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We find that many people focus on their expenditure – without focusing on their goals.

After creating an understanding of your goals and objectives, we devise strategies that will enable you to achieve these.

However, as the word “budget” sometimes conjures up negative thoughts about reduced spending, we prefer to refer to it as “Lap Band Surgery for your income.”

Lap Band surgery is used to reduce your capacity to eat, which helps you lose weight and live off considerably less food.

A Lap Band for your income means the strategies we recommend effectively strip away parts of your income. This puts restrictions or controls on what you have left to spend.

The Lap Band is set so that your long term strategies are protected from your weekly spending – without micromanaging every expense. In a sense, the money that is not allocated to the strategies to meet your future goals, becomes your weekly budget.

For example, for every $1 of wages, we may allow 35 cents allocated to financial strategies. The remaining 65 cents is your allowable budget. You can safely spend this on your necessities [ie: food, utilities] and leisure, without compromising your long term goals and objectives.

This means, rather than telling you how to spend your money, we jointly determine what level of savings is required to meet your goals and create investment programs.


Restricting cash flow has proven to be a successful way to budget.

By reviewing your income and “restricting” it so that you can achieve your goals, a sustainable amount of money for your weekly lifestyle expenditure is revealed.

What we don’t want to do is balance the achievement of your objectives with having enough left out to be able to live life comfortably. In some cases if the expectations for the future are great – it may mean that current lifestyle expectations will need to change.

We arm our clients with this information to decide for themselves. It is possible that both current and future lifestyles can be met without compromising however this is very rare.

The question is how tight should your Income Lap Band be? Find out by speaking with us today.

Joe Stephan

Independent Financial Advisor

Joe Stephan graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Business (Fin Plan) under the tutelage of his father (Program Leader of Financial Planning at RMIT University).

You will hear Joe bandy about the idea of “pure financial advice”, which is given objectively and focused around the needs of individual and not the internal needs of the business providing advice.

Joe is realising his vision every day through his Independent Advice Firm which he owns and operates with his brother James. Joe also spends a portion of his time teaching tomorrow’s Financial Planners at various Melbourne Universities including RMIT & LA Trobe.

  • Enjoy the fruits of working life Joe & James were able to provide me with the impetus to take the next step into retirement which could have been delayed without quality financial advice. Dr. Kevin Adams Self Funded Retiree
  • Professional practice to be admired Joe & James' professional practice is to be admired. They are always there for his clients when needed. They freely pass on their expert knowledge without hard product selling techniques. Dr. Elspeth Mckay Associate Professor
  • Personal advice for complex lives Stephan Independent Advisory took the time to understand our situation & tailor their advice & solutions to our specific needs which, being a business owner, can be quite complex. Paul Marsh - Principal P2 Group - Business Owner
  • Family centered advice We have moved our investments from being a private client with a major bank to Stephan Independent Advisory in 2018. Since this move, we have been surprised at the depth of understanding encountered from Joe and James about our future plans and their ability to comprehend exactly what we wish to achieve. Mr Graham and Mrs Judith McKnight Self Funded Retirees
  • Values aligning with our own Clear, timely and direct responses in all areas of communications are outstanding. Meetings are planned and run efficiently to deliver on all our expectations. The firm’s values align to our own so that trust is readily established. Mr John and Dr Kim Watty Self Funded Retirees

It’s Never About Money

Whether you have significant financial resources and question the meaning of success or if you’re wondering whether being that little bit wealthier will make you happier this is the podcast for you.


Stephan Independent Advisory
Private Wealth Management
Suite 506, 1 Princess Street, Kew VIC 3101