I am a Financial Planner, Mortgage Broker, engaged to Melanie, brother to Claire and son to Peter and Sarah. I am a curious, open and passionate person that is blessed to be living life on purpose.
My life begun back in the 1980s after my parents migrated to Melbourne from Liverpool, UK.
Growing up to scousers, I spent my younger years going to school in Newcastle playing English football and counting numbers in my head.
Fortunately, I always had a natural ability with numbers and problem solving. There are many a family story of me saving my lunch money, talking to strangers or joking my out of some mischief. School and I didn't connect naturally and by the time I finished I had started a number of businesses and already had a number of investments.
My first role out of school was as an accountant in Newcastle, but early on I realised there was much more to the world than tax returns and Newcastle, so I left for Sydney. The following year, I decided that I did not want to be an Investment Banker and staring at numbers all day was not for me. I loved meeting people, looking at problems and thinking about the numbers. I wanted to help people improve their life by understanding what they want from it.
After feeling a little disillusioned at what was next, I had a chance meeting with a Financial Planner I thought this could be it.
Next stop - London.
My first years as a financial adviser I was working for a number of firms in the UK and I couldn't have timed the start of my career better or worse. It was the GFC, the biggest global recession for nearly 100 years and a collapse of the world as we knew it. It was a period filled with many highs learning part of what I do today but also shattered with the lows of seeing highly conflicted and poor financial advice.
After four years in the UK, I decided it was time to head back to Australia to be closer to my family and continue my work at a couple of firms. These firms shaped me to be extremely knowledgeable around all areas of advice and in particular smart property investing.
When 2014 rolled around, I had had enough of seeing highly conflicted advice through out the whole industry and knew I had to make a stand with a better way. I started Canopy Private, which I decided to rebrand as Wealthful in 2016.
Wealthful partly begun with a frustration at the advice I had seen and partly out of a passion to build the ethical advice firm of the future. A family focused and meaning driven business that made no apologies about what was best practice. A firm that was focused on building a more fulfilled life, not financial outcomes.
I can happily say that nearly four years on and I am very excited for the decisions and change my clients are making.
I am proud of every client that chooses me as their adviser and thankful for every new client I am very fortunate to be able to help.
I know this is just the start and with the help of others, we are passionately leading a movement in financial advice for the benefit of all Australians.
I will not give up until the future of financial advice is one that we can all be proud of.
What Others Say
These can all be seen on LinkedIN
Associate Director Human Resources
“Chris is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced Financial Advisor. From the first meeting my wife and I had with Chris he has provided us with well thought through advice which looked at all components of our financial situation and provided advice to address today and into the future. Chris has a great ability to take look at the varying situations and then explain a strategy which will set you up for long term success. Coupled with this he is accommodating and always available for advice. Chris is definitely someone we will be partnering with for the long term.”
Sales Development Manager at TAL (Formerly Tower Australia)
“Chris is an absolute pleasure to deal with & have high respect for his expertise and commitment to service excellence.
From my dealings with Chris, can confidently say his advice strategies are entirely in the clients best interest, through sound structures & quality client solutions, and given he avoids taking any commissions, which is a rarity within the industry, ensures best client outcomes. He constantly keeps up to date to make sure that advice stays the best for his clients. Thanks for the support Chris & keep up the great work. You deserve great success.
Chief Financial Officer at Richard Crookes Constructions
Chris has been engaged to provide independent financial and mortgage advice to our company. This service has been well received and utilised by our staff. The feedback on the advice and service that Chris has provided has been very positive.
I was buying my first investment property, and being relatively new to Australia, was very unfamiliar with how the Australian property market worked.
Chris took a lot of time explaining how the property market worked, and helped me make a much better decision. He provided great insight into points i should be considering when evaluating the properties, and was happy to challenge me when he felt the investment was ill-advised. Chris’s independence and therefore complete honesty was invaluable.
In addition to finding a good investment, Chris also helped me set up the loan the right way from the start. A fantastic help to me, and always a pleasure to deal with.
