The Canopy advice philosophy is simple— we put YOU first. Our advisers take the time to get to know you;

  • who you are
  • how you live your life
  • what values you hold
  • what you want the future to look like
  • what scares you.

Its important that we understand the whole you so that our expertise can help you navigate the financial world with confidence, and see you excited about your future— one created specifically for you.

It sounds simple, but our uniquely holistic approach is part of a major shift in the culture of Australian financial services. Think of it this way, we have no interest in becoming Australia’s most profitable financial advice group but we do plan on becoming one of Australia’s most sustainable through limited clients who are delighted with our offering.

When you choose Canopy, you are choosing a boutique, relationship focused, independent, fee-only financial adviser designed to operate solely in your interests. Its a choice for the long term. Canopy actively nurtures its client partnerships and, in turn, they continue to choose us because they value our advice philosophy and trust our leading independent advice.


The smarter way to receive financial advice



Canopy operates solely on a flat-fee basis; this means regardless of the size of your investment or insurance premium- we do not benefit from any commission on your money. We are also independently owned and not aligned to any financial institution and only work for you.


Three Hats

We wear three hats to make sure we have a complete understanding of you, and your life. This means that we consider your values, lifestyle and aspirations before tailoring strategies to your true needs.


Fee Only

We are one of the very few Australian Financial Planning to be entirely fee-only and not accept any commissions. On the mortgage front, we also rebate all ongoing mortgage commissions to our private clients.



Canopy look at the whole story when providing advice. This means it is inevitable to cover areas outside our own expertise. In order to ensure our clients always have exceptional industry advice we actively nurture relationships with other trusted professionals to make sure our advice leaves no gaps.


Limited clients

In order to provide the level of tailored service that encapsulates the Canopy difference we can only afford to take on a limited number of clients. We look for long term relationships where we can add significant value to our clients finances.


New Standards

Canopy are a proud figure in the shifting landscape of Australian financial services. In the past advisers have worked hand in hand with financial institutions essentially peddling their products to the public. We are invested in redefining the culture of financial advice, and are always evolving in order to optimise your experience


Lending & Property

At Canopy we blend our expertise in Mortgage Broking with the help from carefully selected Buyers Advocates nationwide to make sure our clients are informed and getting the right property investment advice for them.


Investment philosophy

Our investment philosophy is built on the back of historic evidence on funds management performance. We focus on what we do know, not what we don’t – By keeping fees low, staying invested, diversified and disciplined our clients have achieved a very successful investment experience.

Financial advice is a balancing act of many differing individual circumstances -client values, lifestyle desires, current financial position, family needs and future aspirations. Unfortunately there will always be conflicting decisions and it can be very difficult to cut through the noise and make the right choice. A financial plan will carefully balance all these circumstances together and clearly make sense of all your options. We know that there is no perfect plan that can be put in place today that will suit you forever. A plan that can deal with changes is better than no plan at all.


1. Surviving

Your incomes are beginning to rise; you are spending less than you earn, and you may have saved to purchase your first home. The goal of the surviving stage is to feel comfortable and in control of your finances while putting in place an appropriate risk management plan.


2. Driving

The driving phase is a balancing act of three key areas – 1) Managing the cost of your lifestyle, 2) Reducing your home loan debt and 3) Looking to build wealth for the future. This will likely be very difficult to get through however by remaining disciplined to your values there is a way. Building wealth today will take an enormous amount of pressure off the Arriving stage.


3. Arriving

Your incomes may have reached their peak however your cash flow is increasing as the children are living home and debt commitments have reduced. A feeling that retirement is just around the corner has developed and at this stage the goal is to build suitable wealth to last you forever once you hit retirement. This period is one filled with opportunity but also a marked finish line.


4. Thriving

Retirement has arrived and you are feeling great about what lies ahead. Your assets are growing wisely each year and your lifestyle is being comfortably supported. You feel confident that your money will last and whatever life serves up you feel you have the option to do what you want. Only at this point does true financial freedom exist.


1. Have a plan | 2. Stay rational and disciplined | 3. Evolve with changes

“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are” - Roy Disney

Option 1~ Comprehensive Holistic Strategic Plan

Our advice is always getting to know you first, strategy second and product last. In tailoring our comprehensive advice to your needs we take on a completely holistic approach. Our advice is built around your lifestyle, wants for the future and your values. Working with many professional partners we ensure that no stone is unturned as we help turn the future you truly want into a reality. Everything we do – we do for you.


