Helen Dundon is a Principal at Prescott Securities
Tell us about your career and how it led to Prescott Securities.
When at home with young children I completed an Accounting degree and worked part time in a country accounting practice. This led to returning to full time work with the ANZ Bank and by the late 1990’s I was State Manager for ANZ Trustees in South Australia. In that role I worked with many clients assisting with their financial affairs and investment management and decided to pursue a career as an investment adviser. My previous accounting work and knowledge was incredibly relevant and useful in terms of assessing various investments and complex strategies for clients. At the same time, I completed my CPA studies specialising in Financial Planning.
I joined Prescott Securities in 2002 after working for 2 years as an Adviser at JB Were and was invited to become a Principal in 2009.
Since then, Prescott has grown through both organic client growth and the acquisition of several local firms. We are now one of Australia’s most respected stock broking and financial advisory firms, with offices in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
I work with my clients to understand and manage their changing financial positions, identify their current and future financial requirements, and provide clear, effective strategies so they can achieve their goals. It was this opportunity to help my clients attain the best possible quality of life, which first attracted me to the industry.
Can you outline the services Prescott Securities provides?
Prescott Securities is a diverse and dedicated organisation that provides stock broking and financial advisory services.
We are very different to most, in that we focus on medium to long term sustainable returns providing excellent cash flow throughout retirement.
This is achieved through the provision of expert advice on wealth accumulation strategies, superannuation and retirement planning, investment advice and portfolio management, personal insurance and estate planning.
We also provide a range of free public seminars that are designed to assist and inform people about the financial markets, and dispel some of the myths that surround them.
What have been the highlights of your career to date?
I particularly enjoy working in financial services and my career journey to date has given me the opportunity to work closely with a number of influential and inspirational people.
The satisfaction associated with helping people to build and retain their wealth in order to become financially independent, and steering people towards and through retirement is unbeatable. Seeing my clients succeed gives me the energy and drive to continue.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?
Everyone at Prescott is deeply committed to forming partnerships and achieving the goals of our clients. Whatever stage of life people are in, we will strive to guide them to financial security.
For me, the most rewarding aspect is being able to help clients achieve the lifestyle they want within their own parameters.
What are the key issues facing female business women securing their financial wealth?
Many young business women have a break in their careers to have children, and often find it difficult to maintain full time hours when they return to work.
Therefore, females tend to not have as much money set aside as their male peers of the same age, significantly influencing their investment capabilities.
It is probably more important though for these women to plan effectively to achieve their goals. I work with a lot of women in this situation to find a financial solution – and invariably a good workable solution can always be found no matter what their position. It just takes good planning and the right amount of time.
What are Prescott’s plans for the coming year?
South Australia has been Prescott’s home since 1987 and continues to demonstrate solid growth.
We are constantly expanding our market share locally, and identifying national opportunities to build and improve on our service offerings in markets such as the Gold Coast and Melbourne.
What are the main investment trends driving investors at the moment?
There has been a turnaround in the share market since the Global Financial Crisis. Investors are now more confident that profits are sustainable and are subsequently transferring money from term deposits and cash back into the market.
Property also remains important in client’s portfolios, and there are currently many attractive shares within the services sector.
Australian shares also provide investors with reliable ongoing tax-effective income along with capital growth potential. Many companies are coping very well in the current economic climate and investors can find good quality opportunities for reasonable prices. They just need to know what to look for.
What are some of the steps people can take to make sure their super is going to facilitate their future lifestyle?
Whilst all age groups should be contributing to their superannuation, people approaching retirement need to maximise their contributions through salary sacrifice in order to make sure it will facilitate their current lifestyle. This is becoming increasingly difficult as limits have been reduced significantly in the past couple of years and will do so again from 1 July 2012.
Investors need to have a clear understanding of exactly where their funds have been invested, and make sure their super funds are flexible and provide realistic forecasts for the underlying assets.
The important message is don’t leave it too late. You need to plan for your retirement a good ten years in advance to make sure you can achieve your goals.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I spend most of my spare time with family and friends. My husband’s mother and my parents live in Adelaide and our two daughters are living at home whilst at University. I also enjoy my vegetable garden, dining out with friends, travelling and snow skiing.