Senior Technical Consultant
Chris took a lot of time explaining the property market to us, he helped us make a much better decision and also helped set up the loan the right way from the start
Senior Associate, Corporate & Institutional Bank at Westpac Institutional Bank
Chris advised me recently in relation to my first property purchase, steering me through the many pitfalls that entrap the typical young investor. Chris was able to intelligently articulate a wise investment and patient throughout our consultations. Although I took up an offer with an employer financier direct, it was Chris’ advice that allowed me to successfully negotiate the deal pricing and structure. I recommend Chris to anyone seeking genuine, unbiased financial advice.
I work with busy financial planners on Marketing | Sales | Delivery | Service and transitioning to a Fee4Advice model
It takes courage and forward thinking to step outside the square when it comes to building the financial advice model of the future…. You need knowledge (sure, thats a given) but you also need the entrepreneurial & character traits that set you apart in a ‘sea of sameness’…! Since meeting and working with Chris, these are just some of what i have been impressed with. Chris thinks differently! About his business. About his clients. About the way quality financial advice should be delivered. We’ve had some robust discussions and chris’ passion shines through at the deepest level.
Mai Platts (Pham-Nguyen)
Business Development Manager – BetaShares
Christopher’s number one priority are his clients. His investment ethos is centred on being a truly independent adviser and as a result his recommendations to his clients are clearly focused on their best interests and outcomes. Christopher takes an active approach in social media platforms to communicate with clients and peers which helps to promotes discussion in this industry.
Director at Grad Mentor
Chris has a refreshing and collaborative approach to the future of the industry and does this with a young, fresh set of eyes. He sees the future of the industry as focusing on the clients needs and cutting through the noise.
Senior Planner Assistant at Apt. Wealth Partners
After reading about Canopy Private and Christopher’s value proposition to clients, I got in contact with Chris as I myself try to aspire in the often criticised Financial Planning industry. Chris has been too happy to catch up on a number of occasions and has always made himself available when I have wanted assistance or had any questions about the industry or my career. Chris has always been content to share his opinion and beliefs of the Financial Planning industry and agrees that true integrity will not be gained whilst there are incentives attached to products or key aspects of a client’s financial situation are ignored. By removing all conflicts of interest and looking at all aspects of a client’s financial situation Chris has positioned Canopy Private as the leading pioneer for the future of Financial Advice.
Founder & Business Coach at Audere Coaching & Consulting
In a world of bland value propositions, Canopy Private immediately caught my attention. Having had the opportunity to spend time with Chris to understand the very clear vision he has for his business and the client-focused way he operates, I was even more impressed. A very knowledgeable adviser with an obvious and very publicly stated commitment to independent advice, it’s easy see why so many clients warm to him.
Growth Hacker For Advisory Firms, Personal Finance Legend
Chris is not only a proactive financial adviser he is is one of the few advisers in Australia that can truly say they are independent. Chris’s high level of integrity reflects in his work – he is all about the client and Canopy is second. He works tirelessly to ensure to his clients have the strategies in place to get to where they want to be. After working with Chris on several projects, I have no hesitation in recommending him.
Residential Property Leasing, Management & Sales
Christopher is all about the client, not the best deal for Canopy. I have seen first hand his passion and enthusiasm to do the right thing by his clients and in turn this has given me confidence to rely on his expertise and to work with him.
If you are considering building your wealth and doing it hand in hand with a professional, you should at the very least, talk to Christopher for a confidential discussion.
Nathan S. Ide
Principal, State Street Global Advisors
I partnered with Chris to help him review his recent investment portfolios. Chris’ models were sophisticated, well-developed and considered many of the current themes within the investment markets such as fees, income, and franking credits. Chris’ approach was to offer institutional investment-like funds that are in of easy reach to his private wealth clients.
Director at Behavioural Finance Australia
In an industry that in recent times has struggled to counter perceptions (and in notable cases, realities) of conflicts of interest and poor advice, Chris has clearly established himself as a leader in the journey to a better future – for the industry and for the clients it serves. I have been impressed by Chris’ professional standards, and the well considered approach he takes to both understanding and servicing client needs.