1st Hat: Values,  Aspirations, Lifestyle

So our partnership can get you on the right track to your ideal lifestyle; we take the time to understand exactly who you are.

2nd Hat: Strategy Analysis

Only once we are very clear on the direction we need to take. We move on to the next stage in formulating the right strategy for you.

3rd Hat: Tool Selection & Execution

Now that we have got to know who you are and have mapped out your options; its time for the final step. Canopy is here to you in all your financial decisions:
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Home Loans
  • Investments
  • Superannuation
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Estate Planning
  • Other Experts

Option 2 ~ Strategic Transactional Advice

Taking on a full planning approach is not the right move for everyone. If your immediate circumstances and short term plans make this not the right choice for you. Canopy can still help you. We can provide tailored advice to ensure your Home Loan lending, Retirement Planning and Risk Management plans are setup in the best possible way.

Canopy Cash

Canopy know that cash is truly king. Being in control of your household budget will be the biggest driver to your financial success. Managing your day-to-day expenses is difficult for most but can be very easy once every transaction is tracked, noted and assessed. Beautiful new technology makes this a breeze and highly accurate. This can give you a ticket to financial freedom and with the help of your own personal coach create new habits that will last a lifetime.

Canopy Lending

There is more to managing your debt than simply getting the lowest rate on a loan. As Financial Planners we provide all our clients with an in-depth debt management plan that covers how to best set up and manage your debt. The outcome is a better cash flow, risk management and maximised tax deductions. With over 30 lenders and a commitment to providing conflict-free advice we ensure that our clients get the sharpest rates possible.

Canopy Risk

Our advice ensures that your family is protected whatever the future may bring.  In the event of your passing, or should you be unable to work due to illness, accident or injury Canopy can help protect you and your loved ones financially. We make sure you have correct amount of cover, set up the right way and most importantly available when you need it most. We delve deep to offer you sound risk strategies and by removing any commission we can save you around 30% on your insurance premiums.

Canopy SMSF (Simple & Smart)

Superannuation is one of your greatest opportunities to achieve financial freedom.  Canopy will help you understand how the choices you make today, will effect the lifestyle you enjoy during retirement. Our Simple & Smart SMSF Service is individually built around helping you realistically know how you are tracking each and every year to your retirement lifestyle. Canopy focus on ensuring you enjoy and achieve a successful long term investment experience. We do this by reducing costs, staying highly diversified and carefully investing based on who you are and what you need to do.

20 min Strategy Chat & The Canopy Plan

Please note you may have noticed that we are one of the very few Financial Planning firms that charge for the first two meetings. We believe other firms offering free no obligation first meetings discredit the very valuable and powerful work great financial planners do. Free meetings suit sales industry – NOT professional advice. With no obligation meetings there is usually an agenda to sell and it will usually lead to rushing the initial process to save the adviser time. Care needs to be taken to learn all about YOU and we believe that we both should take the time required to feel completely confident and comfortable that we are the right people to help you now and in the years ahead.

We know you will get immense value. In fact we guarantee it. If you do feel that we haven’t entirely exceeded your expectations – the $360 is completely refundable – no questions asked.

So what do you say about having a quick no obligation chat to see Canopy are the right people to help you.

Book a complimentary “20min Strategy chat” with Chris Bates



(Next Week)

Our initial meeting is filled with questions, discussion, new ideas and generally great conversation. We may discuss things you have never put down on paper before – your values, lifestyle costs, details of aspirations and the choices or challenges ahead.



(1-2 Weeks later)

We have a great understanding of where you are heading and with the help of your very own “The Canopy Plan” we will identify any gaps, flag any concerns and most importantly clearly state where we believe we can add value going forward. At this point we will discuss the fees payable to continue with our advice and, providing we are both happy, our working partnership will begin.



(2-3 Weeks later)

Its time to take our strategic advice to a higher level and run through the “One Page Advice” worksheet. Together with our action checklist we run through the basis for all our recommendations.



(1-2 Weeks later)

We begin by reviewing the advice and going through all the finer details. Once we agree on the right steps for you and your family;  we begin to take action to put the changes into place.



(4 Weeks later)

  We return to our checklist to make sure all the advice is working for you. We also take this opportunity to ensure that you are very clear on your goals for the next 12 months and that our partnership is on track to achieve them.


