Nuts & Bolts: Fees & Other

It’s Refreshing – to move from clutter …to Clarity

These days the wealth management tool box is often cluttered.  And full of hidden conflicts of interest.

At First Samuel we prefer to move to clarity.  See more of our refreshing approach to the nuts-and-bolts of wealth management.

  • Ethics

    It’s Right - to move from concealment to …Clarity

    First Samuel is strongly committed to the highest ethical standards.  This is not just a statement but something that is in our DNA.

    Since our founding in 1999, we have always put each client’s interests above our own.  Our clients’ needs are first, last and always.  In everything we do. 

    Unfortunately the wider wealth management world doesn’t always meet the standards that it should.

    But we understand that it is your wealth.  Your future.  And only the highest standards will suffice.


    The wealth management industry is rife with fees and costs, many of which are hidden.  There are platform fees, administration fees, managed fund fees, entrance fees, exit fees, fees paid to third parties, and more.

    You need clarity.  First Samuel’s policy of complete transparency means there are no surprises for you.

    We never pay or accept commissions, and any commissions that are unavoidably earned are passed on to you in full, every time.

    And we disclose all of the fees and costs you pay.  Please see Fees section below.

    There is always clarity. 

    Ethical behaviour

    First Samuel has been in business since 1999.  And has succeeded because of the trust that is placed in us by our clients.  And we will not compromise a client’s trust in any way.

    This is not just a question of fee transparency, but also of the way we conduct our business.

    We advise clients when there is an administration error.  And we resolve any conflicts in our clients’ favour.

    We provide full transparency about all client transactions and dealings.

    And we expect our clients to act ethically and respectfully toward us and our Associates in return.

  • First Samuel is not for everybody

    And so it is useful setting out the type of client for whom we are best suited.

    1.  How involved do you want to be?

    Our focus is on long-term wealth management, not managing day-to-day expectations about individual investments.  So, if you are a hands-on investor, wanting to talk to a broker-like person daily or weekly, then we are not for you.

    Our clients are delegators.

    2.  How patient are you?

    Wealth management is a long-term business and the best opportunities sometimes take time to bear fruit.  If you want instant investment gratification, then we are not for you.

    Our clients are patient.

    3.  Size matters

    The size of your investible assets matters.  The service that we provide is efficient for you if the amount you invest with us is above a sensible size.  Our usual minimum investment amount is $1million.  For younger investors or those in superannuation accumulation phase we will consider a minimum investment amount of $500,000.  Please contact us to discuss whether your circumstance and size fit. 

    Our clients understand investment efficiency.

    4.  Ethics matter

    If you think you might like us to undertake an action that avoids compliance with a law or regulation, then we are not for you.

    Our clients are ethical.  As are we.

  • Fees

    It’s Prudent - to move from commissions to …Clarity

    Do you know how much you are really paying someone to manage your wealth?  And who you are paying it too?  And for what?

    The wealth management world is full of commissions and conflicts, many of them hidden.  Some fees are disclosed, some are hidden.  Some costs are disclosed, some are hidden.  There are platform fees, administration fees, managed fund fees, entrance fees, exit fees, fees to third parties, and more.

    You need clarity. 

    First Samuel’s policy of complete transparency means there are no surprises.

    We never pay or accept commissions, and any commissions that are unavoidably earned are passed on to you in full, every time.

    And we disclose all of the fees and costs you pay.  

    There is always clarity. 

    Our Fee Philosophy

    At First Samuel we simply seek a fair return for our expertise and the assurance our service brings.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

    We recognise it’s a competitive industry.  And so our fees are broadly in line with other groups that provide a similar service, or which bundle together similar services. 

    We do not discount and we do not expropriate.

    First Samuel receives fees for the following services:

    • Wealth Strategy Advice – an initial fee and a fixed amount for the wealth strategy advice that we provide you (does not apply to Wholesale Investors or Not-for-Profits)
    • Investment Management – a percentage of the funds we manage for you for individual investment management and tailored administration. 

    The only other costs are those that we have to pay to others when we manage your investments. 

    Full details of our fees and other costs are contained in our Guide to Fees. 

    First Samuel Guide to Fees (Version 6 - 2021)

  • Working with your accountant

    It Adds Up - to move from competition to …Clarity

    Many investors experience competition between their wealth advisor and their accountant.

