I’m Maciej Stanek—financial planner, Canberran, and dad to three kids.
People come to me looking for answers to questions including:
- Am I paying too much for my insurance?
- How can I pay off my mortgage quicker?
- What investments should I be making?
- Am I on track to retire comfortably?
- Have I made a good choice of super fund?
- Would my family be adequately provided for if anything happened to me?
I’ve been a financial planner for more than 12 years. I also have an Honours degree in Commerce, so when I answer those questions my advice is backed up by solid credentials.
The reason I chose a career in financial planning is because I want to see more people financially secure, and not having to worry about bills or debt.
There’s a misconception out there that financial planning is just for the very rich, or only for people nearing retirement. I want to see people in their thirties and forties who could be getting on track to building wealth but aren’t acting on it. There are opportunities in easy reach for people to achieve financial security, but mostly they just aren’t aware of how well they could be doing with a few small steps.
I’m working to change that.
Six reasons to choose me
- I’m one of the most trusted financial advisers in Canberra—just check my reviews.
- Because I’m an independent financial planner, I’m aiming to work in your best interests with no hidden agendas.
- I’m raising a family in Canberra, which means I’m here for the long haul. My reputation matters, so I’ll always work to give you good advice and service.
- My insurance resources allow me to offer a much wider spectrum of analysis than you’d see from most major institutions.
- I can provide quality financial advice at a reasonable cost because I have back-office support from Freedom Finance, a medium-sized national practice.
- I’m happy to have a conversation with you, with no commitment on your end and no hidden catches.
“Maciej is a true professional”
He has the compassion and the passion for his work. He’s a very easy listener, and someone who can explain anything complicated in such a simple easy manner that leaves no doubt in your mind.” – Andreas Haas, Owner, OZ Property services
Why I work with IT professionals
IT professionals and I think alike. I love getting out there and meeting people, but I’m also very much a numbers guy. Give me a chart or some data to crunch, and I’m happy. That means I can take some fairly complex financial modelling, and break it down in a way that makes sense to IT professionals. I’m also very comfortable discussing things by text or Skype, which often works well for them.
There’s another reason why I enjoy working with IT people: they’re a professional group who’s often in a position to gain financial freedom with minimal pain.
- Discretionary income. I believe everybody can achieve financial freedom with the right strategies, whatever their income. In practice, though, it’s a lot easier for a systems architect on $120,000 to put a bit extra aside out of their discretionary income. For a teacher on $60,000, they don’t have that discretionary income. It all goes straight into bills and mortgages.The result is that a systems architect can put money aside each month, often without noticing a difference in their lifestyle. The difference they may notice is that over time, and with the right strategies, they can easily build significant wealth.
- Risk profile. IT professionals can receive a high level of cover, but pay a fraction of the premiums compared to other occupations. We can compare a business architect on $150,000 with a skilled builder earning the same money. They both want the same level of income protection cover. The business architect can receive the same level of cover, but pay much less for the benefit.Why is that? It’s because insurers know that IT professionals working behind a desk are, on the whole, far less likely to get seriously injured than a builder working on a construction site twenty floors up.What this means is that IT professionals have an opportunity to get quality insurance at extremely competitive rates. I’d like to see more IT professionals take that opportunity up.
I started out as a financial planner working in the big banks. But pretty quickly I noticed something: the banks used me essentially as a sales person for their products. My job was to tell clients that the bank’s super and insurance products were a good fit for them.
That didn’t sit well with me. I’d go home, wondering if I was really doing the right thing for my clients. So out of that experience, I went to work for an industry super fund. I found their product was more suitable for more people. Ultimately though, industry super funds focussed on clients who were already wealthy and approaching retirement.
For example, a client would come to me five years out from retirement and with a $500,000 shortfall in what they needed to live comfortably. There was simply not enough time to help them achieve that outcome. If we’d started twenty, or even ten years earlier, perhaps we could have made a difference in that person’s lifestyle.
It was around that time that an old friend called me up. He had started Freedom Finance, a financial planning service down in Melbourne, and wanted me to run the Canberra Office. It had already been a big month for my wife and I—we married, and were in the process of buying our family home. On top of this – my friend said I had only five days to make the decision.
I went home and talked to my wife. We both knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With my new role, I could deliver the kind of financial advice that I knew would make a difference.
I said “Yes!”
Now I get to talk to people from all walks of life. My experience in the banks and industry super funds means that I know how the banks work, and understand all the different products out there.
I’ve seen the habits and strategies that have helped people build impressive wealth. I’ve learnt from them as well, and share those successful strategies with new clients —while navigating around the pitfalls.
If you’ve got a question about your financial goals, I’d be glad to hear from you. Please get in touch