short and extremely delicate.

Jess Brady
Very true. And my general sense is, we collectively general generalization, we need to do a better job of that.

Sam Perera
We as advisors always,

Jess Brady
you know, we as advisors, so when I was in my first job, one of the things that I did at CBA was I did commission runs for advisors. And look, obviously, this is 100 years ago, because we’ve just worked out that I’m very old. The amount of advisors that were needing early commission runs used to blow my mind. And I used to sit there and and I was at uni at the time, and like, on a very entry level job, and I kept thinking, this is what these people do, isn’t this their job? And I’d love to say that we’ve gotten better. And obviously lots of stood in our way. But I think as a general rule of thumb, yet, if you actually sat down and said to most financial advisors, what’s your current financial plan? I’d be fascinated to hear how many of them have a robust enough strategy, or as a robust strategy as they’d give their clients?

Sam Perera
Yeah, I think it’d be an intriguing question. I suspect, given the change in sort of business models, and I suppose the evolution of, frankly, if you’re in the financial services game here, and you’re an advisor that runs your own show, I think you need to, you know, have decent business acumen, just given the way that things have evolved in the way that things continue to evolve. So that selection process itself which is the natural selection process itself ought to dictate those that are left over about Jim Collins in his hedgehog concept, he says when you when you’re in business and examine the good, the good versus the great companies in America over the think over 100 years or whatever it said one of the things that differentiate the top top companies from, you know, the the good companies, there’s this concept called the hedgehog. And these companies focus on what they’re deeply passionate about focus on their, I suppose what they can be the best in the world that and the third being that something which drives the economic engine. In other words, that makes them profit. And it’s at the intersection of those three circles where you’ve got great, profitable, empowered and progressive companies. And certainly, I think, his advisors that run our own practices, we’re in business, we’re in the business of making money. So part of my job, but the AFA and Phil’s and our board is to make sure that you’ve got the policy settings that enable you to continue to run successful financial practices where you, you know, thrive have the financial success of the Becker back of running good professional practices.

Jess Brady
What’s it like being el presidente?

Sam Perera
Oh, well, I not like Donald Trump or anything like that. But you know, I was in in Canberra down for the federal budget a couple of weeks ago, and obviously met some key stakeholders and being able to represent the sector and have frank and direct conversations, my my style is trying to build deep and personal relationships with some of these people, which which take time I, I get off on that. And and I’m only able to do that, I suppose, as a result of this illustrious title that, that our members have sort of bestowed upon me. So I enjoy that aspect of it, set open certain doors to be able to walk into certain places and be able to talk on behalf of the sector. Hopefully, I’m saying the right thing on your behalf. Aside from that, I think, also, you know, doing things like such as this, this podcast, and this discussion, being able to contribute to how I see as a result of my experience, and speaking of different people, different advisor, regulators, legislators, etc. Where I see things heading, but more importantly, getting a sense of what people like you on the ground, need to make you even more successful. And so that’s kind of a thing that presidents like, aside from that number of meetings, Chuck, I really enjoy. But yeah, overall, I’m having a having a good time. I’m there till October. So let’s see how we go.

Jess Brady
Lovely. I’d have wondered whether, you know, you wear a crown or some sort of like official job, or if there’s any sort of, you know, anything, you know, beyond what we would normally understand as part of that role, but it sounds like that’s not included as part of the role. What are the current priorities? For and from what I understand there’s been quite an evolution just to sort of accept there’s been quite an evolution in terms of the AFN FTA, working quite closely together, so maybe some commentary on that. And if that is true, what are sort of the priorities that the two of you are working on now?

