FAIS Accredited Advice

Gradidge Mahura Investments (GMI) are the appointed advisors to the UCTRF. GMI has been appointed to assist members approaching retirement with retirement planning, with the specific focus on developing a retirement income plan related to their UCTRF benefit.

GMI's highly qualified and experienced independent financial advisors are readily available to secure the financial future of  you and your family. Through a comprehensive risk analysis process they protect their clients from unforeseen events that can ruin their financial security. 

Members over 50 are eligible to receive 3 consultations with GMI (paid for by the UCTRF) prior to their retirement.

Click here for the GMI Retiree brochure, and here for the relevant disclosures.

The use of GMI’s services is entirely voluntary and members may also consult their own financial advisor at their own cost. 

In addition, the UCTRF has negotiated preferential rates with GMI for other active members and UCTRF Living Annuitants.

Click here for the GMI Active Member brochure, and here for the relevant disclosures.

Click here for the GMI Beneficiary brochure, and here for the relevant disclosures.

Click here for the GMI Living Annuitant brochure, and here for the relevant disclosures.

Click here for the disclosures regarding additional fees for living annuitants.

GMI have advisors who can provide financial advice in English, Afrikaans, Setswana, Sesotho, isiZulu, Sepedi or isiXhosa.

Click here for the list of the advisors available.


Questions to ask your advisor

Q: Are you independent or tied to an insurer?

A: An advisor tied to a particular insurer will only be able to sell that company’s products, while an independent financial advisor can advise on and sell products from any provider across the market. This allows you to compare a variety of insurance products and decide on the one that best suits your needs.


Q: Whose financial products do you sell?

A: You must ask an adviser whether they represent a wide range of assurance companies’ products and a variety of investment houses and which ones and why.

A financial institution such as a life company or an advisory practice. If the advisor is employed by an advisory practice with its own licence, you still need to check whether the practice is owned by a product house. This information will help you work out whether you are getting advice from a tied or product supplier agent, who only recommends products from one institution. If your advisor is employed by a practice licensed as a separate financial services provider but the practice is owned by a product house, you need to ask about incentives offered to your advisor.

Q: Are you from a financial institution such as a life company or an advisory practice?

A: If the advisor is employed by an advisory practice with its own licence, you still need to check whether the practice is owned by a product house. This information will help you work out whether you are getting advice from a tied or product supplier agent, who only recommends products from one institution. If your advisor is employed by a practice licensed as a separate financial services provider but the practice is owned by a product house, you need to ask about incentives offered to your advisor.

Q: Which product or product categories are you authorised to sell or advise on?

A: Advisors are authorised to sell different types of products based on very stringent experience and qualification requirements.   If you are investing your pension, it is important to ensure that the advisor is licenced to advise on investment and pension benefits. If you need advice on your Risk Cover (e.g. death and disability cover), the advisor needs to be licensed for long term insurance and the same applies for medical aid.

 
Q: How much will I pay?

A: When choosing a financial advisor, it helps to understand how your advisor gets paid, because those who secure commissions may apply a different methodology to advisors who work on a fee basis.

Financial advisors get paid in one of the following ways:

Commission only: Some advisors only receive commissions from product providers for providing financial services and selling products, such as investments, insurance products and healthcare funding products.

Commission and fees: Commission and fee advisors may charge you a fee for developing a financial plan for you, and then receive commission when they sell you insurance and investment products recommended in your financial plan.

Fee-only: Fee-only financial advisors usually provide advice or ongoing management of your financial plan. You may find that you need regular advice from your advisor for your business dealings, or you may have a complex financial portfolio that needs regular input but does not necessarily involve the sale of a product which earns the advisor any commission. However, there is enormous value in your advisor’s time and advice given, and in these scenarios a fee-based system may work best.

Discuss the benefits and disadvantages of all payment methods with your advisor and establish upfront the basis upon which you will work with your advisor.

 
Q: What qualifications do you have?  

A: Ask to see proof of your financial advisor’s credentials. The insurance industry has formalised qualifications for financial advisors, and you should ensure that your advisor is Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS)-licensed. If an advisor is working under supervision it means that they still need to qualify by passing their regulatory exams and will be working under the guidance of a qualified individual. FAIS ensures that there is significantly less room for error and malpractice. As a consumer, you are now better protected as emphasis has been placed on putting client interests first and ensuring the quality of service and advice.

 
Q: How do you determine my specific needs?

A: A good financial advisor will look at your needs and potential risks over the long term — assessing everything from your future goals to death cover, critical illness and disability, income protection, retirement, savings, investing and healthcare funding. They should also look at how your last will and testament interacts with your financial plan. 

And remember, just like there is no single product provider that can offer all of the necessary covers in one neat, well-organised and appropriately scoped package, your advisor may also call on specialists to look at specific areas of your financial plan. For example, he may call in a specialist in trusts, or a legal expert to look at your will, or a tax expert to look at the tax implications of your estate. A good advisor will always support the need to bring in specialists, especially with complex portfolios, to ensure that all your bases are covered, and all consequences considered.


Q: How will you communicate with me and how often?

A: Staying in touch with your financial advisor is critical to managing your portfolio and developing their knowledge and understanding of your needs. The regularity with which you meet will depend on your goals. These should be agreed upon with your broker at the outset. If your objective is simply to implement a simple risk insurance solution, such as bond cover and a long-term retirement annuity to supplement your company pension scheme, then an annual update may be adequate.

If you are more goal-driven in terms of your finances — perhaps with aspirations to retire young and wealthy, or to leave your job within five years to start your own business — your needs will be very different.

It is also important to consider “trigger events” that may necessitate action or advice; such as retrenchment, divorce, or additions to the family. Any change in circumstance can alter your risk and should be evaluated as part of your financial plan and strategy.

 
Q: What claims service do you offer, and what has your claims experience been with different providers?

A: Look for a financial advisor who understands the importance of issues such as service delivery and claims settlement — purchasing an insurance policy should be about more than finding the cheapest rates. Your advisor has a moral obligation to act in your best interests and manage all of your claims on your behalf, ensuring that the process runs smoothly. Find out about their experience with difficult claims or cover disputes and look at any claims information they may have about different insurers. It’s important to know that the insurer you select has a solid track record when it comes to claims settlement and an ethos of acting in their client’s best interests. 

 
Q: May I contact some of your existing clients for a reference?

A: Word of mouth is the best way of establishing your advisor’s  or insurance broker's reputation for service. It’s also worth looking at the Financial Planning Institute (FPI)’s website (http://www.fpi.co.za/) for background information and to establish whether your advisor is a member of the FPI.

The role of the financial advisor has become increasingly important as the global economy undergoes fundamental shifts. Now, more than ever, it is vital to know that the person you entrust with your financial future has your best interests at heart.

 



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