Openpals: Peter Bell, Director of Bellmont Securities

In this series we’re talking to our clients to get their personal take on what they’re up to, where the industry’s going and things they’ve found along the way. This time we talk to Peter Bell, Director of Bellmont Securities and self-confessed ‘Buffet tragic’. 

Tell us little bit about Bellmont and some of the innovations you’ve introduced.

Bellmont runs multi-asset and Australian Equity managed accounts for financial advisers. Some of the innovations that we've introduced are around investor communications – including a custom-built adviser communications portal, and regular written and video content, all in accessible language, designed to be understandable and accessible by the end investor. We've also pioneered a strong focus on 'founder-led' businesses, that has been a big driver in our performance over the last few years.

“I think the...increasing independence of financial advisers will continue...[and] is an overwhelming positive.”

What do you think will happen in the industry over the next few years? What big trends or changes do you foresee?

I think the trends we're seeing of increasing independence of financial advisers will continue, with more advisers leaving the big banks and joining boutique dealer groups, or even getting their own AFSL. And I think this is an overwhelming positive, with this transition enabling advisers to truly act in their clients’ best interests, rather than be beholden to unwieldy and often conflicted restrictions put in place by the big corporates.

What keeps you up at night? What do you worry about in the industry?

While I think the industry is heading very much in the right direction, I do feel that the compliance burden on advisers is becoming overly onerous, pushing up the cost of advice, and ultimately restricting many people with genuine need from receiving the benefits of good financial advice. 

Why did you choose Openmarkets? What do you like about its people and its tools (not the same thing 😉)

We've been long term clients of Openmarkets, and what originally attracted us to the business was their 'challenger' mentality, of constantly looking to innovate, and being open to suggestions from their clients as to which direction to take the business in. While the business today is far larger than it was when we joined, we're very happy to see that mentality and responsiveness has remained unchanged.

What are you most proud of at Bellmont?

What we've delivered for our clients. Since we started operating multi-asset managed accounts back at the start of 2018, we've been the best performing multi-asset manager in the country, and our Australian Equities model has been amongst the top ~2% of all large-cap Australian Equity funds. Given that our fees are well below average, that has translated to exceptionally strong returns for the end clients – something that we're very proud of indeed.

Tell us an unexpected fact about yourself

While anyone who has worked with me would know that I'm a very long-term investor and Buffett tragic, I actually started out my career as an intra-day bond futures trader, where a long-term position was about half an hour! While I didn't take much away from those trading years from an investment strategy perspective, I did learn an enormous amount about the psychology of trading and investing that continues to be extremely useful to me today.

What few words of advice would you give your 25-year-old self starting out in the industry now?

Be patient. Seek out a mentor who you would like to emulate, and find a way to work with them – for free if you have to! What you learn will be far more valuable than a salary in those early days.

Hold on a sec! You should consider whether any advice on our website is right for you or your clients. We don’t accept any responsibility for the accuracy any information, opinions, or predictions we’ve provided, and we obviously haven’t taken you or your clients’ personal financial situation into account. Just a heads-up.