Sam Perera
Yeah, it is absolutely. The case, especially under Marissa broom and Mike Novak over the last few years and Phil Q and the CEOs before that associations have worked closely together. I think that my view is that the sector deserves the two associations to come together and collaborate and use their joint resources on important issues. Because we we, as advisors deserve the best bang for buck in that regard. So it’s been continuing and I have a very good working relationship with with Marissa, what are we working on at the moment, we’ve got a life joint life insurance Task Force. The AFA, as you well know has historically had a strong representation in the insurance area. So whilst we have this joint task with the FBI, allow us to lead work on that. We are pleased to have played a significant role in lobbying against the next level changes that we’re going to come to happen to income protection in October. So we worked with the FPA that the IFA seemed to lead that conversation and strategically did so and there are other areas where the FPA would have would have the strategic NASS and wouldn’t be working with them. So working more closely, and then I think that we’ve ever had before, and whoever the subject matter that we work on, depends on who’s got the subject matter leads, but got a great working relationship. And fundamentally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jess Brady
It sounds like that has been working quite well over the last few years. And it’s exciting to hear that you know, from a resourcing capability perspective You both decide who has sort of the natural lead on that task and then take that forward. We are about to have an election. And I think we are very early in the campaigning and already I’m about it. I don’t know how you’re feeling, but I’m just a bit. What do you think it will actually do you think it’ll mean anything for us if there’s a change of government? And if so, what’s your what’s your thought? I haven’t prepped Sam on this.

Sam Perera
question, a question without notice. Do we think there’s, there’s there’s much in it for us? Well, it should not leave Financial Services is not a election platform that any particular side will run on. That means that being said, labour and Stephen Jones preemptively announced some changes to the education standards to try and, you know, we win some brownie points with the advice sector, which was broadly received by people who felt as though we were had done by in terms of recognition of prior prior learning. But that being said, I can’t see there are no, certainly as far as the coalition is concerned, there are no election policies that they’re running with. As to the most recent information that I received. And labour, there might be one other small thing we don’t know we’re working on to, to try and convince them. But frankly, I don’t think at a sector level, it might make too much of a difference in terms of election, obviously, the outcome of the election, and whoever gets up is going to be implementing Michel Levy’s quality of advice review. Which is so yeah, and of course, you know, insurance commissions, for example, is one of those things where I suspect the coalition had more of a bent to avoid banning them. And Viber probably got a predisposition to ban them, although we’ve made some significant inroads in terms of moving Stephen and his team, and continue to do so. So that’s the big one. But I think unilaterally, they all agree that regulation, red tape, etc, has gone too far. And they need to move some of that back. So there might be tiny nuances. But I don’t think many insurance commission might be the battle battleground in terms of the different significant difference between labor and liberal, but we’re trying to bridge bridge that.

Jess Brady
And you know, one thing I think about, and maybe I’ve become, you know, cynical and jaded in my five years of giving advice, but I wonder if the regulatory guidelines do soften or, you know, become slightly more relaxed than they are now? How much actual practical impact is that going to have to the advisor? Who has that big AFSL compliance team in the middle? Like, are they going to be on board around making some of the changes necessary to deliver more advice faster, simpler, etc? Or are they going to take that, you know, continue with that tough stance? And so I think that’ll be interesting, because that I do feel like there’s so many layers now to getting that actually practically, at the coalface changing.

Sam Perera
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you hit on a significant point, which is something that I’ve raised before, it’s not necessarily what’s written in the laws or the regs, it’s perhaps ethics enforcement agenda and the way they are sometimes heavy handed which then gives licensees risk appetites, which which are not palatable and drive drive up costs. And that’s where you get, you know, checklists and, and layer upon layer. So whilst Michelle Levy in the quality of advice review could say we want SL A’s down to five pages or whatever, it certainly goes back to licensee. licensee appetite. But then again, it seems to me there are more and more people making choices in relation to the best way of operating their businesses, whether it be selfless and store aggregating within a license, that’s a bit more boutique and as a nice partner, in terms of being able to deliver advice. So I think that you nail a significant point there because that’s certainly where a number of complexity and cost comes in. Right? The licensee risk appetite. Totally.

