Darcy Ungaro: Independent start crucial for brokers

Emphasising guidance and independence in broking

Darcy Ungaro: Independent start crucial for brokers

Darcy Ungaro (pictured above), financial adviser at Ungaro and Co and host of the NZ Everyday Investor podcast, discusses his mortgage advising journey, industry changes, and advice for new advisers, emphasising client guidance and starting independently.

From economics to mortgage advising

Ungaro began his mortgage advising career 21 years ago after completing his university studies in economics with a finance major.

“I initially struggled to find a role at a bank or insurance company, but a family member introduced me to a mortgage broker, and the rest is history,” he says.

Positive developments in broking

Ungaro highlights the shift in financial advice towards valuing guidance over deals.

“The growing awareness of what financial advice really is – away from the product and towards the person,” he says.

This shift has led clients to value guidance more, enhancing the advisory profession.

Current challenges and solutions

Despite increased adoption of the adviser distribution channel, Ungaro notes that challenging market conditions and increased regulatory workload are significant frustrations.

“A review of the legislation from the customers’ perspective, rather than industry participants and regulators themselves, may be helpful here,” he says.

Memorable experience

Ungaro recalls his shift from arranging mortgages to providing advice using a fee model he developed as the most challenging and rewarding experience.

“Being able to shift the focus away from products to solutions is what everyday New Zealanders actually want, and I’m keen to take it to the next level,” he says.

Advice for aspiring advisers

Ungaro advises new mortgage advisers to focus on fee-based advice from the beginning.

“Don’t rely on providing mortgage advice for free,” he says.

With commission models and technology expected to change rapidly, managing that risk early is crucial.

He also recommends starting independently as soon as possible, despite the challenges, as it sets up long-term success.

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