    First Samuel doesn’t.  We seek clarity.  And co-operation.

    We know that establishing a strong relationship with your accountant is going to provide you with the best long-term outcome.

    We offer expertise on a range of wealth management matters outside what accountants do and, in the areas that overlap, we work with your accountant to ensure the best outcome for you.

    And we recognise that some areas are clearly the domain of your accountant.

    Financial reporting

    With your consent we will provide your accountant with an individual login to the First Samuel Client Portal where they can view and download information and reports related to your investments. 

    This saves time and ensures your accountant has all the necessary information at their fingertips.

    At the end of the financial year we provide a complete and independently-audited package of financial and taxation reports, which means your accountant has reliable data.  You save on accountants’ fees, and tax time is no longer an ordeal. 

    Self-managed super funds

    Once you have decided to have a self-managed super fund (SMSF), you need to decide who is responsible for what.  Whilst you cannot outsource your role as trustee or director of your SMSF, you can enlist the right help to ensure you meet your responsibilities.

    Typically you might outsource the operation, management and administration of your SMSF to a combination of your accountant and First Samuel.

  • Safeguarding your assets

    It’s Safe – to move from concern to …Clarity

    Safeguarding your assets is crucial.  It is your wealth.  It is your future.

    That’s why it’s important to feel confident in the structures put in place to hold and manage your investments.  So that you can live well and sleep well.

    First Samuel will always provide clarity.

    Legal & regulatory framework

    First Samuel holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (No. 225405) and is regulated in the provision of Managed Discretionary Account Services. We have appointed JP Morgan as our third party external custodian for all listed securities in client portfolios.

    As a client, you enter into a contract with First Samuel, which sets out each party’s obligations and the investment parameters under which we will operate.  This is called your Investment Program.  The contract establishes a limited power of attorney under which First Samuel is authorised to implement the contracted services and investment program, and also acknowledges that First Samuel holds assets on trust for its clients.

    How are investment assets held?

    The individual registration and non-pooling of assets means that it is possible to identify and value the individual assets of any client at any time.

    Registered clients and those in custody arrangements have separate accounts or registration numbers for their investments with the relevant registrar.  Every client also has a separate cash account with ANZ bank.  This stringent process ensures that any holdings or assets are immediately identifiable and are not ‘pooled’ with the assets of any other client.

    How are transactions on clients’ accounts authorised?

    The limited power of attorney in a client’s contract allows First Samuel to initiate transactions on behalf of the client necessary to implement the contract and related investment program.  The First Samuel board has approved a list of authorised signatories who have the authority to instruct and approve transactions entered into for clients.  All securities transactions, payments and registration instructions must be jointly approved by two authorised signatories.

    What reconciliations are performed?

    Daily reconciliations are performed on client cash holdings between First Samuel’s portfolio system and ANZ cash account records.  Client investment reconciliations are performed weekly between First Samuel’s portfolio system and JP Morgan’s records. Any discrepancies are promptly investigated and resolved.

    What about independent verification?

    Your investments are independently audited each year by Morrows Pty Ltd and you receive an independent audit certificate for your individual portfolio(s).  First Samuel’s systems of internal control are also audited for effectiveness and accuracy.  In addition, our custodians, JP Morgan, are subject to periodic audits to confirm that their internal controls are operating effectively and that their clients’ assets are correctly valued.

    What type of insurance does First Samuel hold?

    First Samuel holds professional indemnity insurance in the amount required by ASIC and also holds significant Fidelity (Crime) insurance cover.

  • Services & reporting

    It’s Informative – to move from chaos to …Clarity

    In the Information Age it is crucial to be properly informed.  When it comes to your wealth and its management, clear and detailed information is a must. And in a fast-moving world, regular, updated information is a necessity.

    First Samuel wants you to have peace of mind when it comes to your investments.  So you can live well and sleep well.  That’s why we provide clear, detailed and regularly updated reports for you.  Because you need clarity.

    Portfolio Reports

    First Samuel replaces the clutter of spreadsheets or of broker or fund statements with absolute clarity.  From the day-to-day fluctuations of the share market to the big picture, we make sure you have all the information you need to feel secure and fully informed.  

