I have known Helga for fifteen years and more. I was introduced to her as a new member of the Crosby Dalwood Chartered Accountants Business and Financial Advisers practice by Tony Dalwood, a senior chartered accountant. At that time I was heartened to see that Crosby Dalwood had decided to bring a female financial adviser into the practice of which I had been a client for some time. It has been as a financial adviser to my mother and more recently to me, that I have come to appreciate Helga’s strong, highly professional qualities, skills and knowledge that make her a financial professional that I readily and frequently recommend to family and friends.
The strength of Helga’s professional qualities comes from the respect she shows her clients, female or male, of any age and financial circumstances that bring a range of needs to her attention and that of her team. From this respect, a rapid development of trust grows that is so important when seeking the services of a financial adviser.
I first witnessed the development of mutual respect and trust, so important when interacting with female clients, when my mother needed support to ensure her financial security into her future following the sale of the family home. The proceeds of the sale were to be her source of income so the safe investment of mum’s assets in securities that bore carefully measured risks was very important to her. As mum lived into her nineties, access to her finances and her adviser was important to her. This is where the team that Helga builds to support her interaction with her clients is so important. If documents needed to be understood and then signed, one of the team would visit my mum, explain the transaction and need for signatures. Continuity of the team members was maintained as much as possible. Mum knew them by name and counted them as a friend. The collaborative team structure along with the understanding of the needs of an elderly female client were important aspects of the service structure that Helga built around my mother that was as important as the selection and success of securities.
I now appreciate in hindsight, that the selection of securities was careful, thoughtful and mindful of a set of criteria that not only satisfied a determined level of risk that was appropriate to my mother’s age, gender and needs but also included companies that she was very familiar with that I believed supported her confidence in her portfolio and the financial team that managed them for her. When Mum died at the age of 92, Helga and Tony were at her funeral drawing in that circle of respect that had been in place so successfully for so long.
Helga has been my financial adviser too. I wanted to have a positive experience like that of my mother. As a mother of two sons, widowed at age 32, my personal financial needs, security and independence took on more importance as I approached retirement. I thought that the achievement of that would be straight forward with sound superannuation as a backing and so on, but once again the comprehensive financial advisory approach that Helga and her team bring is now my experience too. With one of my sons (a Gen Y) as part of my support team, we have planned and put into place a retirement package that will secure my needs now and into the future, ensure entitlements for my sons and grandchildren into the future and satisfy my need for ethical investments as well.
The process that was undertaken to ascertain the above was comprehensive, very informative and confidence building. It included:
- Establishing goals and needs
- Determining tolerance to investment risk
- Development of a recommended and explicit strategy
- A list of investment product recommendations
- An actual and recommended asset allocation with financial outcomes graphs of the recommended assets
- Proposed strategy for consolidation of cash flow
- Information re cost of the advice provided
- A comprehensive agreement to proceed, signed by both parties
This process was successful. I know this because my son and I understood it without too many questions needing to be asked. To my verbal/linguistic mind, rather than a mathematical/logical mind, it worked. The safeguards I needed as a single, independent female were there and appreciated and my ethical concerns were inherently accounted for. I also know it continues to work because I get updates etc. I read, I understand, I learn and I monitor. This is something new for me when we talk finance. I also know because my son, who travelled this journey with me and will willingly continue to do so, felt comfortable interacting with Helga and her team, and was confident in the approach and outcomes achieved.
I have no hesitation in recommending Helga and the services she offers to my older son living in a rural area. Helga’s willingness to use modern telecommunication to communicate in these circumstances will prove extremely valuable I am sure, along with the respect, skills and trust developed already between our family and her team.
As I am sure you have determined from the above, Helga is an exceptional financial adviser who has a toolkit of exceptional skills and efficient processes that allow her and her team to provide for the needs of her clients. However it is the way she has catered for the particular needs of the dearest woman in my life and now me that makes her stand out. It is her respect for the individual person and the context in which they live that declares her service to her clients remarkable.