Canopy Commitment

Our ongoing service helps our clients all year round to consider Changes, Challenges & Choices.


At Canopy we are committed to complete transparency and providing our clients with leading advice. This is why we rebate all ongoing commissions on all recommended products to our Private Clients. By operating on a fair fixed-fee basis we can remain completely independent from financial institutions, and free from any conflicts of interest. It also enables us to make sure that our clients are the ones profiting from their own money, not us. So, the more you borrow with Canopy, and the more you pay in insurance with Canopy; the more commission Canopy will see back into your pocket.

“Smart people learn from mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others” – Brandon Mull

Christopher Bates

Founding Director Financial Planner ~ Mortgage Broker

Chris started his career as an accountant in 2005, before moving in to financial planning two years later. For over seven years Chris has worked as an adviser both here and in the UK. His international positions at Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland followed by three small boutique firms have given Chris wide exposure to the different parts of the industry. Canopy is a reaction of the many failures Chris has witnessed in the financial industry; undelivered promises, prioritising product sales that put the client second and generally poor advice processes. As a passionate young adviser, who knows you can love numbers and people, Chris is not afraid to drive the changes that need to happen in financial services and plans on leading the industry for many years to come.


  • GradCert Commerce (Financial Planning)
  • Diploma of Credit Advice
  • Diploma of Financial Advice
  • SMSF Accredited (Kaplan)
  • SMSF Approved Credit Adviser (MFAA)
  • Justice of the peace
  • UK – Certificate of Financial Planning
  • UK – Diploma of Financial Advice

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Click to book a “20min Strategy chat” with Chris Bates
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Benjamin Sum

Para-Planning Perfectionist ~ Best Advice Strategist

Ben started his career in 2010 and over the past 5 years has worked with over 20 practices and more than 100 advisers in both in-house roles as well as in consulting capacities. This exposure to various types of advice and financial planning models has allowed Ben to witness both the good and bad sides of the industry and it is upon these experiences that Ben has been able to forge a successful para-planning business dedicated and committed to improving the quality of advice. Ben’s beliefs and ideals resonates with Canopy’s model and sharing the practice’s passion for advice dedicated solely to its clients’ benefit, you can rest assured that any strategy recommended to you will be backed by in-depth research and modelling.


  • CPA (SMSF Specialist)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Finance)
  • Diplomas of Financial Planning, Australian Tax Law & Mortgage Broking

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Our partners


Specialists to help you complete a simple tax return all the way through to highly complex personal and company accounts. 

Buyers Advocates

Working only for you, they find the best possible property that suits your goals that may be on or off the market.


Specialists in Conveyancing, Estate Planning, Business Partnerships and many other areas.

Real Estate Agents

Trusted agents all over Sydney that can help sell your home on the best possible terms or help purchase your ideal place.

Property Related

Surveyors, Property Managers, Building and Pest and many more trusted professionals to help you.

Insurance Brokers

Specialists in General Insurances to ensure you have the wisest structure at the best possible price.


At Canopy we love to share our honest views on the industry, keep you up to date with any interesting changes and importantly provide an insiders insight in to the financial services world.

Property investing the easy way.

This week I was approached by a rather inspiring new business that has got me thinking about property investing in a whole new light. As you can tell I am a pro-property financial planner and while I am agnostic to it over shares, together they actually work very well together. I will put it out…


Boom, Bubble, Burst or Blow-up?

What will we call the current property situation in 2025? Another weekend down and another day where many around the country are saying “every bubble has to burst”, “Don’t worry it’s just a boom, it will level off”, “there will be complete blow-up and prices will halve” but the truth is no one knows. Some…


The talent shortage

If you read the latest Deloitte report suggesting the future of the advice industry is bright, I would undoubtedly agree but say that it is actually – blinding. To me it’s absolutely obvious that the industry has a huge future and not disrespecting what a wonderful report it was, we did not need it to believe that…

“The only mistake you can make is not asking for help” - Sandeep Jauhar

Contact Us

If Canopy look like the right people to help you, we would love to hear from you.

Level 2, 285 George St Sydney NSW 2000

Phone numbers:

1800 CAN Ø PY (226 079) / Christopher Bates – 0412 226 009


Speak to the founder 

Book a complimentary “20min Strategy chat” with Chris Bates

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