Business Development Consultant at Vanguard Investments Australia
Chris is a Financial Planners who really cares about his clients. His passion is in the advice that he provides, an area that he has place alot of focus into doing the right thing by his clients. You can be assured the advice you receive from Chris in your best interest. Chris has been a delight to work with.
Financial Adviser, Coach, Educator, World Traveler, and Co-Founder at XY Adviser
What Christopher provides to clients is a highly valuable and impressive service. His entire business serves his client’s best interest far above and beyond what most other advisers are providing.
Player Development Manager | Elite Sport | Career Planning | Program Development | Training | Consulting
Chris is great to work with! His assistance in developing an education course for the Newcastle Jets was outstanding. It is refreshing to work with someone who communicates, organizes and negotiates well and is flexible in delivering the best event for the mutual benefit of all involved. I look forward to working with Chris again in the future.
Senior Mortgage Broker at Mortgage Choice
I had the pleasure of working alongside Chris at PPA. His primary focus was always on clients best interest first and built his plans around this. He was able to educate them and set in place strategies which helped many clients exceed their own expectations. Working with him I got to know him personally, he was a motivated and focussed individual who who was always very personable.
Finance Consultant/ Mortgage Broker at Pigot Miller Wilson Accountants & Advisors
Having worked with Chris in the past, I have referred many clients to him for assistance with their financial planning needs.
In all circumstances, the feedback has been great which is important to me and my client.
Business Development Manager at Zurich
Chris is an absolute pleasure to work with. He is always putting his clients needs first and has always been proactive to try and get the best result for his client. I would have no hesitation recommending Chris to family and friends as I know he is honest, reliable and knowledgeable.
Managing Director at Yield Financial Planning
Chris is a proactive and spirited person who is driven to do the best he can by people. In the time Chris worked with us he showed a passion to learn and develop. Many of our clients are keen property investors and Chris thrived on helping people understand how property fit into their overall financial plan. He demonstrated commitment to delivering quality strategic advice and embraced our genuine fee for service investment advice. I wish him every success with Canopy and look forward to maintaining a close business relationship and friendship in the future.
Owner, Property Planning Australia
Chris worked with Property Planning Australia for three years. During that time he showed a commitment to ethical financial advice which is a core pillar within our company. He also impressed with his desire to learn and take on board new ideas. This enabled him to develop a broad based approach to financial and property advice rather than the product selling one dimensional approach that litters the financial and property industry. I wish Chris all the best with Canopy and look forward to continuing to share ideas about how to provide great financial advice to the Australian consumer.
MD, Oak Financial Partners
Chris is one of the most pro-active and passionate advisers I’ve ever worked with. He is a true believer in creating additional wealth through active portfolio construction and heavy research based analysis and tactical plays on economic conditions, and he is a highly valued asset to clients and employers.
Benjamin Sum CPA
Founder/Paraplanning Specialist at BS Financial Advisory
Always putting the clients’ needs first, Chris’ portfolio of happy clients grew at rapid rate during the time we worked together. Attentive and immensely knowledgeable, it was a pleasure working with and learning from Chris and I would recommend his services to anyone looking for a financial planner.
Owner, FSC Investment Services Limitedt
Chris Bates is a charming and well educated and very likeable young guy, works hard and is conscientious in all he does. Chris worked with us in the UK for 6 months and we always found him to be a keen player in the team.
Chartered Financial Planner, Investment Consultant, Pension Specialist
Chris has a refreshingly modern approach to financial advice. He is passionate about ensuring clients get the most appropriate and suitable solution to their requirements. Have no hesitation in recommending Chris.
Area Manager Financial Services
Chris worked for me as a Financial Planning Advisor ar Banco Santander. Chris is one of the most committed Financial Advisors I have had the pleasure to work with. His committment to the job was unquestionable as he consistently pushed himself to deliver the best possible results with the wishes of his clients key. I would confidently recommend Chris to any future employer.
Sohail Iqbal BA (Hons) Dip PFS
Area Manager Financial Services
Chris you demonstrated some key skills in the advisory role, & i;m sure your career will further prevail.