Client Profile: Clive & Jackie Brooks
Clive has kindly written the article below on his family, working life and the relationship he has had with our company since 1973. We greatly appreciate his contribution to this edition of Trade Secrets.
Jackie and I have been clients for 44 years. I believe we are the longest standing clients of GFM!
I have been a career public servant for 46 years working for both the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments. At present however I have started to wind back my work commitments working three days a week for the Victorian Treasury. Jackie was a primary school teacher until about 10 years ago when she re-trained as a kindergarten teacher. She works three days a week at a local kindergarten. We have two sons, Chris (32) and Adam (28). Both are married and we were presented with a beautiful granddaughter Isla in January this year.
I have been a CFA volunteer for over 25 years which has required significant commitment with an involvement in both training and fire fighting. I was also the secretary/treasurer of my local brigade for 10 years. I am also involved in a couple of tourist railways doing summer fire patrols and locomotive restoration with the Puffing Billy railway and track maintenance with the Victorian Goldfields Railway.
Jackie is quite devoted to her work and has spent countless hours outside of normal work hours doing work required for her classes and students. Grandmother duties are a new enjoyable challenge for Jackie. We are fortunate that our sons have not moved very far from us so that we can get to see them and their families regularly.
When I first became a client of GFM I was taken out to lunch, if I remember correctly, so I didn’t need much convincing! I took out a life insurance policy which was the main savings product in those days. In 1987 when I moved from the Commonwealth to the Victorian Government, I had a rollover of superannuation. As I was not sure what to do I contacted GFM. I actually remember that not long after I rolled my super into a number of equity based funds the share market crash of 1987 occurred which reduced the paper value of my investments considerably. But the market recovered, just as it has after the Global Financial Crisis.
Since 1987 my superannuation has evolved from having superannuation in retail funds, a master fund and now an SMSF. Paul has assisted with our financial affairs over the last 17 years.
I have always been impressed by GFM’s client first attitude. I have had dealings over time with some of the larger financial institutions and you get the feeling that you are just one of a large number of clients. There really is no personal relationship with a large financial institution and they certainly do not take the time to understand your needs.
Jackie and I thoroughly value the personal treatment of GFM and the active involvement in our financial affairs. I enjoy the regular catch-ups with Paul and Bree so that we can review and fine tune our investments and financial situation. I also appreciate the regular provision of information through weekly emails and other publications. The GFM team are all very friendly and they make you feel that they are there working for you.
You read so many horror stories about people who have lost their life savings through dodgy financial advice. The main lesson we have learned from GFM is that a diversified investment portfolio with a disciplined, long term focus, avoiding any ‘get rich quick’ schemes, is the best approach to financial security. I have no doubt we would not be in the financial situation that we are in today if not for the advice of the GFM team.
When friends and family members have mentioned to me that they need some advice in dealing with their finances, I have no hesitation recommending GFM on the basis of our experiences. The feedback I have received from friends and family we have referred is always positive.
I look forward to being GFM’s first 50 year client in the not too distant future!