Jess Brady
And so if you had one sort of goal or objective as your time of L president a in AFA, have you nailed what that is? Like, do you have one thing that you’ll ask right? If I leave having done this, or having changed this or giving more focus to this? I’ll feel like I’ve done my thing. Well, yeah,

Sam Perera
look, I think if I if I can talk perhaps more broadly about our team’s efforts and what’s on our agenda rather than the you really want them to think that I was selfish egotistical. No.

Jess Brady
This is sorry. Probably what the team are going to do. Sorry.

Sam Perera
Yeah. Look, I think if we were to talk about what what success might look like, I think, certainly getting a getting some wins in terms of the quality of advice review would be and what does that mean? It means making sure we do something in relation to annual renewal and the obligations to reduce that. That burden. It is about Michelle Levy sitting down in writing on the 16th of December in her paper that insurance commissions are important because it gives consumers choice in terms of how they are able to pay their advisors, and perhaps a few little tweaks in and around SOA is, etc. We were removing duplication, I often said great example is is the FSG. What is the point of an FSG. But financial advice is in financial advice register, you can work out if law advisors are qualified, who they’re licensed through, etc. Why do we need to get licensees to produce this document, keep it updated, etc. There’s no utility in that. And it’s an exercise in futility. They got that was my write for the day. But so I think yeah, maybe we’re maybe insurance Commission’s annual renewal a couple of other small, small changes around the traps that are implemented fairly quickly. So and the AFA, we’ve already met with Michelle Levy and her team. And we’ll continue to do that, you know, being fairly engaged in that bringing our members along, Michelle’s gonna go and visit some advice practices, and see how they operate, as well. So hopefully, we can play a role in that. So I think that’s a big one. I’d like to get our communities together. We’ve got roadshows coming up. And the conferences, of course, you know, you’re you’re a big conference group, you You played a significant role and

Jess Brady
love a good conference. A good conference. Yeah. So

Sam Perera
you’re coming?

Jess Brady
Oh, ah, you have to remind me when it is because remember, I’m going away?

Sam Perera
Oh, yes, of course, September. But you know, surely you’d make a trip back just for a conference, but

Jess Brady
TPA, only because I’m trying to be a financial advisor, the practices what she preaches, and one of my big bucket list things was to spend three months overseas. And so I’m about to embark on a three month trip coming in June. But if not, you know, I will be there. And I want to say with bells on and I can actually make it with bells on if you want me to

Sam Perera
get you to host a session from whilst you’ve got a backpack on? I think, yeah, everyone’s probably a little bit overdue. Aside from the COVID related pressures of the lockup, and the anxieties and all of that the sectors also also had our own issues, I think it’d be good to get our get our communities back. And I’m fairly harsh on conference content, as you will know, we’ve had conversations over the sidelines of many different conferences that we’ve been to where, and especially in this world, I don’t want our members and our guests paying 1000s of dollars taking you know, the best part of a week out of their practice to go to somewhere where they take away no real value or practical tips. I’m looking forward to Yeah, to being able to deliver something that’s a little bit different. showing people how to thrive more advisor involvement, let’s say for some and party, of course, yes, that’s important, right?

Jess Brady
Yeah, I go my theory with conferences, and you will know if you know me, it’s like first on the dance floor first. And ready and raring the next day, I’m not a making it sound like I’m wild, I love all of the tips, and I come back really energized. But to your point, you come back and you’re busy. And unless something’s quite easily implementable, or there’s a good accountability framework are a good blueprint in terms of actually practically, how do you do this? It just becomes a great idea that gets shoved on the to do list, which never gets sort of reviewed. And so I think in this day and age more than ever, like how we can practically implement meaningful, profitable changes in our businesses has never been more relevant.

Sam Perera
Indeed, and I think that that that threshold, if you like, is going to increase even further because my view is and I opened this when I’m sitting with the regulators, legislators, and everyone, we sat down with Michelle Levy and the quality of advice review team is, you know, it’s a bit of a paradox because I’m extremely bullish on the sector. I am extremely bullish on the sector. Because of the people that are left, that run professional businesses, the people, the advisors that are left, and I’ve got good teams behind them. We are going to have a truckload of clients who are going to want our services and if we can afford afford to service XYZ number a number of clients will will have to move into the ABS and see is. So I am absolutely bullish about the sector, the opportunities, the ability to run financially profitable practices. I guess the fights that we have are probably a little bit more in the realm of greater, greater good. And the greater good is important because if Australians aren’t financially literate, they don’t make smart decisions and don’t retire. Well. People like you or me that make good money. We have to pay high taxes. And frankly, I hate paying tax. I don’t know about you.

