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See full profile: Bryanston Financial Advisor- Gareth van der Merwe

Were you always planning to be a Financial Advisor and why?

No. I previously succeeded in achieving my goal of becoming a Marketing Manager, but I have always had a good understanding of finances, and always enjoying putting financial plans together, and therefore never felt fulfilled as a Marketing Manager. It was at this time in 2014 I decided to follow my heart and made the switch to Financial Planning, and myself nor, my current clients have looked back since.

When meeting with clients do they mostly come to your own premises or do you mostly go their theirs?

My clients come to my office, Although I do go to clients from time to time, it is preferred to meet at our offices as it is a professional setting, with the tools I require to best service my clinets, and their are no distractions

What is your preferred mode of communication with your clients?

Email, Phone, Face to Face, What best suits my clients

Have you ever done an online video call with a client?


What do you love most about being a financial advisor

Providing my clients with good, honest advice, and seeing them successfully achieve their financial goals.

Would you recommend becoming a financial advisor as a career for school-leavers, and why?

Yes. The industry needs good, independent advisors and it can be extremely rewarding, although pressurised.

What qualities should South Africans be looking for in their financial advisor?

Honesty, professionalism, well educated

What is the biggest challenge facing financial advisors today?

Restrictions within the industry which impede the advise advisors can provide to clients. Although I believe it extremely important to have regulations to protect both the client and the advisor, these regulations need to improve the advise provided as opposed to provide barriers.

What aspects of financial advising do you focus on most?

Investment advise, life assurance to protect investors and their dependents, Estate planning, tax benefits, and fiduciary services.

Describe your average client:

A person looking to invest long-term to achieve their desired goals, and who takes the investment process seriously.

How far away from your premises is your furthest client?

United States of America

From your financial advising experience, if you could cite one of the biggest reasons financial goals, what would it be?

Individuals in South Africa live way above their means, and don't understand the importance of saving and compounding interest over the long-term.

Do you think the coming wave of automation in the next few years will steal some financial advisor jobs and why/why not?

No. Although younger investors who do not as yet have substantial financial assets may make use of Robo-Advice, when their financial assets become more substantial, they will prefer to discuss all options with a human being. Most people also do prefer the face to face experience and the relationship they have with a financial advisor who understands their needs.

What is your opinion on Bitcoin?

It is here to stay, but will just become like another share. Although people have made a lot of money off Bitcoin, there are many people who have lost a lot of money. It is too risky for my liking and I don't recommend investing in it, unless a person is prepared/can afford to lose the money they do invest in it.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Spending time with my son and family, playing golf, DIY around the house.

What is the most interesting thing on your bucket list?

To experience interacting with as many different cultures around the world as possible.

What has your experience been on FindanAdvisor?

It is very early, but so far, so good.