    The First Samuel Client Portal is your window into your investments and their performance.  It's assessable at any time through our website with your own secure username and password.

    The Portal presents up to date information on your investments in a simple, easy to read portfolio 'Dashboard' as well as in a number of flexible reports. 

    Your Dashboard

    Your Dashboard is updated daily and presents information on your investments in a number of easy to read views: 

    • Wealth Snapshot - A summary of your portfolio(s), including your agreed investment objective, market value and pre and after-tax performance for the financial year to date. 
    • Asset Allocation - The aggregate market value of your portfolio(s) by asset class
    • Portfolio Position - The composition of your portfolio(s) by individual security, aggregated by asset class, in terms of market value and percentage of total
    • Portfolio Movements – The change in portfolio value between the start of the financial year and the report date showing all contributions, withdrawals, realised and unrealised capital gains, dividends, other income, management fees and third party expenses
    • Financial Year to Date Transaction – All portfolio transactions between the start of the financial year and the report date, by transaction type.  Can be filtered by category or searched for specific transactions

    Your Reports

    Your personal reports page (to which your accountant can have access, with your permission) allows you to run tailored periodic reports and access a report archive of historical reports.

    Live Reports are updated daily can be run for a variety of periods in PDF, Excel or CSV formats.

    • Portfolio Position - This report shows the market value of the portfolio holdings by asset class and individual security as at a selected date
    • Cash Ledger - This report shows all transactions for the portfolio cash accounts for the period in Trade Date order, and the running balance of each account
    • Transactions = his report shows the portfolio transactions for the period grouped by type
    • Investment income - This report shows the taxable income of the portfolio in the period, with components, in Security and Tax Date order
    • Realised CGT - This report summarises the realised gains and losses made on the sale of securities in the period, in Security, Sale Date and Purchase Tax Date order
    • Unrealised CGT - This report summarises the unrealised gains and losses on securities held at the date of the report, in Security and Purchase Tax Date order

    Your Report Archive allows you (and your accountant) to access a number of historical reports, including, 

    • Investment commentary - A generic commentary on the Australian equity portion of your portfolio (quarterly)
    • Flash after-tax performance report for the fiscal year just ended - Early July
    • Personal Investment Report on your portfolio(s) - Early August
    • Accountant’s pack & tax reports - Early October
    • Independent audit certificate - Early October
    • Management fee tax invoices (quarterly)


    1. Relationships

    We understand that our relationship with you is also crucial to the support you get to pursue your wealth management goals.

    Our first priority is you.  And we devote considerable resources to ensure we provide you with strong and enduring support.

    Private Client Adviser

    We will appoint one of our specialists to manage your relationship with us.  This is not about account management, but relationship depth. 

    If your relationship with us involves wealth strategy advice, your Private Client Adviser will be your wealth strategist.

    If your relationship is investment only (i.e. you are a wholesale or not-for-profit client) your Private Client Adviser will be one of our senior Associates.

    CIO Conversation Dinners

    Each year we hold a series of private dinners for our clients where our Chief Investment Officer reports on investment matters and responds to detailed questions.  These are for small groups of about 20 clients and are held in popular suburban restaurants.

    Annual Wealth Forum

    We hold an annual Wealth Forum for our clients with a presentation by a wealth expert.  The experts can come from all parts of the industry.  Past presenters have included Saul Eslake (economist); Peter Costello (Federal Treasurer); Li Cunxin (Mao’s Last Dancer – on China); Scott Haslem (Hong Kong economist); Alan Kohler (financial journalist); Michael Reid (art); Clint Laurent (demographer); Don Stammer (investment); Ian Harper (economist), Norman Smorgan (family wealth) and our most recent speaker, Vladimir Konovalov (on Russia’s oil & gas).

    Art Series

    We invite our clients to an annual art event and cocktail party.  Past events have included a private showing of the studio of noted artist Bruno Leti; a private showing of Melbourne’s finest antique collection; Monet’s Garden exhibition and cocktail party and Italian Masterpieces from the Prado and cocktail party.

    Charity Evening

    We sponsor Eat Street, an annual food and wine fest where all of the proceeds assist a charitable cause.  We pay, our clients enjoy.

    Eat St logo 2