Jess Brady
I love paying the right amount of tax. That’s how am i No more, no less, just

Sam Perera
as, as Kerry Packer said that I do a good job with it anyway. So why should we give him any more than we ought to?

Jess Brady
Tell me we’ve so what I’m hearing in your assessment in terms of like where we’re at, obviously, the numbers have come down, they’ve come down significantly to the tune of like 10,000, I think. And so what I’m hearing is your perspective is, yep, we’ve had a whole heap leave for a variety of reasons. Obviously, Royal Commission, Ledger’s legislative standards and education requirements, also retirement and just how old some of them were. Do you think we will stabilize where we are now? Do you see that there’s going to be a huge surge in financial advisors over the coming years, like what are you predicting in terms of numbers?

Sam Perera
Yeah, look, I think, certainly, it’s not as low as that in terms of what what the current status is, and kind of like Anthony Albanese this morning, who didn’t know the unemployment rate. Because I think we might be at 17 or 15,000, depending on how you measure it. So I think over the course of the next couple of years, and in line with the education deadline, 2026, we expect to lose a few more advisors, and then I suspect will plateau. But of course, our issue is the lack of new new entrants coming in. And that’s sacred to paye can be quite quite onerous. But I think the practical, the other practical overlay of that is, in the past used to have places like the banks, you know, where you started to bring in advisors through their, through their various businesses. So those channels have largely left. And for small business, it’s going to be important in terms of succession planning, and helping us get good talent to serve as clients. I think it is a significant issue. And more so about the lack of the replenishment in the sector. I think it’s a joint issue. I don’t think we just expect government to make the professional use so easy, I think. Just so I think we went we did a session at one of the units ones, I’m pretty sure to talk to students.

Jess Brady
Yeah, I know a lot of the unis and I think I dragged you to one of them. So thank you for attending. But do we have to do more of that? But is it is it that every financial advisor needs to go and talk to school kids about what financial advisors do so that they pick it for uni?

Sam Perera
I think so. Because my memory and you know, my memory is failing me. Now, now that I’m over 40, but was that a lot of a lot of those kids that were studying financial planning, in fact, didn’t have any idea about what financial planning is and, and given our app, a financial planner could be someone that deals in nothing, but insurance could be dealing with aged care could be, you know, budgeting and money, you know, accumulated coach. So it’s so diverse, I don’t think the sector can agree on a universal definition. So I guess it’s up to us to go out there and to talk about Sell, sell the wares, talk about the diversity, talk about the opportunities, just now that you’re on the dark side about how you can build a fabulous lifestyle and a fabulous business. Right and water, of course, for the first in years about the benefits of the sector. And I don’t think there are many other professional services, roles that enable you to build the business and take control the destiny and build building assets just for financial services. So we’ve got to get out there and get on the front foot. So I think it’s up to the sector people at AFA the FBI. It’s not really government’s role. It’s up to us. We just haven’t been able to do it because we’ve been too busy holding a fire hose putting out fires over the last three or four years. So yeah,

Jess Brady
it’s annoying, it is annoying and and we are all going to be scrambling to hire from the same resource pool. So we all we all have a vested interest in widening the amount of people that know what we do. You know, one of the things that I learned from going into a lot of units. So this is probably seven years ago, I would go into quite a lot of Sydney unis to try to help them understand, broadly the sector and also the types of different roles that exist. And often people would say to me, I didn’t know that if I thought a financial adviser would be fun. more analytical. And so there’s, of course, this perception that it’s much more sort of numbers based. And, you know, I don’t know about you, but I spend most of my time coaching people. And, you know, there’s lots of tears, and it’s much more emotional. And so I also think, educating people on that side of things, particularly for women, I think most women are good at that. And like that, and that’s why they can make really good financial advisors. But I don’t think we do a very good job of educating young people that that’s a big part of it. So I’m just gifting you that to think about because you need more to do clearly. But, you know, I think getting financial literacy into schools and getting the opportunity for financial advisors to go and talk to, in schools to schools when we’re allowed. I know that’s something that the AFA has talked about for a long time, I guess that it’s possibly time to start picking those ideas back up.

