John Cachia is well recognised in the financial advice industry for his Direction of AFA Group Wealth. A 2021 AFA Great Advice Award Vic Finalist, FSPower50 Most Influential Financial Adviser, AdviserRatings Top 30 in Australia and most recently the National Chair of the Association Financial Advisors, John’s introduction to financial planning started back in 2003 at the ripe old age of 14, where he went to work for his cousin’s financial advisory business CCA Financial Planners and loved it. John would go help out as the office manager after school and during holidays and absolutely fell in love with the industry. Seeing what an impact his cousin was making to an individual’s life gave John enough clarity and aspiration to work his way up. Being grateful for the opportunity to learn from his cousin Christopher Cachia, John at 20 years of age decided to take a leap of faith and started his own business.
Starting a business at a young age was incredibly hard and, wanting to be taken seriously, John would put this really professional facade on to make himself the part. After a few years of doing a lot of things wrong he learnt, adapted and started doing things right. As he built up momentum, John understood that this industry can be very, very powerful, but he realised that advice needed to be made more affordable and offered it to people who needed it most. John has a passion for helping young families with young kids going through that massive lump where they’re potentially buying or upgrading their house. They’ve got school fees that are coming up and they’re navigating through the holidays that they still want to have, because the kids are driving them mad. “Technology helps me navigate through this more efficiently, most of these people are busy and can’t get on top of their finances therefore I created the process to scale efficiencies,” he reflected. John started to build a value proposition and fortunately could connect on a deeper level with these clients as he also has a young family.
John reflects fondly that the lightbulb moment occurred when he had the opportunity to travel to Stanford University to attend a leadership course. It was here that he realised he could take his practice to the next level. “We created a seamless process for young families to find a pathway to financial freedom with the highest level of certainty in a simple, sustainable, scalable way through technology.” John’s clients don’t have the time to sit and keep up with everything, therefore the team needed to be as clear and as simple as possible. It also enabled John to be up front with them as much as possible, keeping them to the plan, managing their money and managing them. “I can tell you, the people who focus on IQ right now and do what they used to do are going to be overrun with technology. We use technology to help keep a close connection,” says John, “Technology cannot replace our emotional intelligence, therefore technology and emotional intelligence is the key to success.”
John introduces the myprosperity app and Fact Find to his clients from the very beginning of the relationship. Being a completely paperless business and conducting the majority of meetings virtually has helped scale up the business to be more efficient and profitable. John intentionally sends the full Fact Find to prospects prior to the initial meeting with a clear and strict 48-hour timeframe. “It means we get more committed clients and it eliminates the time wasters,” he explains. This allows for much more in depth conversations and to see whether the client is the right fit for AFA Group Wealth as well. Much of the first conversation is around goals and aspirations, bringing their subconscious into the conscious. John uses Time Traveler techniques to get the client to imagine they were 80 years old, and ask them to describe how their life would look and break it down to really uncover a clear picture of how AFA Group Wealth can help them. John predominantly uses the Fact Find in the myprosperity portal to consolidate all of the assets and liabilities and the Cashflow to show clients their actual expenditure and help them track it. John mentions that the next phase of myprosperity implementation will be eSigning and Rooms. The ability to collaborate with clients on specific tasks like annual reviews all in one place in Rooms will be a huge advantage and time saver for AFA.
John’s biggest advice to firms that are trying to implement tech for efficiency and scale is to analyse their current situation and how they can make it more efficient and more engaging for clients. “Paper based Fact Finds are ludicrous! Printing out documents to sign and scan is ludicrous! Advisers need to question what is the alternative? If you’re not going to digitise, you’re losing efficiency. If you’re not efficient, well, then what else is it costing you?” Using myprosperity and other technologies in other parts of the business have allowed John to free up his time so that he is doing what he needs to do, which is seeing clients and managing the business.
John’s biggest ambition is to help be the voice of advisors to the boards that are governing this profession. That also includes the people and the suppliers, and everyone who’s integrated in the advice profession, so that everyone can thrive into the next decade, stronger than we’ve ever been before. Collaboration among advisors and these professional bodies will strengthen the industry and create more accessible advice. “Rising tides raise all ships, so I’m excited to see what’s to come,” he said, adding “I’m collaborating and sharing along this journey so that we all are in a better place in years to come.”
Karolina Kuszyk (KK)
Head of Wealth at myprosperity
Karolina brings over 14 years experience in the Tech industry. Her previous role as a Field Partner Manager at MYOB, paved her way into the FinTech space. She joined myprosperity as employee number 8 and has played an instrumental role in driving growth since.