Lifestyle lures Aussie adviser across the Tasman
The lure of a “fantastic” outdoor lifestyle, combined with the escalating cost of living in Australia, has prompted one Australian adviser and his young family to swap Sydney for the South Island.
Tuesday, August 14th 2012, 7:19AM
by Niko Kloeten
James Waggett, who made the move in January, lives with his young family in the Wakatipu Valley outside Arrowtown but still works as a senior client adviser for Aussie stockbroking firm Bell Potter Securities, which is part of the ASX-listed Bell Financial Group.
And he said that in a "globalised" market, there was a real opportunity for the government to promote New Zealand as a destination for international financial services professionals.
"The number one competitive advantage for New Zealand is the lifestyle available for families. I can go skiing, fly fishing, hang gliding and hiking... I've even got out the mountain bike after about 10 years in my Sydney garage. Where I live is very cosmopolitan; I've got neighbours from America, Germany, France, South Africa, the UK and Australia."
He said with great broadband (he installed a satellite dish for that purpose), VOIP, Skype &Viber, someone in his position could do the same job from almost anywhere in the world.
"The world is a small place. Where you are physically located is irrelevant," he said, describing his job as the "ultimate telecommute".
One factor that drove him to leave Australia after 18 years was the "out of control" cost of living, driven by the mining boom and the unintended consequences of government policy: "Outside of mining and mining investment, East Coast Australia has been verging on recession.
"When I was in Australia I said I was English by birth and Australian by choice but now I'm not so sure what to say," he said.
Bell Potter Securities has listed as a Financial Services Provider and is a member of the Financial Dispute Resolution Scheme in New Zealand to meet local regulatory requirements and allow Waggett to operate here.
He made his move before the recently-announced trans-Tasman recognition agreement for financial advisers, which he said would make it easier to attract a local client base, advising New Zealand investors on Aussie stocks and listed fixed interest, in which he has a particular interest.
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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