Sam Perera
Yeah. And this is where we’re when we’re talking about, you know, working together with other stakeholders and joint resourcing enables you to do some of these things that you otherwise wouldn’t have got an opportunity to do. And that makes a meaningful difference to the sector. I think they’re the sorts of energetic initiatives that I have to be able to achieve once we get through this quality of advice. Review. But of course, our good friend Russell Collins, as you see, he says, our business 95% People knowledge 5% technical knowledge, and you better know 100% of the 5%. So that you’re spot on, it’s all about people relationships, which you of course, accelerate Hey, is that a stranger trying to get into house because your dog was barking earlier? Or what?

Jess Brady
Oh, my God, God there ever was. And it’s the time of day where people will pass the House. So she’s just doing that. Hello, welcome. I hope you had a nice day at work. Don’t forget to cook dinner and eat your vegetables. She just thought that every person that goes

she has been walked I sometimes think that people think I’m a neglected parent, but I’m not not. So you do talk about the sector in a really optimistic way. And I can see totally, I mean, that’s why I decided to jump onto the dark side, as you put it. What do you think advice will look like in five or 10 years? Like, what’s your big picture? What do you think is like, the future for us?

Sam Perera
Yeah. What would advice look like in five years? So we’re talking about what 2027 One of the concepts is interesting to see comes through and berming to get technical, political, but I’m a bit that way is, you know, there might be better clarification in terms of financial advisors, what they do so you might find that people that specialize in provide comprehensive advice, there’s a cohort of those people, you might find that people that provide general advice, those fleeting influence, etc, they’ve got a safe space to do whatever they need to do. increased financial literacy, provide cost effective solutions, integration of FinTech, etc, which is not to regular regulatory heavy Caveat emptor, consumers know exactly what they’re getting and what they’re what they’re not, not not getting. And then in the middle, perhaps you might have, and this is just turned out, to be honest, silly, but this is how I would design it. If I was the chair of the committee, that advice would be in the middle, perhaps you would have a whole bunch of advisors that specialized in in niches, which is consistent with your requirements and expectations and the fussiest code of ethics, etc. We’ve got insurance specialists, but aged care specialists, you’ve got retirement specialists, let cetera it’s bigger, scalable businesses that offer comprehensive solutions, comprehensive advice, different end of the spectrum that’s more about education and mass markets in a cost efficient way. And in the middle, are dealing with a bunch of very competent professionals that specialize in their niche. That’s, that’s perhaps how I would like to see it. Yeah, the sector, yeah, evolve.

Jess Brady
Exactly. Like the medical world and the legal world, where typically you’ve got, well, you know, apart from the GP, you are a specialist in your field. And from a legal perspective, of course, they know general law, but most of them become specialists in a type of law as well. And so as we progress and things get more nuanced, I think that’s a really interesting take one I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about but it does make a huge amount of sense. If you look at those other professions that have implemented that really well and perhaps similar to those you can end up with Multan, multidisciplinary advice, businesses that have those very niche specialist people within them, but then navigating that relationship piece would be fascinating. Interesting. Sammy, I saw some stats a little while ago, and it was pretty Ross, the mental health of financial advisors at the moment isn’t great. What are your thoughts on what we can do? Because we’re tired. I hear this a lot. In fact, I just got off the phone to someone who I have known for a very, very long time. And he is much more in touch with other advisors. And I said, What are you seeing? And he said, Yes, people are tired. Is that? I mean, firstly, do you agree? And secondly, what can we do to help ourselves? Get out of this so that we start feeling like we’re thriving?

