A Fairy Tale Come: How a Magical Disneyland Trip Led This AFL Player to His New Career in Wealth Management

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When Michael Mansfield was nine years old, he learned about the life-changing benefits of smart investing during a trip to Disneyland in California.

The Geelong boy, Michael Mansfield, retained the lesson he learned early on and went on to play in three AFL grand finals for his hometown team, the Cats. He later became a financial adviser with Morgans Brighton, which manages over $900 million in funds, and had a successful career.

In 1980, Mansfield’s parents, Ken and Sheila, surprised him and his three sisters by telling them they would fly to the US for a month-long holiday instead of their usual two-day drive to Queensland.

“I was confused about how it happened since it was my first time on a plane,” Mansfield says.

“My dad told me that he sold some gold shares at a profit and is using the money to take our family of six to America. This made me think of shares as something exciting, like going to Disneyland. I realised that it was worth considering investing in shares.”

He highlights that financial literacy is a significant issue because families are struggling with the high cost of living, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people to own homes. He also mentions that the ‘buy now, pay later’ trend persists.

Mansfield has expressed concerns regarding the need for more financial education and revealed that 50% of financial advisers have left the sector in the last three years. 

Additionally, Australians now pay a median annual fee of $3710 for financial advice, which has increased by 48% in the five years since the Hayne royal commission. Mansfield fears that Labor may make too many changes to superannuation.

“Compliance is extremely challenging. It creates pressure for everyone involved and increases costs,” Mansfield says.

“The industry needs more attention and affordability, as not everyone can easily access financial advice. Instead of altering superannuation to reduce the budget deficit, the government should prioritise educating people on how to invest and understand the concept of superannuation. Despite being the best investment option, frequent changes bring about uncertainty.”

Michael Mansfield hopes that the government and other financial institutions will prioritise educating people on how to manage their finances and plan for the future. He believes this is the key to helping Australians develop lifelong financial literacy skills that can ultimately lead them to a more secure future.

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