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INSIGHTS WITH EVALESCO

2023 Year in Review
by Jeff Thurecht | 19 December 2023

TOPICS DISCUSSED

What the team have been up to this year?
Investment Update
Lending Update
Merry Christmas
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Coming to the end of another exciting year and it’s been a bit of a roller coaster as reflected in the economy investment markets and geopolitics but in reality, that’s pretty normal.

We’ve had some ups and downs in the business this year as well and we’re really happy with where we’re finishing the year. When we did our last Year in Review video Jules was sitting next to us and she made the really challenging decision during the year to exit the business and exit Sydney as well. It was quite an emotional process for us to go through for Marsh, Jules and I having worked so closely together with each other for so long, but we’re really happy with how it’s turned out.

Having caught up with Jules in the last couple of weeks she’s really happy as well so I feel like it’s a really great way for us to show that we’re living our healthy, wealthy and happy ethos and supporting each other through those sorts of opportunities and we’re really happy for Jules.

How it’s finished there this year I’m sitting with Belinda who has joined us. She will be a familiar name but maybe not such a familiar face as she likes to sort of play under the radar a little bit in the Evalesco team but Belinda had been an integral part of our business for over 15 years and has really stepped up this year more than ever so it’s fantastic to have her joining us this year in our year in review.

I’m going to hand to Belinda shortly to do a bit of wrap up of the team and what’s been happening behind the scenes in the business and Marshall’s going to give us a wrap up and reflection on investment markets over the last 12 months then we will come back to me for a bit of a lending update as well.

Jeff mentioned we’ve seen lots of changes throughout the team this year but we are seeing it as a positive we’ve had lots of people move on for personal reasons and they’ve landed on their feet  and are really happy in their choices and we’re really happy for them. We have had people leave the team which has meant that we brought new people on which we’re really excited about to finish the year strong.

With those people we’ve got various team members both in Sydney and with our Philippines team who have come on board and have strengthened our team more and more. We’ve also seen additional little people join our Evalesco family with Mia and Che also welcoming new babies earlier in the year.  The team have started to enjoy more international travel as well, we’ve seen Europe, US and Canada, Japan and Bali on the agenda with more travel happening over the break and into the new year.

Jeff and I were also really lucky to go and visit and spend time with our Philippines team something that we are both really grateful for. We were able to get to know them more face to face but also understand their home and their culture more.

We’ve been interacting with our peers more as well, we’ve seen more conferences pop up but more sessions with those peers one-on-one to learn from them and work with them to improve the way we’re interacting with you our clients and providing our advice.

Late in 2022 we made the decision to embark on a journey to set ourselves up for further success as a business that was both operationally but also more so strategically and that meant change and we saw that with our team but we also saw that with our focuses. Our key focus has been our Tech Stack and that’s been due to increasing cyber security risks but also creating more efficiencies for our clients and our team.

It’s certainly been a buzz phrase that cyber security risk but it’s becoming more and more important as we look at how we’re doing things within our business and how we’re interacting with our clients. This has meant that we’re focusing on those efficiencies and soon you will see a client portal coming live which will mean that we can share documents and communicate with you far more securely. It will in turn create efficiencies and mean that we can interact with you far quicker and with greater efficiency.

Listening to Jeff’s introduction he talked about investment markets being a rollercoaster like and it made me think a little bit about the song by Ronan Keating ‘Life as a rollercoaster’ and sometimes you do have to ride it every year. We do one of these things there’s always a range of calamities that have occurred over the prior 12 months and this year is no different.

Every month sitting in the investment committee it felt like a lot of the market commentators and investment professionals were regularly referencing the likelihood that we would be in a recession at this time by the end of the year and that one thing I can say with confidence is that today that actually hasn’t happened and for those investors that have partnered with us over the last 12 months if you had taken in all the noise you might feel a little bit depressed but if you look at the numbers, the numbers tell a different story.

Portfolios for the last 12 months to date are sitting certainly above the averages that we build financial plans on so we’re really happy with those outcomes and the way in which we’ve managed risk throughout the year has delivered great outcomes for our clients and we’ve also recently announced some model fee savings which are quite substantial in percentage terms and certainly if you look at the numbers across the group we’re talking sort of in excess of about $3 million per annum that is being delivered to our clients through our negotiated fee outcome.

So this has certainly been a year where you have to be able to sort of ignore that noise and make sure you’re doing all of the sensible things which we’ve done both at the investment committee level and I know that you’ve done that with your portfolios and working with our advisers so that’s all I’d like to share if you’d like a little bit more information about what’s been happening behind the scenes and what we’re thinking about in 2024,

In regards to lending so if investment markets have been a rollercoaster then I think it’s fair to say the interest rates have had a rocket attached to them and have gone to the moon and back not quite back yet this year. Over the long term our lending team has been recently been led by Jules and Kristi has been her key support for a number of years, and this year with Jules having exited Kristi has really stepped up into that mortgage broking role and has done a great job for our clients and is looking forward to helping many more people in the new year.

So just a couple of highlights in terms of what we’ve done for clients this year from the lending viewpoint, we settled about 30 loans for clients this year, 10 of those helped new help families move into their new dream home with a similar number for investment property purchases to continue with that wealth creation strategy and there was also a significant number of refinances which have resulted in really fantastic savings for clients in year one and particularly long-term savings.

There was one client that stands to save about $420,000 in interest cost over the life of their loan through refinancing so whilst it has been a lot tougher to get finance in place this year there are some really good opportunities and some good deals to be had. It’s a very competitive market the banks are looking to increase their market share and the non-bank lenders are also active in this space. We’ve had a couple of the smaller banks have just come out in the last few weeks to reduce their interest rates which is a great sign and so it is a very competitive landscape if you are thinking about lending and Kristi is a great person to talk to in the new year to get your lending strategy in place.

So, in wrapping up just I would like to say thank you for your support and engagement with our team over the last 12 months and we hope you have a fantastic festive season and we look forward to seeing you in the new year, Merry Christmas.

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Jeff Thurecht
DIRECTOR & PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISER
jeff@evalesco.com.au | 02 9232 6800

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