Sam Perera
Yeah. So I absolutely agree with you. I think the certainly the COVID related pressures that every Australian have felt we’ve felt over and beyond that, we’ve had to deal with the Royal Commission recommendations. Now I say, even the most successful practices in the country were significantly implemented by impacted by some of those recommendations, because they had to adjust business models for changes that came in in October last year, annual renewal, et cetera, labor intensive, took us away from the very reason as to why we existed, you know, it’s to serve clients been in front of clients. So everyone copped it as a result of the changes out of the assay. And other measures. An hour and beyond that, if you’re having to coach clients through a pandemic, that the burden of, you know, weed, the good practitioners, they take on their clients problems, and they’re emotionally invested, and they’re empathetic. So you had that third layer as well. So trying to pass exam so I, I get it I’m, I’m an advisor, I, you know, practice I live in the same same world. How do we turn it around, I think, when we spoke to you, you said, you know, started the podcast, I was gonna say interview said that, you know, turning down, you’re able to turn or rather by choice or design, you’re out of it for a little while and have been, I think, we probably need to, I’m asking you to turn down the noise a little bit, I’m asking the sector to turn down the noise a little bit, that does not mean that we’re not empathetic to the needs of people that still have to pass the exam that have to navigate for 567, maybe eight subjects over the course of the next five years. But rest assured, we are working our butts off a small team with a massive agenda, to give you the stability as best as possible in terms of the platform for you to for you to be able to build your businesses and service their clients in the most cost efficient way that doesn’t diminish consumer detriment. So leave that work to us engage constructively focus on the fact that you’ve got incredible clients, there will be a plethora of them, you do incredible work. And focus on that there is that you can you can control the cause. If we get through this, if you get through your education, we will no doubt get some wins out of the colleague advice review. And both sides have said that they’re looking for some recommendations, regardless of who’s in government to be able to table and implement in the first part of 2023. So it’s not going to be transformative, but we will get some wins. And we’ve got unilateral acknowledgement. So I think, have some confidence in the sector worried about what you can control, have some trust in the people that are in the chairs that are trying to make it make a difference? And just march on, I’m afraid that’s Yeah, yeah. But I

Jess Brady
think you touched on a piece earlier that is so unique to us. And that’s community. We are such a community and probably why I feel like I’ve been out of touch is possibly because I’m so used to being able to see everyone and and we are so good at sharing goods and Bad’s and uglies and of course we’ve been in our own small cave for the past few years, that surely has an impact. And so I guess, you know, an action item for me maybe off the back of this is to get a bit more involved from a community perspective, because I’ve been in my own little work

Sam Perera
COVID Look, I think yeah, without without a shadow of doubt, and problem, you know, shared is a problem hard and just to speak to people in terms of how they’re navigating, you know, in a positive sense, like a you. It’s not getting together with people and you know, it’s about woe is me or wallowing in our issues. It’s about getting together with like minded people that believe in the future that have some hope, but are able to talk, frankly, and put their issues on the table and talk about how difficult it’s been and perhaps you know what they’re looking for. So I sincerely hope sort of some of the events that we’re going to run over the course of the next few months, enable us to get good people together.

Jess Brady
Amazing. Is there anything else that I’ve forgotten fashion that asked you that you would like to talk about before we move on to the rapid fire questions that you try to put at the front of today’s session? No,

Sam Perera
no, no, no, I don’t. I don’t think so we’re out of time. Otherwise, I would have asked you a couple of questions. But

Jess Brady
in all seriousness, like you are a very busy person, and VC is an interesting time to have you on board, both from an advocacy piece as the association, but also understanding, you know, what does this election actually mean, for us, and getting your thoughts on it is, is really helpful and relevant. So I want to say an enormous Thank you, because I really do value your time. And I’m so grateful to have you on here and very excited to see all of the amazing work that you’re going to continue to deliver to the AFA.

