Investing in knowledge

Published in the Geelong Business News, May 2006

Geelong’s Dale Gillham is at war with managed funds. He has even written a book on the best way to beat them. 

Last year he gained government accreditation to teach it too.

Twenty years of searching for the holy grail of financial security appears to be paying off for one local boy who is now confidently planning a lifestyle move back to Geelong from Melbourne.

Over the last four years Gillham has built up a business, Wealth Within, which invests funds on behalf of clients through individually managed accounts as well as teaching share trading education and investment.

It is driven by Gillham’s loathing of managed funds and what he says is a poor deal being dished out to investors.

Gillham’s bestselling book How to Beat the Managed Funds by 20% was written with that in mind.

And it is more than a plan to make his own money, he clearly trips out on teaching and helping others to make serious money in the share market.

His business Wealth Within now boasts a turnover in excess of $1.6m and he confidently expects it to be worth $5m by the end of the year.

The business is proving a success in credibility as well as financial terms.

Gillham has not only squared up to the investment establishment, he has won Government accreditation to run Australia’s first and only diploma in share trading and investment. 

It is unique because it actually teaches students to trade on the market.

“The Australian education market is saturated with courses that explain how the share market works or how the industry operates, but our course is the only accredited course at Diploma level that teaches you how to profitably trade the share market,” said Gillham.

Gillham, who features as a keynote speaker at every major investing expo in Australia and has written investment articles in all the major Australian newspapers and magazines, has become one of the most respected financial analysts in the country.

But his epic investment learning journey began as a 19-year-old at the Bannockburn branch of the Commercial Bank of Australia.

He spent about eight years at the bank before taking a break from the finance industry, that included an 18-month stint as a sales rep at Geelong Business News, before he hooked up with a number of like-minded financial organisations and developed his own stream of thinking.

However, it was in recent years that he started being invited to speak by more and more investment groups that he really developed the business.

There are now a growing number of separately or self-managed investment options but Gillham was at the forefront and has garnered respect because he has worked to get the credibility that goes with the diploma course.

“For the last three years this has been one hell of a ride,” said Gillham. “It hasn’t always been beer and skittles. It’s been tough.

“But now we’re one of the most respected share trading education companies in Australia.

“Three years down the track we’ve created the most enviable reputation in the share market education industry.”

And Gillham is at pains to point out that he gets a never-ending buzz from helping others.

“What I realized, especially when they brought out superannuation, is that nobody is ever going to be able to retire on what banks are offering or managed products or the banking products like superannuation, because the fees they were charging and returns they were getting – just didn’t balance up. 

They were paying high fees and getting low returns. If you pay high fees you should get high returns.

“People were just divorcing their responsibility to the banks and managers to make the money. 

If I want to make money to be able to retire successfully then I have to control my money.

“Right now, they baby boomers have started retiring. 75% of people are retiring on some form of government pension and 15% on a full pension. 

This is $12,000, $13,000. Now that’s just rubbish.

“The system has been created by the industry to keep it that way, because they’re making bucket loads out of people’s money. 

They are making themselves money and not giving it to the people.

“We are actually shaking the industry up. That’s part of the reason why I wrote the book. 

I really want to empower the individual. I can see what I could do myself and I proved it to myself that I could do it.

Gillham’s big goals include the return to Geelong to enjoy the lifestyle that used to keep him occupied at Jan Juc Surf Lifesaving Club as a youngster. 

But he also has other aims to fulfil.

“I still have big goals for the business too. 

With my diploma in share trading and investment we’ve had people offering to take it overseas, internationally.

“My business is already national and we are looking at franchising it within the next two years.

“I have some big goals about changing the industry. One of our goals was to set up an independent body like as EPAs for the share trading industry. 

That’s one of our goals to change the share market industry and financial planning.

“We want to empower people to make their own financial decisions. 

We don’t want to be financial planners. I’d rather be a strategist.

“If I can teach people strategy then they can do it with their accountant, solicitor, stockbroker and a few other professionals around them.

“If they’ve got the strategy and they know how to implement the strategy then they’ll do better.”

Geelong Business News does not endorse any form of self-managed or managed investment styles and would always advise readers to seek expert advice on the matter. 

To borrow from Dale Gillham “investing without knowledge is gambling”.

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