DENNIS DIBARTOLO + MARK TYRELL
ALTITUDE WEALTH MANAGEMENT
Altitude Wealth Management co-directors Dennis DiBartolo, a qualified financial planner, and Mark Tyrell, a former banker now financial planner, have been in the banking, finance and insurance game for the past 25 years, and over the course of their careers have witnessed holistic changes in the financial planning industry.
“We’ve really come from an era in the early 2000s of being known as product pushers or sales people to now becoming university-qualified professionals,” reflects Dennis, a financial planner for the past 16 years who holds a Masters Financial Planning. “I actually remember starting out in the advice business where aspiring planners could take a six-week course with a bank, then the following week be sitting in front of clients providing them strategy and advice on their hard-earned savings.”
The industry though has changed since then, with more changes ahead. From 2019, all financial planners/advisers must hold either a Masters in Financial Planning, be a Certified Financial Planner or Fellow Chartered Financial Planner to continue to practice.
“This change is a win for our industry, and our customers,” explains Mark, who is currently completing a Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner designation. “To reach the new required level of education will come at a considerable financial cost and a significant investment in time. Only those serious about providing long-term solutions, building long-term relationships with clients and wanting a career in financial planning will remain in the industry post 2019.”
“Mark and I have each chosen to invest in ourselves not only for personal development but for our clients too,” says Dennis. “Certainly since the Storm fiasco, consumers are far more careful with whom they trust with their life savings and important financial decisions.”
Dennis and Mark say prospective clients often ask them, ‘how do I best choose a financial planner?’ Their response is to consider three things. Firstly, only deal with true professionals who hold the highest educational and ethical standards in the industry, such as a Masters of Financial Planning, Certified Financial Planner or Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner designation. Secondly, meet with two or three advisers to determine whose style best suits your own, and who you feel most comfortable with establishing a long-term relationship. Finally, ensure the adviser has your best interest front of mind.