Sam Perera
No problem. Just happy to be here. And I should have said that in Queensland in particular, there are a number of functions and events that have been that have been held within jointly with the FPA index, x, y advisor and the SMSF Association as well and pleases me to no end to see that sort of collaboration and people getting together as well. So that was thrilled to come and come and chat to you. Because it’s been some time I’ve got to get on a podcast to be able to talk to you. How’s that

Jess Brady
honoree and competitiveness and get organized from a New South Wales perspective? And yes, if you do want to speak to me just book in a podcast session with me. Okay, let’s give you some time back. Let’s fire off your last rapid fire questions. The reason I do this is because I love hearing people’s insights in terms of their speciality. But I also want to remember that we’re human. And we have lots of insights and knowledge to impart onto each other. And if we can all take one thing. You know, that’s the cumulate. The compounding and cumulative impact of that is huge, as James clear says in atomic habits, so one thing that you do to look after your mental health.

Sam Perera
I think my team sports play was taken in touch what he said that’s important to me run out with my mates and have a bit of physical activity.

Jess Brady
Good on you. I got bad from I’m banned from AWS tag because I accidentally tackled a man, I just forgot to stop and I barreled him over. So that ended my dog tag career. What is one piece of advice that you would give your younger self?

Sam Perera
I was thinking about this hasten slowly. So take, take risks important to take risks, but on important life decisions. Take your time on

Jess Brady
you. Fascinating man who holds space for both sides of the argument. I like that. What is one big thing on your bucket list that you haven’t ticked off yet?

Sam Perera
Again, I was thinking about this and I could tell you something way out of this world like not on a skydive or something like that. But I haven’t been to a dinner on blanc yet. And my my my wishes to try and get to a dinner on blog this year and perhaps in Sydney in a few weeks time. Oh, just for one.

Jess Brady
No, that’s great. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically everyone gets together at all these different venues and you were all white, correct? Indeed. You want to get a ticket, just set up your own in your backyard and charge people there’s some diversification of income streams for you.

Sam Perera
That’s a great idea for an AFA event.

Jess Brady
Oh, here we are brainstorming for the conference. My last question to you a book for you to read for me know, you’ve probably hopefully read a book for me to read as part of my fake book club got any

Sam Perera
fiction or nonfiction or whatever you think I need to read? What do you like to write fiction or nonfiction?

Jess Brady
I do this thing where I read two books at once. So typically, I read fiction and nonfiction at the same time. I’m currently reading a fascinating book around the history of finances, which by now Ferguson on the ascent of money, which is very interesting. But you can give I go, I’ll read anything.

Sam Perera
I’ll talk about Well, let’s talk about impact. And I think I’ll stay away from business well, because we’re talking about business well, but Ellie was ill he was a Holocaust survivor who only died from the get done two years ago, I forget COVID. This my mind up in terms of conferences as always, that he might have his accounts of the Holocaust is a book called Night. It’s a very short book, but it’s profound because he vividly describes seeing some of the horrendous atrocities, particularly period in our very sad history. And he’s extremely profound. It impacted him he gave up his faith, but then lived on to accomplish many, many wonderful things and you fact I think also received the Nobel Peace Prize, but it’s called Night. Not that only resile.

Jess Brady
Thank you. That sounds fascinating. A huge thank you for everything that you’re doing not only in today’s podcasts, but in a general sense. Thank you for being you. Thank you for taking on the good fight. We know it’s a lot of work. We know sometimes there’s lots of hours. And often there’s not enough recognition of all the hard work. So on behalf of everyone I wanted to say a ginormous thank you for being part of today. And more broadly, all the great work you’re doing to continue to evolve our profession. Thanks, Sammy.

Sam Perera
Thank you, Jess at any time, and thanks for having me and keep up the good work to all their friends who are advisors out there. So yeah, have a good year and have to be back. I hope to be invited back some station.

Jess Brady
We’ll see. We’ll see if you can get back. Come back whenever you’re gracious

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