The winner of two awards at the 2021 Better Business Awards in Queensland, Jodie Wolfenden, explains why she enjoys “complex” finance such as investment, self-employed and SMSF.
The Gold Coast broker and Superior Wealth director told The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast that she has a passion for the “complex stuff”.
While she enjoys assisting first home buyers, Jodie Wolfenden said that she would prefer assisting clients with buying additional investment properties, self-employed clients, and clients with self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF).
“I love making sure that they’re structured correctly, that it doesn’t impede what they want to do in the future,” Ms Wolfenden explained.
“[I like asking], can they do something else in the self-managed super fund space if that’s something that they’d like to do?”
Ms Wolfenden – who won Best Finance Broker and Broker of the Year 2021 for Queensland at the 2021 Better Business Awards in the state – said that her passion for complex investments began with her previous employers, who she said were predominantly investment-driven.
She said: “So, working in the middle of Surfer’s Paradise, the local real estate agents, it’s very tourist-driven, as you would imagine… there are owner-occupiers but there’s not a lot of people buying owner-occupied in that space.”
Seeing tourists showing interest in purchasing holiday homes in Surfer’s Paradise raised Ms Wolfenden’s interest in helping clients with investment properties, she said.
“You’ve got to think, ‘this is not just straightforward finance, it is structure’,” she said.
“I quite often get clients come to me that are structured incorrectly when they’ve gone to try and do it themselves. For example, go to a bank and the bank will tie them up in a neat little bundle, which will limit what they can do potentially moving forward.
“So, making sure or understanding what your client wants long-term, and understanding their needs and wants, and making sure that we’re accommodating that for future investments, that’s what I get a buzz out of.”
While Ms Wolfenden enjoys operating in the SMSF property space, she noted that the SMSF sector is a “highly regulated industry”, and as such, brokers must exercise caution about the level of advice they provide to clients. She has formed referral partnerships with accountants and financial planners in order to operate in this sector.
But she added that the regulatory complexities are what drive her passion for the sector.
“It’s black and white. There are no grey areas,” she said.
COVID came with opportunities
Speaking about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on borrowers, Ms Wolfenden said that while clients in certain sectors (such as the hospitality industry) were negatively impacted, clients in other sectors were able to adapt to the COVID-19 conditions (such as social distancing requirements and lockdowns) by working remotely.
As such, Ms Wolfenden said that clients who were not negatively impacted during the pandemic capitalised on significant opportunities.
“During COVID, you were either COVID-affected or you weren't. Those that weren’t saw massive opportunities,” she said.
“I’ve got clients living on islands (where they have to get to with boats) because they can work from home, so it’s great for them. So, it’s a real lifestyle decision.”
Furthermore, record-low interest rates have only boosted these opportunities, Ms Wolfenden said.
“As we’ve all seen Australia-wide, property is going crazy,” she said.
“Supply is off the charts… I don’t see [demand] slowing down anytime soon. So, clients are taking the opportunity to get into it, which is amazing from a business perspective.”
To listen to the full Elite Broker podcast with Jodie Wolfenden, click here:
[Related: Queensland’s Broker of the Year 2021]
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Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
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